By Chidiebere Nwobodo
When I read in the news that Kano State governor had ordered the closure of all the stadia in the state ahead of the presidential campaign of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, billed to take place coming Sunday, I bursted into thunderous laugher. I laughed uncontrollably because I predicted that a day of reckoning like this would come, when Buhari’s popularity myth in the state would be demystified by #Tsunami Musa Kwankwaso in synergy with #hurricane Atiku Abubakar. #Kwankwasiyya movement has been ravaging Kano State—the political hotbed of northern politics like a wildlife. They have left no one in doubt of who calls the shots in the northwestern state.
The leader of the PDP in the state, Senator Musa Kwankwaso has in the last few weeks, reasserted himself again as the godfather cum Sheriff of Kano politics. From massive crowd he is pulling with his cult-like following in the region in the ongoing campaigns, it is beginning to dawn on President Buhari’s handlers and the APC that there will be no more 1.9 million votes again for them in the coming presidential election. Even the so-called 5 million votes promised by the governor is now a mirage and empty rhetorics. Rather, Atiku Abubakar—with the formidable political machinery of Kwankwasiyya movement, may spring consequential surprise in the state, that may wreck havoc to re-election bid of the incumbent. There’s palpable fear in the Villa. Even die-hard supporters of the president knows that there is trouble in Kano for them.
The illogical shutdown of supposed venue for the PDP Presidential Rally in the state, has heightened this fear of Kwankwasiyya revolution and ballooned Atiku’s towering momentum in the coming election. This ill-conceived action of panic on the side of Gov. Ganduje has shown that he is not in control of Kano State politics; that he has lost grip. It portrayed the governor and the APC as a party that is bereft of strategic thinking and obsessed with politics of bitterness. By shutting down the stadia and the attendant free publicity that came with it, Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s campaign has been given much-needed awareness ahead of all-important rally that will make or mar Buhari’s electoral destiny in the core north. I thought the APC’s online urchins said that Buhari is still popular in Kano State, why this panic actions from the governor? Buhari has tested his popularity in Kano during the rally, why won’t they allow Atiku and Kwankwaso do theirs? Who is afraid of these political war veterans?
This irrational move by the dollar governor, has won more sympathy for Atiku and Kwankwaso in Kano State. It has brought to limelight the political reality that Kano State is no longer Buhari’s stronghold cum vote-bank, as was being speculated by the APC’s propagandists—relaying on past election results. The factors that gave Buhari overwhelming victory in Kano in the past are no longer on his side—a lot has changed. The masses have seen that he is not the messiah they expected of him. The excruciating economic hardship in the land has made matters worse for the president. His anti-corruption war has been busted as a hoax, with his recent endorsement of Gov. “Abdollar Gandollar” for re-election, in the midst of the notorious bribe-taking scandal hanging on the neck of the governor. This ignoble endorsement of Gov. Ganduje by President Buhari has exposed the insufferable hypocrisy behind his so-called integrity. He has lost his credibility in the eyes of the talakawas.
The real motive of closing down the stadium is to limit the number of the PDP supporters that will congregate in that particular location during the presidential rally. Forget the cock and bull story of stadium renovation being bandied by the state government; it just a smokescreen. But the web of conspiracies has backfired. Those who were reluctant to attend the event, are now favourably disposed to grace the rally, just to spite the governor and the APC. I can bet my money on this; Atiku will pull the highest crowd in the coming rally in Kano State, no matter the frustration or bureaucratic bottlenecks orchestrated by the drowning governor, because nothing will stop a man whose time has come. Ganduje has lost his seat even before the election, what is at stake now is the presidential election.