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Unveiling Shekarau As The Hero Of Our Time: Willing To Pursue Presidential Aspiration

21 November 2010

By Saka Raji Audu

On 3rd of November, 2010, 54 members of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP in the House of Representative stormed the national headquarters of their party in Abuja to purchase the party nomination form for Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano who is aspiring to the office of the President in the forthcoming 2011 presidential poll. This development came about after series of orchestrated rumour that Shekarau would jettison his presidential ambition for senatorial seat. Perhaps, those who sponsored the rumour in the medium of a northern based newspaper never got to know the distinctive way and manner Governor Shekarau of Kano state does his things. The rumor millers had expected Shekarau's presidential train to move on the same speed with that of IBBs, Jonathans, Atikus, Gusaus and Sarakis. Since Shekarau is not wasting human and material resources on his campaign as those in opposition, the fifth columnists quickly jumped into conclusion that he would no longer contest in the number one seat of the land.


With the recent purchase of the party presidential nomination form by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, it is now clear that the man is very much willing to pursue his presidential aspiration to its logical conclusion. Shekarau, as people know him, is not a man of desperation that wants to get things at all costs. This is because he knows pretty well that he cannot change his destiny.  Shekarau is a one man politician that so much believes that power belongs to God ad He gives it to whoever he wishes. Shekarau is therefore of the belief that one should play the game of politics according to the dictates of the law, while at the same time, one should put trust in God in whatever one does.


Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano is neither a desperate nor "do or die affairs "politician. In his recent open letter to other presidential aspirants for the 2011 presidential election published in the Daily Trust of 9th December 2010, this is what the man Shekarau said, "I therefore appeal to all of us, not withstanding our different political parties, to ensure that we undertake a rancour –and violent- free campaign which shall lead to peaceful elections. Similarly, we shall all be ready to accept the decisions of Nigerians if the elections are adjudged to be free and fair, and are acceptable as true representation of the opinion of the majority. Let us therefore wish our country well. Let us ensure we all put the interest of the country and its citizens ahead of ours. I look forward to working with you to ensure that the 2011 elections become a milestone to show that Nigeria at 50 is indeed a country mature enough to join the league of fast-developing nations."


Indeed, if all the presidential aspirants adopt this basic tenet, the present political tension created as a result of vaulting political ambition would have been nipped in the bud. In an ideal political environment, every politician aspiring for political offices should be able to showcase his or her past record of achievements and this should form the basis for people's consideration of the best one. Of course, Shekarau has no money but he has wealth of administrative experience to ensure progress and egalitarian society, society where justice and equity becomes the dominant paradigm.


In Kano, for instance, most of the youths used to wander about, creating security threat to the society. But with the coming of Shekarau as the governor of Kano state in May 2003, things have drastically changed for good. Many of the idle youths have been meaningfully engaged and are no longer willing to serve as tools for destruction. We should look at the marvelous road networks in both the urban and rural areas. This has brought a significant change for the state. What about the construction of the Tambarawa water plant that supplies over 150 million litres of water to the people? Whoever had visited Kano in the past and has reason to visit the state in recent time, will surely attest to the significant progress that has taken place in the state.  These are some of the many reasons people believe that with Shekarau as the President of Nigeria, the country would be restored back to its lost glory.


As a matter of fact, Shekarau does not believe in hanky- panky game where issues of development are treated with kid gloves and levity. He is a man of action, a man of hope and a man of sincerity. This type of a leader must not slip the hands of good people of Nigeria, particularly if we sincerely believe in the positive change of the country's fortune. Even the former President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP has once expressed his belief in the ability of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau as a leader of impeccable quality. As a result of the belief in the honest and transparent posture of Malam Shekarau and his administration, it should be recalled that in November 2004, the former President Obasanjo appointed Shekarau to lead a powerful multi-layer public section team to Argentina to study the South American country's debt management initiatives.


It is in all these retrospect that Malam Shekarau should be allowed to take Nigeria out of her socio-economic and political doldrums. The concern of many Nigerians is that we cannot continue to recycle leaders that are once in a position to improve the fortunes of the country but has failed to do so. This is why people are surprised to see old cargoes still trying to dominate the political space of the country. It is a very sad note that these old brigades have had their turn of leadership without meaningful change recorded and virtually, all the so called ills that brought them to the corridor of power are still with us today.


For instance, SAP is still sapping us. The anti corruption posture has not made any significant impact. The country is still as corrupt as any thing. And all we are witnessing is kidnapping, bombing, and zoning palaver, militancy, strikes, depletion in our foreign reserves and high level of official corruption. The good people of Nigeria cannot afford to have the old leaders back again into the saddle as leaders because they have disappointed and are still disappointing us. In a situation like this, we deserve a change because we are no fools as only a fool stumbles over the same stone twice.


As a mark of way forward, we should recall what some of the high ranking leaders in the country have said about Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano. In May 2005, a visiting senior official of the PDP-led federal government, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), former Attorney General of the Federation and Special Adviser on Ethics and good governance to the former President Obasanjo pronounced Malam Ibrahim Shekarau Nigeria's most transparent and vibrant governor. Similar commendation came from the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC), retired Justice Emmanuel Ayoola who had advised other state governments to emulate Shekarau by setting up anti-corruption agencies such as the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Directorate (PCACD). Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu had also described Shekarau "as an icon of national unity who should be emulated by other Nigerians for the collective good of the citizenry." In his frank comments on Shekarau, the Ikemba of Nnewi succinctly put that "if all Nigerians think and act along the same line with Governor Shekarau, there would be no ethnic or tribal dichotomies among the people."  Ojukwu was overwhelmed by Shekarau's inclusion of an Ibo man in his cabinet as Special Adviser, which Odemegwu described as a demonstration of brotherhood and oneness among Nigerians.


Chief Olu Falae, a one time Presidential candidate of All Nigeria's People's Party, ANPP said "Shekarau is a straight forward politician whose services are dearly needed by the country. I appreciate the courage, zeal and commitment with which Malam Shekarau is governing Kano. Shekarau's achievements are outstanding. It would be recalled that the renowned noble laureate, social critic and play Wright of international repute, Professor Wole Soyinka, the Kongi said that the purpose of his visit in Kano, "was based on the determination of the governor as a person who finds honour in respecting the mandate given to him by Kano people and therefore, he deserves to be highly commended. The Professor pointed out that as a person who has been so passionate to democracy "we symbolically and morally lend solidarity to people like Governor Shekarau for his wonderful performances among other things that is why I am in Kano."


Of equal note is the fact that on 27th February 2007, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in his capacity as the then EFCC Chairman granted interview to Media Trust. In the said interview, Ribadu bared his mind on Shekarau. According to Ribadu, "all allegations against Governor Ibrahim Shekarau could not be proven. He said the EFCC investigated Shekarau based on the several petitions received including maintaining a foreign account but they could not be established. This fact was collaborated by the recent court case between Shekarau and the Business Eye Magazine. The court, in its judgment dated 11th October 2010, also pronounced that the allegations against Shekarau by the Business Eye Magazine could not be established and "for two years the defendants have failed to provide evidence to support their claims and tried to frustrate the case by incessant requests for adjournments and absence from court." The court therefore awarded the sum of N1 billion damages to Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardauna Kano.


From the foregoing, it is now clear that all assumptions and hypotheses about Shekarau have been put to test both in the people's court and the court of law. The result of it is that Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau is a man who stands for truth because his integrity has been publicly tested and the verdict as variously confirmed in the above outstanding comments on him by the court and other high ranking personalities mentioned attest to the fact that Shekarau is a man of truth and therefore, the hero of our time. As the 2011 presidential election gets close, we require a leader that has been tested for his truth and that man is Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano. Any thing other than this is unacceptable and will not stand the test of time.

Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on hi



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