Rabiu Kwankwaso in battle for political survival


“True leaders do not make choices with reference to the opinion of the majority. They make choices based on the opinion of the truth, and the truth can come from either the majority or the minority!” —Israelmore Ayivor

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Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former Kano State governor and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) is under intense political fire.

At the moment Kwankwaso, not immune to the complexities of Nigerian politics is caught in the web of a political battle of survival.

And in a country like Nigeria where political fortunes can be fickle and power fleeting, Kwankwaso is not leaving anything to chance, and fully conscious that how he handles the present crisis will either further his political influence or diminish his already established political stature.

What is clear is that the Boniface Aniebonam and Gilbert Major group, which controls NNPP Board of Trustees, is bent on reducing him to an ordinary political denominator if they can.

They want to demystify the spirit behind the Kwankwansia Movement.

They have tried the suspension weapon before playing the expulsion card, but Kwankwaso seems to be smart too as he wasted no time in rushing to the court to stop the thick plot, and then seek for justice.

He appears to be winning as a high court in Kano State last Tuesday set aside his suspension from the party, NNPP.

Ruling on an ex parte motion in a suit marked K/M1157/2023, the presiding Judge, Usman Na‘Abba, also restrained members of the Boniface faction that suspended Kwankwaso from acting as national officers of the party.

Recall that last Tuesday, the NNPP’s Board of Trustees (BoT), led by Aniebonam, founder of the party, suspended Kwankwaso over allegations of anti-party activities.

However, a faction of the party loyal to Kwankwaso reversed the suspension.

The party’s National Executive Council (NEC) had also set up a disciplinary committee to probe allegations of anti-party activities and mismanagement of party funds levelled against him.

Kwankwaso was directed to appear before the committee within five days of getting the invitation.

The NEC had warned that Kwankwaso would be expelled in line with the provisions of the NNPP’s constitution if he failed to appear before the disciplinary committee.

In a statement on Tuesday, Abdulsalam Abdulrasaq, NNPP’s acting national publicity secretary, said that NEC resolved to expel him because of his refusal to honour the committee’s invitation.

But in the latest ruling, the court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognise the purported suspension pending the determination of the suit.

The judge adjourned the suit to October 5.

The judge ruled that “an order of interim injunction is hereby granted, restraining the respondents by themselves, their agents, cronies and whosoever acting or act through them from parading themselves, issuing press releases or granting interviews as national officers, leaders or members of the applicant pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction is hereby granted setting aside the purported suspension of Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as a member of the applicant and restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission from recognising the purported suspension pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

As things stand now the Aniebonam and Major group has vowed to kick out Kwankwaso, insisting that nothing would stop them.

They claimed among other things that “material evidence” in public affirmed that Kwankwaso was involved in “anti-party activities in various meetings” and political discussions with President Bola Tinubu, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar; and Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi.

The truth is that through the formidable Kwankwasia Movement, Kwankwaso was able to galvanize massive support across diverse socio-political groups just in less than a year after joining the NNPP, flying its presidential flag during the last general election with high electoral value within the short period of time and emerging in the fourth position.

Kwankwaso left a credible record as governor of Kano State. His commitment to education which is key to any development agenda stood him out as then governor of Kano State as he set an enviable record for the promotion of education and literacy, as well as other legacy projects, being the first governor to establish two universities, including a university of science and technology in Kano.

Kwankwaso is widely reported to have sponsored hundreds of young men and women abroad for professional degree courses as part of his commitment to education as a tool for lifting the people out of poverty.

Most commentators seem to be wondering about what will be left of the party if Kwankwaso, who is seen as the soul of the party, is forced out.

Political commentators believe that there is need for wider consultations, as it is in the best interest of the party to seek for genuine reconciliation, realising that Kwankwaso is a huge asset given his followership.

But whether the gang up against him can swallow him or not will be revealed in the months ahead.

Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was born on October 21, 1956, in Kwankwaso village located in Madobi LGA of Kano State.

He was a former governor of Kano State and was at a time the senator that represented the Kano Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly.

Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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