Indefensible Defence or Political Panegyric? A Rejoinder To Adnan Adam’s Defence of Kwankwaso By Marzuq Ungogo
In his insipid and long article titled “In defence of Kwankwaso”, Adnan Mukhtar Tudunwada elevated Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to everything that came across his mind in a manner that threw all reasoning and logic to River Niger like a medieval Arabic panegyrist. It is not surprising how the writer seized the opportunity of ‘Saraki Saga’ and left the donkey to beat the load, for that has always been the line of argument of an average “Kwankwasiyya” follower. To them the first commandment is “Thou shall praise Kwankwaso, at all times”. While I am never in support of what Saraki did, it is great disservice to progress if that praise singing is allowed as political discourse in 21st century.
In the words of Margaret Larkin “It mattered little whether the patron actually possessed the enumerated virtues,for praise poetry was a ritual performance that did not have to meet the test of truth”. If Adnan’s defence was a good poetry, we would have been hypnotised by the sensational weaving of the words, excused the author and placed his work in the category of “Makadan fada”, but unfortunately it is a bad prose and I had to subject myself to terrible turmoil to read through to the last word.
Adnan began by using every bad word in his ‘Oxford English MiniDictionary’ to describe Sen. Bukola Saraki and the political dynasty that sired him putting on the neck of Saraki the reasons why Kwara State is still not as good as Kano. He also painted Sen. Ahmad Lawal in Waliyyi’s Alkyabba describing him as ‘incorruptible’ and citing Lawal’s chairmanship of Senate Committee on Public Accounts without any corruption allegations. That reminds me of allegations of misappropriation and embezzlement on Kano State Government, but I am not using allegations or lack of them as yardstick in judging Nigerian politician and that is an issue for another day.
If Adnan only stopped where he called Saraki disloyal party member, many of us would have clapped for him for answering the Kindergarten question. But he added “Kwankwaso puts the interest of his party ahead of his selfish interest”, “Kwankwaso is a committed and loyal partymember, he wont accept or go against the wishes of his party” (is that paradox???) and “he believes in loyalty and hates disloyalty”. “Irony!” An English student will shout. May be Adnan was not following party politics in Kano for a long time. I forgive him, Northwest University temprary site where he studies is a very tall building and he might just have got tired of climbing up the stairs to the last floor, otherwise he would have been able to see the Emir’s house, Radio Kano, the famous flyover, Kantin Kwari, Government House and Audu Bako secretariat all at once.
The writer continued with some laughable claims like turbaning Kwankwaso “the architect, builder and founder of modern Kano State”. The question is from which year did Kano entered the modern era and how did the former governor beat Muhammadu Rumfa, Ibrahim Dabo, Muhammadu Sanusi, Audu Bako and Abubakar Rimi in a single blow to clinch this title? But that’s not the only claim. Adnan said “the politics of Northern Nigeria could not be mentioned without his name” and it was by God’s intervention that Kwankwaso didn’t beat Muhammadu Buhari in APC’s primaries. (I’m controlling myself not to hiss). Kifi na ganinka mai jar koma. We know where you are heading to but the camel’s tail is too high away from touching the ground.
It is also worthy to mention the paragraphs he dedicated to mentioning Kwankwaso’s uncompleted projects and payments of salaries as heroic achievements the world has never seen. Agreed, there are genuine good projects but most will fail to scale beyond what Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (I don’t mean Muhammadu Sanusi II, Tuba Nake!) termed “Ajino Moto economics”. There were also sentences awarded pouring invectives to every Nigerian who doesn’t share Adnan’s enthusiasm in extolling the virtues of his patron or joined issues with the unchallengeable giant like Dino Melaye and so on.
In conclusion, my good friend Adnan should know that it is one thing to write an indefensible defence and it is another to fill it with political panegyric. We can discern between the two and we will not allow anyone to accord any politician with praises beyond what he deserves while an average man in Kano state (Yes the modern Kano State) has no access to sufficient safe drinking water and it takes Allah’s mercy to reach most Kano villages via roads due to neglect and diversion of funds meant for the rural areas.
Marzuq Abubakar Ungogo writes from kano