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Who Is Afraid Of Shekarau's Presidency? Nigerian Politics - 2011 Elections

31 August 2010

By Saka Raji Audu

August 5, 2010 shall remain green and indelible in our memory. This was the day altruistic Governor of Kano State, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau took the nation by the storm when he formally declared his intention to vie for number one seat of the land by next year if God wishes. By that declaration, the indefatigable governor is formally seeking the nomination of his party, the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP), as her Presidential Candidate for the 2011 Presidential election.


Since the nationwide coverage of the Presidential declaration of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, the opposition has been having sleepless nights because it never thought that the simple but dignified governor could even make it up to that level for a start. The declaration was a humble beginning because it shook the country to her marrow. So far, no other declaration from other presidential hopeful that has so much attracted the feelings of Nigerians than that of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. It was and still the talk of the town, all over the nook and cranny of the country.


Those who do not wish Shekarau well for base avarice, personal and primordial reasons have since engaged themselves in fabrication of lies to 'undo' the governor's presidential ambition. Democracy, we know, is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In democratic society as ours, every enfranchised person has the right to vote and be voted for. Shekarau's traducers, instead of devoting their precious time to campaign for whoever they deem fit, are always wasting such time talking ill-feelings of a man they cannot stop from achieving his destiny.


Among the Shekarau's detractors who is so envious of Shekarau's rising political profile is the half-baked Tukur Mamu and his notorious Desert Herald that specialize in dishing out falsehood to their gullible readers on weekly basis about what they know not. This Kaduna based junk is so much worried of how Shekarau is able to succeed against its anticipated failure and bad wishes. Hardly a week passes by without this gutter paper proving its name right by fabricating one form of lie or the other about the humble Shekarau. Incidentally, this media misfit has been fruitlessly and unjustly fighting Shekarau and his administration just because its owner is not in any way happy about the progress Shekarau administration has made in Kano.


Naturally, we do not expect every one to talk good of Shekarau in spite of his high level of achievements that are vividly on ground in Kano. But we must be fair and just in our assessment even though we all know that one man's food is another man's poison. Since the creation of Kano state in 1967, none of its past civilian leaders that has not received one criticism or the other. Even if a man gets up every morning and goes to individual houses with monetary assistance on daily basis, he must have someone who will surely talk bad of him. That is the kind of society we have. During the period of Malam Aminu Kano of blessed memory, he was insulted and disgraced by the so called progressives. The late Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Rimi did not have it easy with the pro-establishment. The late Sabo Bakinzuwo did not escape the wrath of his opponents. Alhaji Kabiru Gaya who became governor in 1991 on the platter of gold was nicknamed "Inshallahu"because people said that he could not perform while in office. The immediate past governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso was condemned in totality as a man who presided over the liquidation of the state. So, we do not expect Malam Ibrahim Shekarau to be a saint with his marvelous performances. People must talk ill of him no matter what he has done. As a matter of fact, I know a man in one of the state media houses who enjoy so many goodies from Shekarau administration. But the man always blackmails the administration wherever he goes. These are men of no conscience.


 Even the Prophets sent by Allah (SWT) had to grapple with the evil machinations of the people. We have a perfect example of the Prophet (PBUH). The entails of a camel were said to be placed upon his head; his feet bled; his face was fractured; he was besieged in a mountain pass until he was forced to eat tree leaves; he was driven out of Makkah; his front tooth was broken in battle, his innocent wife was accused of wrongdoing, 70 of his companions were killed; he was bereaved of his son and of most of his daughters; he tied a stone around his stomach because of hunger, and he was accused of being a poet, a magician, a soothsayer, a madman, and a liar – all at the same time. Yet, Allah protected him throughout these severe trials and tribulations. Prophet Zakariyah was killed, Prophet Yahya was slaughtered, Prophet Moosa was afflicted with great trials, Prophet Ibrahim was thrown in the fire (may peace be upon them all), and the Imams – most reputed theologians and scholars and leaders followed their footsteps. Caliph ‘Umar was assassinated, as was ‘Uthman and ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all). Many scholars of the past have been flogged, imprisoned or tortured.


So, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau shouldn’t be bothered of any false accusations, hatred, malign, instigations or treachery for seeking to be President of Nigeria against the backdrop of his good work and achievements. After all, Allah says in the holy Qur’an 2:214 “Or think you that you will enter paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty, ailments and were shaken”. One is also glad that Shekarau does not allow any form of ill feeling and wrong accusation to detract his mission and vision for the people of Kano state in particular and Nigeria in general. He should continue in the same spirit because as we know, power belongs to Allah (SWT). He knows who, when, how and where to give power.


The democracy we practice today in Nigeria entails that whoever feels that he has something good to offer to the people of the country should vie for leadership position of the country. Malam Ibrahim Shekarau has been the governor of the most populous state in Nigeria, Kano for the past seven years. The peace and stability we require for progress has been in the state. He improved the quality of roads and water supplies in the state in spite of all odds. He believes that as far as you are a Nigerian, you are free to live anywhere in the land. This is why he accommodates non-indigenes in his administration since he came to office some seven years ago. Shekarau is credible because he never rob Peter to pay Paul. He respects democracy because democracy entails popular participation in governance. Therefore, he has never in any way truncated any democratic proceeding in the country. He has used his leadership prowess to do a lot of good things for the people of Kano state. These are his credentials, which are credible enough for him to seek nomination as Presidential candidates of his party. If by God's grace this happens, he will be one of the Presidential contestants in the 2011 presidential election.


Shekarau and his teaming supporters are fully aware of the caliber of other presidential hopefuls in the presidential race such as General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), General Aliyu Gusau (rtd), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the incumbent President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and some others that may emerge as the clock tickles.


Shekarau is sure of himself and therefore, does not bother about the so called big names in the race. After all, in spite of the presence of big countries as Spain, Holland, Argentina, Brazil, etc in the world cup, other countries as Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, etc still went and displayed their ability. Even country as Greece that invented football lost in the world football cup. At home, Alhaji Kabiru Gaya never knew that his NRC could defeat the 'mighty' SDP in Kano in 1991 governorship election. Consequently, Shekarau was the least governorship contestant in Kano in terms of money and influence in 2003. In spite of all what happened, he won the election and won again in 2007.


The lazy argument is that it was Buhari's popularity that made Shekarau to win the 2003 governorship election. But the same Buhari did not support him in 2007 and Shekarau still won. If popularity is any thing to go by in the country's election, why did Buhari, as 'popular' as he is could not win Presidential election in 2003 and 2007? Why the late Umar Musa Yar'adua as unpopular as he was and who was not relatively known beyond Katsina won the Presidential election? The simple answer some people may offer is that the election was rigged. Still, one is yet to know which party that did not rig in 2007 General election. So, let us discuss issues rather than sentiment.


The suitability of candidate in the 2011 Presidential election should be based on issues and Shekarau is fully armed to take up issues that will advance the progress of the country. Shekarau is ready to tackle issues of power and energy, security, peaceful coexistence, corruption, economic and industrial development, Niger Delta, etc. If at this time of our history, we are still wasting our energy and time on primordial matter, I wonder if Nigeria would ever move from the present hopeless situation that has been a recurring decimal right from 1983 to date.


Why is it that the same political actors that were party to this sordid situation of the country are bouncing back to reclaim what they have destroyed? Nigeria is sick and requires surgical operation. We can no longer rely on the old doctors' prescriptions that have worsened the situation rather than solving it. This is why Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau for Nigeria 2011 is a way forward to diagnosing and solving the country's illness. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.


Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: sakaraj@yahoo.com




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