Re: Shekarau Endorses Takai - Nigerian Politics Kano State

13 May 2010

By Saka Raji Audu

On the front page of the Daily Trust of May 5, 2010, I read the tacit endorsement of Alhaji Salisu Sagir Takai, the Commissioner for Local Governments in Kano State by the State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau to fly the ANPP flag in the next year's poll. On this day, a friend put a call to me and wanted to know my view about the governor's endorsement of Sagir Takai. I simply answered the caller saying to him that there is no cause for alarm.

Personally, I do not know much about Takai, though this is not enough ground to join the bandwagon of hatred and animosity. Nevertheless, I know much about the man that endorses Takai's candidature. In the local parlance, it is often said that "show me your friend and I will tell you his character and characteristics."This is also to say that birds of a feather, they say, flock together. So, when the report came that Shekarau has endorsed Takai, I was as confident as a primary five pupil who was asked to sum up two and two.

It is my belief that Shekarau as a man of hard work and integrity cannot endorse a man to take over his hard earned seat if he is not confident of the man. This is especially so, in view of the governor's assertion that "success without successor is a failure. He had also disclosed in one of his interviews with the Sun newspapers that, "no stooge would succeed him." These point to the fact that the governor has the interest of the state at heart and would prefer some one who will perform far better than what the governor has achieved for the state.

Asides, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau as a person, has the inalienable right to declare his support for any one he believes would add feathers to his myriad of achievements. We should therefore remember that it is not all that glitter is gold. This is why it should not surprise any one that Alhaji Salisu Sagir Takai got the nod of His Excellency, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau to fly the ANPP flag come 2011 among the litany of other people who have signified their interest in Shekarau's seat.

Importantly too, we should not forget the fact that it is on record that the party caucus together with all the would-be governorship hopefuls in ANPP had met and resolved that Malam Shekarau is their political father. Whoever he pointed to them to succeed him will be accepted to every one. They gave Shekarau a challenging task because he requires endorsing one out of many people eyeing his coveted seat. In dicey situation as this, the governor has always called on Allah, SWT for divine guide. Perhaps, in accepting Shekarau to pick his successor for them, every one interested in the seat was hoping to be picked, which is not possible.

Now that the governor has endorsed one of them in the person of Alhaji Salisu Sagir Takai on ground of hard work and integrity, others who had promised the governor to accept his choice as a mark of respect they have for him have started crying wolf. It would have been quite understood if those who had not been in support of Shekarau were the ones making noise against his endorsement of Takai. But it is amazing that within one shot, some of them who gave their words to the Sardaunan Kano have failed to leave up to their promise, which clearly showed that ordinarily, such personalities are not trustworthy. The implication is that if the governor had endorsed such person as his successor, he would have been disappointed and messed up like what happened in states like Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Bauchi, etc. Where then is the amana, trust?

Whatever are the factors that led to Shekarau's endorsement of Takai, one thing that should not escape our mindset is that the governor as a politician knows pretty well the dynamic of politics. Thus, it is not the way some people see things that are always the case. It is rather unfortunate reading statement credited to Alhaji Kabiru Gaya, a Senator representing Kano- south constituency in the Daily Trust of 6th May 2010, where he openly expressed his bitterness, skepticism and arrant disloyalty about the endorsement of Salisu Sagir Takai by the governor.

According to Gaya, he and his 'six other persons' who are interested in Shekarau's seat were 'sidelined' and 'not consulted' before Takai was endorsed by the governor. Incidentally, Gaya is the first person to eye Shekarau's seat, perhaps, without the knowledge of the governor until he was exposed by the media. To Kabiru Gaya, Shekarau has 'lost grip' of Kano simply because he claimed that he was sidelined or not consulted before Takai was favoured by the governor.

Secondly, it is also the claim of Gaya that Takai is the 'least qualified' candidate among those who are interested in Shekarau's seat by 2011. I think the thesis of qualification and consultation is being emphasized for pure mischief. If I were the distinguished Senator Kabiru Gaya, I would have raised my voice against the earlier gentleman resolution, in which he is privy to, that they would accept whoever was picked by the governor to succeed him. Gaya and any of his six persons never said anything at that time because perhaps they individually thought that they would get the blessing of the governor. I think that a leader who worth his sort should not indulge in double standards so that the issue of integrity would not be eroded.

The governor took their promise for granted and now he is being disappointed by the same people he trusted dearly. One realizes this long ago but one still believes that a man with God is the majority. This has been the secret of Shekarau's successes. Every day, it is said, we learn and one should believe that Shekarau has learnt. The motto should have been "believe in them but don't trust them. "It is however not too late to amend whatever is the political calculation in order to give way for internal democracy.

Since Gaya and his six other candidates have failed to keep to their promise of accord in keeping faith with the governor, the next thing is for the party to conduct primary election for the dozen candidates, including Alhaji Salisu Sagir Takai to determine the popular candidate so that the party can forge ahead. Perhaps, some of those who are trying to betray the governor in the party are only doing so in order to get back whatever they might have 'spent' to get the ball into the net but could not realize it. They prefer making loud noise to get settled else they split the beans. Unfortunately, one does not if Takai is in the position to do such kind of settlement.

Above all, the most worrisome aspect of the entire episode is the level at which certain Daily Trust reporter; Jaafar Jaafar wants to draw the good name of his paper into the mud, as a result of his desperate attempt to participate in the internal issue of a political party. In the Daily Trust of May 5, 2010 when the endorsement of Takai by Shekarau was first reported by one Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu in the front page of the paper, she succinctly reported on page 5 that, "present at the gathering were 31 out of the 44 local government Chairmen of the state, who individually declared their support for Takai and said it was in obedience to the state governor." The readers were however taken aback when in the Daily Trust edition of May 7, 2010, Jaafar Jaafar reporting the same event on page 56 stated that, "Thirty three out of the 44 local government Chairmen in Kano State have shunned the rally of the anointed Kano State governorship aspirant on the platform of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Alhaji Salihu Sagir Takai (sic)."

One should think that Jaafar Jaafar contradictory but negative report on the same rally earlier reported by his colleague, Ruqayyah was in complacency with the seven persons that are not happy with the governor for endorsing Takai. But why should a supposedly responsible journalist work at the detriment of his paper that engaged him really beat one's imagination. Which of the two reporters and their reports do we believe and why the differences in the name, Salisu or Salihu?

In view of Jaafar Jaafar negative past against Shekarau-led administration, one has every reason to conclude that he was at his best again fabricating what he cannot fathom. If he does not like the governor's endorsement of Takai, he is free to express his grievance, using opinion column provided for that. This is better for him than using fake news report against his perceived enemy in the Daily trust.

Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email:





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