By Abdulmumin Jibrin (PhD)
I write to express my fervent concerns over your recent face-off as the two political leaders of Kano State, who have come a long way together as friends, political allies and colleagues for decades.
Whoever takes sides to stoke the embers of enmity in order to raze down your decades-old bond in less than a year, is neither a friend, nor supporter but political panhandler who benefits from the ‘crumbs’ of the crisis.
You will recall that I have been at the centre of mediation, making ‘diplomatic’ shuttle in your residences, reaching out to two of you in private in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
I have been unwavering and steadfast since the formative stage of the misunderstanding, through the period of cold war and now full-blown political crisis. I have tarried this long to write to you in order ease the legislative burden of budget passage shouldered on the committee I chair in the House of Representatives. You will bear me witness that I have done a lot, despite this tasking engagement, toward solving the crisis amicably.
I cannot be running with the hare and hunting with hounds. I believe the greatest service and show of unalloyed loyalty one should offer you, is to seek ways of brokering the feud in order to avoid muddling the image you built over the years in public by zealot supporters.
My standpoint has always been the same. And my belief is that taking sides in this situation is the surest way of escalating the crisis, which may not augur well for the actors, our great party and our teeming supporters.
Dear Sirs, you will also recall that I remain neutral and refuse to sign any document that will signify ‘loyalty’ to either side in order to liaise between you and maintain my role as an arbiter – a role expected of all the lawmakers and notable Nigerians to take.
On Wednesday, while sitting in the Chamber preparing documents, preparatory to the passage of the 2016 Budget, my colleague, Aliyu Madaki came to me and asked to append my signature to a three-paragraph statement. I didn’t hesitate to append my signature as statement reflects my standpoint, which borders on brokering peace not taking sides.
If the content of the statement is misrepresented to suggest alliance or allegiance to any side, I hereby express my resolve to remain arbiter and also disown the content.
Much as I respect and hold in high esteem Senator Kwankwaso, who cut my political teeth and nurtured me politically to become where I am today, I will also not join the frenzy of confrontational approach against Governor Ganduje who also respects me and gives me listening ears.
In both of you, my dear leaders, I enjoy tremendous respect, good relationship and confidence.
It is saddening that the crisis comes at a time when both of you have attained the pinnacle of your political careers and at the time both of you are grooming heirs to your robust political dynasty. But even more dismaying is seeing your political offspring, who were best of friends a few months ago, taking sides and quarrelling to crash the political empire you laboured to build for us.
My second fear is the domino effect of the crisis, which may spiral to other states, considering the fact that Kano is the nerve centre of the North. This is one reason notable individuals from far near should intervene. One punchy Hausa proverb cautions that: “Idan gemun dan uwanka ya kama da wuta, shafawa naka ruwa.”
While I also commend the President, the Party, 7 governors of the North West geo-political zone, the Emir of Kano and other notable Nigerians for their wading into the crisis, I wish to also call on my colleagues from Kano State in the National Assembly to also borrow a leaf from them.
Having analysed the crisis, made a political SWOT analysis of the situation, it is obvious that none of you stands to benefit from this row. The party will suffer. Both of you will be distracted. The masses will bear the brunt. And our political opponents we defeated in the past will avail themselves of our differences to advance their political cause. The lizard finds a space to penetrate through the wall when it finds a crack.
It is evident that the crisis has gone out of hand as supporters of the either camp have owned up and taken over the crisis, and in the process diminishing your capacity to decide on reconcilliatory moves.
As a solution to the crisis, I suggest that at some points of the reconciliation, your key allies and supporters be involved because of the role they play in starting, fanning and spreading the political inferno.
My dear leaders, upon all the political mentoring and the good political values you inculcate in us, what legacy are you now bequeathing to us, your political sons? It certainly shouldn’t be a legacy of division, nor a broken political home.
While anticipating amicable and lasting resolution of your differences, I hereby vow not to relent in giving my all towards a peace accord.
Accept my warmest regards.
Abdulmumin Jibrin, Ph.D is the chairman House Committee on Appropriations