By Hashim Ibrahim Rijiyar Lemo
I was in Abuja when a friend of mine from Lagos gave me a call just to draw my attention to the Morning Show program on Arise TV in which the former governor of Kano state, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso was interviewed. I believe his decision to place that call was informed by the fact that he had known me to be a fan of Kwankwaso until recently.
In the brief discussion we have had, my friend, who hails from the South West of Nigeria, told me that he was utterly disappointed in the former governor’s handling of the interview in which he proved to the panel of interviewers and indeed the viewers that he has a very big challenge communicating in Nigeria’s official language, which he doesn’t speak well.
While I wouldn’t want to dwell much on Kwankwaso’s poor communication, I was particularly ashamed of how the distinguished Senator talked to the nation with his broken, disjointed, irreconcilable sentences and poor pronunciations. This is so for a person my friend said he had hold in high esteem and who offer himself for public service.
It is, however, not surprising to me that Kwankwaso doesn’t speak well because I have known him since his days as governor between 1999 and 2003. And that of course, why he was a leading member of benchwarmers at the Red Chamber. The people of Kano Central know better if he was able to table any motion in their favour on the floor of the Upper Chamber.
That same call by my friend pushed me to look for the clip of the interview to understand the point he was trying to see me through. It was after I watched it I realized that Kwankwaso has messed up himself before a national audience considering that the medium is one of the television stations watched mostly by the elites.
It is now up to his media aides or communication experts to see how they can come in to avoid future catastrophe when the Senator speaks while the nation watches. This is particularly so for a person who is hell bent on contesting for the most exalted office in the republic.
And from my understanding of the 50 minutes video clip, it appears the interview was at the instance of the Senator or by the TV station with the aim to hit at perceived Kwankwaso’s opponents within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who may seek the right to reply (if at all they have) or for possible charges as advertorial to give their side of the story.
If it is so, they couldn’t achieve that because right from the introduction, the background information and the questions that kick started the interview, the TV station attempted to show the world that the Senator is relevant in Nigerian politics, while Kwankwaso was only portraying himself as champion in Kano politics, which is more important to him.
One of the most important things Kwankwaso talked about in the course of the interview which I would like to touch here is the issue of security. Kwankwaso presented tissues of lies, portrayed his total ignorance and deliberate distortion of facts, his frustration over loss of grip and key lieutenants in the Kwankwasiyya faction as well as his alienation by his party, the PDP at the national level.
No doubt, security is a very delicate matter that needs to be handled with utmost care. That was not with Kwankwaso. He politicizes everything.
As two term governor and former defence minister, Kwankwaso still could not learn the lesson politics taught him. He was bragging as “extended member of the military family” that he defeated Boko Haram in Kano. What a gaffe!
He has forgotten the series of coordinated attacks on the police formations, DSS headquarters, mosques, churches, markets, motor parks and other public spaces. And up to the time he left office, no public function is conducted outside the walls of the Government House. This is in addition to the multiple check points that became a thorn in the flesh of the beleaguered residents.
Kwankwaso was the first governor to institutionalize thuggery in Kano politics which breeds insecurity. In fact, thugs were part of his motorcade and moved with them in his convoy where they freely brandished all sorts of deadly weapons.
In fact, his outlandish slogan of “Ina matasa” during his second coming pushed many youths into criminality. And it is the same products of this “institution” he churned out that are now terrorizing innocent citizens, snatching phones and killing their victims.
It is very disastrous that for selfish interest, Kwankwaso is claiming Kano is ravaged by bandits. To the best of my knowledge, cattle rustlers and bandits operating in Sumaila and Doguwa local government areas in the state have been defeated. Even recent attempt by fleeing bandits from neighbouring states to enter Folgore Forest was thwarted by the military which has a training area in the forest.
While the questions thrown at him on security are on national scale, the Senator still prefer to look at it at his local level, talking about lack synergy between the government and security agencies. That I also doubt.
After from the establishment of the military formation at Falgore Forest, four security gateways into Kano, Rapid Response Team, logistical support to all arms security agencies and most recently securing and granting of land for the establishment of Naval formation to further enhance security, Kano state government has established an advanced communication system for the tracking of kidnappers and other criminals, as well as CCTV cameras in the metropolis for efficient monitoring.
Therefore, let me advise the Senator that he should respect himself and desist from this campaign of calumny.
Because even sensible members of his faction are now coming to realise that Kwankwaso is frustrated.
If he is doing this because his party is isolating him, as we can see from the outcome of the just concluded National Convention of the party where he was allotted the position of ex-officio, he equally wouldn’t find it easy at the party’s state level.
After all, they have also viewed you on Arise TV where you rubbish yourself in the interview.
Hashim Ibrahim Rijiyar Lemo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org