Shekarau In Presidential Villa, Attacks Kwankwaso…Says He Runs A Cult In Kano
Former governor of Kano, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau has attacked his successor and incumbent governor of the state, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
Shekarau’s attack is coming two days after the minister of Information, Labaran Maku pilloried the Kano governor over his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) late last year, describing him as an undemocratic desperado who hijacked the Kano APC from its founders.
Taking a cue from Maku, Shekarau, who was on a visit to the Vice President, accused the governor of running a cult group in Kano.
Shekarau recently left APC to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because the national headquarters handed over state party structures to the governor, who is a long-standing political rival.
Speaking to State House reporters soon after his meeting with Vice President Mohammad Namadi Sambo, the former Kano governor said Kwankwaso was running a cult group called “Kwankwasiya.”
He also said the governor’s defection would not hurt the PDP.
“His (Kwankwaso’s) defection cannot kill the PDP. Those current with the situation on ground knew that the governor of Kano State had long before now been out of the PDP,” Shekarau said.
“What he is running is Kwankwasiya, a cultism kind of a group. The PDP has always been there. So, what we are doing is we are now joining the PDP and his group has gone into the APC. We shall see whether we are the ones on ground or the Kwankwasiya APC.”
When contacted for a reaction to Shekarau’s allegation, a spokesman for Kwankwaso, Malam Jafar Jafar, said the governor is not running a cult group but that the Kwankwasiya is an assemblage of like-mind politicians in the state.
“Shekarau is only trying to please his paymaster. Our political movement which he refers to as a cult group defeated his candidate even when he was a sitting governor in 2011,” he told Daily Trust by telephone.
“Kwankwasiya is not a cult, and this kind of grouping is not new in politics. Even in America we have similar thing there, the Obama Care. Even Shekarau during his tenure he did same in Kano by writing Shekarau on transformers. You know he does not have projects.
“The red cap is a symbol; it is just a sign of our emulation of late Mallam Aminu Kano. Wearing of red caps symbolises the good political ideals of Mallam Aminu Kano.”
On the statement by the Minister of Information, Jafar described Maku as a neophyte still learning the ropes of politics.
“Maku can say anything because he is a novice in politics. If he is a good politician he wouldn’t have said so. Instead of him to busy himself mending their mistakes that has thrown the country into mess, he is abusing people that laboured for what he and his boss are benefiting from. Where were Maku and his boss when PDP was formed?”
‘Any region can produce president’ Shekarau said he was at the State House in Abuja to meet Sambo, in continuation of his efforts at rubbing minds with PDP stakeholders on how to move the party and the nation forward.
“It was not a special meeting. It was a continuation of rubbing of minds. I am now part and parcel of the PDP family. I will always be meeting with one party’s functionary or the other to continue to rub minds on how we will move the party and the nation forward,” he said.
On whether he is ready to campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan to the people of Kano if the president becomes PDP’s presidential candidate for the 2015 elections, Shekarau said he was prepared to campaign for any candidate of the party at any level.
“I am prepared to campaign for the PDP and whoever turns out to be the candidate of the PDP at any level is my candidate,” he said.
On his position on the clamour for a president of northern origin in 2015, Shekarau said Nigerian president could come from any region and that the Presidency should not be localised to any region.
He said he was only concerned about what would be done to get the right leadership for the nation irrespective of where it comes from.
“I have never subscribed to the argument of localising the Presidency to a particular region,” he said.
“My concern is what do we do to get the right leadership regardless of where it is coming from? This issue of rotational presidency is not the issue. What we should be talking about is balancing so that we carry people along. Today, if I am a presidential candidate from Kano and I tell you that my running mate is from Katsina, won’t you think I am crazy?
“Do I have to have that written in any document or constitution for me to know that if I am a presidential candidate from Kano, my running mate has to come from the other side? There is the law and constitution of common sense. So, this argument that it has to be my turn and it has to be my village man is all rubbish.”
The former governor, however, parried a question on whether he has now found the PDP’s ideology similar to his.
“I have always argued that these parties are one and the same. It is all about Nigeria and Nigerians; it is all about what we do to move the nation forward,” he said.
“Everybody is talking about serving Nigerians. We are all heading to the same destination. The only difference is that we are taking different routes.”
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