Those who are following the unfolding political events in Nigeria will agree that the presidency pendulum may eventually swing to the north as a two-term governor, former Minister and Senator, Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has outsmarted the two major political parties; the Ruling All Progressive Party, APC and the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, and PDP as they battle to manage their zoning agreement.
Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who is a presidential candidate of the third force party known as the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), has positioned himself for victory while the other two major parties are still trying to find their bearing as they solve the internal crisis caused by conflicting zoning agreement and massive aspiration for the number one seat.
Speaking to Channels TV political anchor, Seun Okinbaloye, former Governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu warned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against underrating the recent defections of high-profile individuals to the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), especially in the North-West geo-political zone.
He warned that if the APC and the opposition PDP field their candidates from any other zone aside from the South East or North East, the silent majority who have a working conscience could protest this injustice by supporting Engr. Rabiu Kwankwaso to clinch the presidential seat in 2023.
The former Governor said: “Our problem is Kwankwaso, not APC or PDP because Kwankwaso is already a presidential candidate. That was what I saw when I pulled out. If they had given me the ticket in APC, I would have lost and it would not be good for us.
“If PDP or APC gives their ticket to southern Nigerians, Kwankwaso is already a president waiting. I can assure you that knowing the mentality of what is the truth on the ground unless you are telling yourselves lies. I don’t tell myself lies. I’m a student of realism.
“So, Kwankwaso is the problem, because if PDP goes to the North and APC goes to the south it’s as well telling me to pack my luggage and go. I will not have a job in the national assembly. I won’t have a job in the federal government of Nigeria. That’s the truth because we want to change the thing that will be for the people. “I’m speaking the truth from my heart. My party will be fooled if they don’t go to the north.”
Not many political spectators are also aware that the NNPP had reportedly enlisted over 1,000 non-governmental organisations and civil rights movements that would support them in the 2023 general elections.
Presently, RMK has wooed the serving Director-General of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s campaign, a young and dynamic former lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, out of the APC and into the NNPP. He has also succeeded in bringing another strong political influencer from Kano State, former Governor and lawmaker, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau into the new party.
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has built a formidable political machine that is waxing strong by the day.
In Kano politics, Kwankwaso is a force to reckon with. He controls a large chunk of followers who believe in him and who are ready to work for him anytime, any day to achieve his political ambition.
Though he has been at loggerheads with the incumbent governor, Ganduje, who is his political godson, Kwankwaso’s influence within the party is still very strong. It’s because of his political machine called The Kwankwanssiya Movement. He didn’t just set up the group. When Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the then Governor of Kano State initiated the Kwankwassiyya Group as a distinctive group within the PDP then, not many people knew the reasons behind this.
They assumed a distinct way of dressing. They wear red caps and have a badge of their own as well as their own logo. They have also been registered as a political organization. By the time the former Governor came out to vie for the presidency in 2014, it was obvious that a brand had emerged within the APC. It was the Kwankwassiyya brand.
The Kwankwassiyya has not been limited to Kano. Indeed, there are rumoured to be many more members of the group outside of Kano than inside the State. At airports in both Lagos and Abuja, it is not uncommon to meet young men
The Kwankwassiyya badge or cap is coined out of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s surname and it is a movement that claims to share and believe in the doctrine of Kwankwaso. Up North, it is not uncommon to have groups like that especially religious groups sharing the same philosophies, bearing the names of its founders. Kwankwaso has proven many times that he’s not a pushover. He was defeated by President Buhari at the APC primaries in 2014, but he came second, leaving Abubakar Atiku in third place.
Things have changed since then, Kwankwaso has left office as Governor and gone into the Senate and out. He has fallen out with his erstwhile deputy who he single-handedly installed as the Governor of Kano State and he has also been severally shown that he is persona non grata in Kano, a state he had ruled for eight years.
Despite all these, his foot soldiers have continued to show that he is still on the ground. Indeed, all efforts by Ganduje, who has also created the Gandujiyya to position himself have met a brick wall.
To cap it all, he has been moving around other states of the Federation especially the South East and South-South, rallying supporters for his presidential ambition. He is believed to be one of the major headaches of the APC.
The former Governor has a strong backing of top political figures in the state. To assume that he is a pushover simply because he has left power is to refuse to face the obvious.