The days are swiftly passing. The times are rapidly going. The election season creeps silently. We only have a rung or two to reach the end of the year. Until recently, it hardly dawn on me, nor did it, perhaps, dawn on the demoralized aspirants who are seemingly unprepared for the election day that the time flies to this altitude.
I am talking of Kano State governorship aspirants who still seem unprepared. None of them solemnly tells us how he will solve our unsolved problems nor sincerely shows his determination apart from the oft-repeated defeatist mantra of “God is by my side” that has now fouled the political air and sadly become a prerequisite for acceptance in this side of the country. It’s a pity.
The candidates and the political parties stand aloof. It is only the ruling All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), being spurred by the incumbency spirit, had its virtually unopposed candidate campaigning. ANPP will hardly get any internal crevice where the proverbial lizard might get its way, save the inevitable anti-party activities the other faction of the party might indulge in, as long as it laces its manifesto with God-is-by-our-side slogan. The Action Congress (AC) seems sleeping.
They have savvy political heavyweights but they lack active political campaigns because they believe their charisma and their reputation can dole out votes to them. Only one of its candidates, a certain Usman Sule Riruwai, seems a little bit active. The newly registered Democratic People’s Party (DPP), with its presence mainly noted at its headquarters, is best known in making some underground moves to bring some aggrieved members of the other parties into its fold. Apart from the vocal businessman, Alhaji Dattijo Adhama, the people still don’t not know DPP’s gubernatorial aspirants.
The political scene of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is full to the brim with aspirants. Only a couple of those who obtained their nomination form come up to scratch. The joining of the race by the Defence Minister, Dr Kwankwaso, who is supposed to be the arbiter, had cast blight on their anticipated victory, and the party’s popularity took a fatal nosedive.
The PDP candidates, seen mainly on posters, are more engrossed, we hear, in settling their internal problem. They also prefer to chant the plagiarized God-is-by-our-side noise than reaching us, the electorate. However, it’s quite unfortunate that the quartet of the DPP, ANPP, AC and PDP, by and large, take solace in this spiritual lingo.
The culture of reaching the people during campaigns has eluded our political landscape. Gone are the days when our votes counted for a good deal as we read in the history books how Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe toured the regions in a railway couch to reach the grassroot. Dr Magaji Dambatta once told us about his experience with the late Northern Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
He recalled with nostalgia how the revered aristocrat humbly trod the nooks and crannies of the region in his usual leather-clad slippers (called fade in Hausa) marketing himself without using any religious gimmick. But the drones we have today want miracle to come about: they wield the God-is-by-my-side card bizarrely to easily warm their ways into political office and start saying, tongue in cheek though, “Sardauna is my role-model.”
No. I want the next governor to tell us point blank all the constitutional loopholes that ought to be plugged before the real Shariah, as opposed to political Shariah, is implemented. The next governor of Kano must tell the masses, without giving them a runaround, the whole truth about Shariah.
You must explain to the people, especially the gullible and some of us (the unlearned friends of the learned whose understanding of the constitutional abracadabra is merely a nodding acquaintance) what really the Constitution (that gives us monthly allocation) says about Shariah.
Only few of our governorship aspirants started marketing themselves to the people. They shied away from us. They spend nights holding marathon nocturnal meetings fashioning out strategies to rig their ways into political offices but not to make us accept them. They are busy promising their children a better life.
They often assure them that when elected they will fly them abroad for their studies. Does a politician with such plan have good plans for public schools? I doubt much. We don’t want a governor who will be spending millions on the privileged children to study abroad.
The next governor should tell us what he could do for us, his plans, his area priority, etc. The aspirants (including the incumbent) must tell us rather clearly what policy of the present administration they are retaining or abolishing. You ought to also inform us how you will tackle the menace of almajirci.
Are you going to maintain the status quo that compounded the system and precipitated their influx from the neighboring states as noted by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education and Information Technology or, are you, since it is not part of Shariah, going to call the whole system to a halt?
We are, however, tired of being taunted for not having the oil. Having endowed with arable land, the next governor must make use of our agricultural potentials. We want to know your plans towards restoring the famous Groundnut Pyramids not a pyramid of misplacement of priorities. Kwankwaso administration squandered or to borrow their euphemistic lexicon, “invested” almost a billion naira to rehabilitate an ultra modern governor’s lodge in Abuja at the time the less privileged pupils sat on a bare damaged floor in the public schools.
And sadly enough, to this date, this is still the practice. Our leaders do not understand our priorities. They also lack the good spirit of altruism. The governor we want should not prefer his personal luxuries to the welfare of the common man. Public hospitals are still in decaying state. No, we cannot prevent you from flying your kids abroad to treat the common cold, u can take them to the space if you like, but please revamp the public hospital system and supply drugs to appreciable degree.
We will like to hear, cogently so, weather you have planned out rigorous overhaul of our healthcare system or not so as to know where our votes should be cast. Pipe-borne water is still a mirage in significant parts of the State.
In acknowledging the ongoing epic Tamburawa water project (one of the redeeming features of the present administration) aimed at curbing the nagging water problem in the metropolis, you should tell us your plans for the rural areas and towards reviving our idle industries in the industrial areas of Challawa, Bompai, Sharada, etc. and your independent power plant blueprint.
For now, if you really believe our votes count, it’s time you stopped chanting that jargon (we are all, as Muslims, familiar with) and stood before us for our careful scrutiny. And make it pretty damn quick.
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