By Bala Ibrahim.
If not for the surprise sprang by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by today, the people of Kano would be ready to queue up, in their push to elect a new governor and the set of parliamentarians that would run the affairs of the state. Lagos and Kano are two laboratories to watch, because in the recently concluded Presidential and Parliamentary elections, they played the theatres of surprises.
Although pundits have predicted what happened in Kano, because Kwankwaso, a strong son of the soil was on the ballot, but the fall of Lagos to the Labour party, LP, came contrary to permutations. Most people thought it was going to be a fight between the ruling APC and the major opposition PDP in Lagos. But alas, the result came in the opposite.
I am more than confident that, given the steps taken by the ‘Lagosians’ after the election, alongside Babajide Sanwo Olu’s excellent record of performance, the story would change in favour of the APC, when the votes are cast next week. That is because everyone is interested in good governance. And precisely that is the kernel of this article- the need for the people of Kano to appreciate the importance of good governance, and how Gawuna’s gift of goodness, could be harnessed for the actualization of such ambition.
For the governorship of Kano, it is more of a battle between the ego of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and the spirit of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, where Gawuna and Abba are simple pawns. Abba’s support is solely and completely because of Kwankwaso, who had served twice as the governor of the state. He was also a minister and Deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. So in terms of experience, exposure and expertise, Kwankwaso has more millage than Gawuna, far more. But the issue at hand is Kwankwaso is not the one contesting, but Abba Kabir Yusuf, his son in law, whose credentials in governance are way below those of Gawuna.
I have nothing against Abba. In fact, it may interest the reader to know that, Abba was born in Gaya, my home town. Also, Abba and I live on the same street, just two or three houses away from one another. So, with a common place of early life, and now common place of abode, if I should have any bias, my prejudice would naturally go to Abba.
However, the matter in question is leadership, which the dictionary describes as the ability to take ownership in a part of an organization and to continually do what is best for the organisation. Here, the organisation is my state, Kano. As a concerned citizen, I have a moral obligation to champion my energy towards someone that I believe has the qualities of governing the state in a manner that would be good for the state. Kano state is in a critical state, and the need to have a competent person for responsive leadership need no extra emphasis.
My search on Abba’s work experience gave me very little information. In fact, beside saying that he served in the Executive Council of Kano State from 2011 to 2015 as Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport, not much is there to say about him. 2011 to 2015 was the period when Kwankwaso, his father in law, was the governor of Kano.
On the other hand, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna was the Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture before he became the Deputy Governor under Ganduje. He was also a Commissioner during the administration of Governor Kwankwaso. Before then, he was the Chairman of Nassarawa Local Government in the administration of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. So one can even safely say, Gawuna is the political godson of the trio of Kwankwaso, Shekarau and Ganduje. For the three of them to work with him sequentially, Gawuna must have the gift of goodness in governance, undoubtedly.
Those refusing to see the goodness in Gawuna are doing so only because of their grouse with his present principal, Governor Ganduje. Not because Gawuna is bad or deficient in the qualities of leadership. Gawuna is unfairly diddled politically, because he is a victim of circumstances. Yes, because of the offense of his principal, he is made to suffer the effect of ill assessment.
What a lot of these people don’t understand is the place of individuality and the uniqueness of humility in leadership. Gawuna is uniquely humble. There is also the need to understand the place of respect in leadership. Gawuna gives respect to all, including his subordinates. Juxtapose these with what is said about Abba, the answer would not be as palatable. Why then should we jettison the paragon of humility and self-effacement for the grandeur of arrogance?
Using the principle of comparative analysis, the people of Kano should check the antecedents of Gawuna and those of Abba, in order to understand who amongst them is capable of piloting the ship competently and independently.
According to Catherine Pulsifer, “Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future.” My tilt towards Gawuna is motivated by this particular philosophical phrase. And I hope it would also help, in the moulding of many minds.