-Halima Idi Gwarzo
A friend who was together with me during the 2015 general elections predicted the cataclysmic shakeup that APC is now witnessing, on top of the chaos, he predicted that Kwankwaso would emerge as the unchallenged leader of Northern Nigeria, a figure who he claimed would one day become “as great as Ahmadu Bello”
Last week, I called my friend who is now in Kano to finally concede our ancient argument. What actually caught my attention was the then dismal showing by Buhari’s supporters during his supposed epic visit to his political base. I saw the crown at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport and concluded, it must have been the security who prevented the people of Kano from turning up. Then I saw the crowd at the sites of the Projects he commissioned and said to my self, well, maybe its because he has been moving around. What finally sealed the deal was the unimpressive crowd at Kano’s government House, in comparison to 2015, it was like a balloon had been deflated, I concluded,, Buharism has died in Kano.
Looking at the head on collision that is destined to happen between Kwankwaso and Buhari, who better to replace Buhari in the hearts of the people of Kano who are notoriously known to be followers of an Icon? If it wasn’t Aminu Kano, it will be Rimi and the Buhari and now Kwankwaso.
To understand why I believe Kwankwaso will be the heir to the political mantle of Northern Nigeria I will take you back to the analysis of my friend back in 2015. He told, rightly, that the best way to predict the next champion was to look at the commitment of his or her supporters in terms of finances. Politics might be a game of numbers, but those numbers are a game of money. Iconic figures that have emerged to reign over the political landscape of both Kano and the larger North have done so not only with popular leanings but with a base of supporters that are willing to spend their own money for these Icons.
To put it in Aminu Sumaila’s words, “the best way to tell who our people truly believe in, is to identify who they are willing to spend for”, and right now, that man is Kwankwaso.
From the dozen or so meetings that take place every week, in every major city of Northern Nigeria and beyond, to the Kwankwasiyya reporters that was recently launched, Kwankwaso has never had to invest a dime of his own money. Yet that hasn’t stopped the Kwankwasiyya brand from spreading its tentacles from Lagos all the way to London.
Yesterday, I attended my first meeting of Kwankwasiyya not in Nigeria but in London, from the cupcakes to the Zobo, which was served in honor of the red insignia of the movement, everything was offered for and paid by volunteers who truly believe in the man Kwankwaso, what else but true love can inspire such devotion? In Kwankwaso, the disgruntled are finding the General that they saw in Buhari, a no nonsense figure with the reputation of bulldozing his way with a “takalmin Karfe”. Kwankwaso is no longer just a brand, he is an institution to reckon with