THE cold war between the Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his predecessor, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, seems to be getting messier as the state government has threatened to drag the serving senator to court over issues pertaining to his tenure from 2011 to 2015.
Indications of the worsening relationship between them emerged on Monday through a statement made available to Nigerian Tribune by the state Commissioner for Information, Comrade Muhammad Garba.
The statement followed a similar threat issued last Friday at a press conference in Kano by loyalists of Dr Kwankwaso to sue the incumbent governor if he (Ganduje) should continue to wear a red cap, which they said was the political symbol of the senator.
The frosty relationship between Kwankwaso and the governor, who was his deputy in previous administrations in the state, necessitated the setting up of a committee by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) with a view to resolving their differences.
But, the outcome of the exercise appears to have had no salutary effect, as the two camps had been locked in a hide and seek in the last few weeks.
The statement made by the commissioner on Monday in Kano accused loyalists of Kwankwaso under the aegis of Kwankwasiyya Movement of making “spurious, silly and bogus statements” against the person of the incumbent and his administration.
It also accused the supporters of the former governor of deliberate distortion of facts and spreading of falsehood capable of provoking the government to drop its non-confrontational stance and institute a commission of inquiry to probe the previous administration.
“This unfortunate behaviour lacking in any tint of civility, decency and responsible politicking that has become the hallmark of top echelons of the Kwankwasiyya Movement is, to say the least, laughable, pathetic, pitiful and a desperate attempt to misguide the public and bring the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his personality to disrepute.
“The statements and allegations, as well as threat of legal action against Governor Ganduje if he fails to stop wearing red cap within 48 hours could easily be disregarded as just another futile ranting of misguided political stooges but for the need to keep the record straight and remind them of simple facts and truths,” the statement stated.
While claiming that the government had continued with most of the projects inherited from the last administration, the statement said the governor was among the disciples of the late political titan, Mallam Aminu Kano who popularised the red cap doctrine.
“The threat of legal action against Governor Ganduje by the movement if he fails to stop wearing red cap within 48 hours is the most laughable, pathetic, clear indication of their ignorance of the law and history of political struggle in Kano.
“They should have known that red cap was introduced by the late Mallam Aminu Kano and popularised by him, his followers and disciples, including Governor Ganduje was among. He was also at the forefront of its re-introduction during the second tenure of Kwankwaso in 2011. Who then could better claim the red cap doctrine?
“For the avoidance of doubt and without any fear of contradiction, therefore, the decision by Governor Ganduje to continue wearing the red cap is nothing but a personal choice and manifestation of his high sense of decency, decorum, responsibility, modesty and political astuteness.
“These are rights and liberties guaranteed to any citizen by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore, nobody has the right to deny the governor such liberties.
“The statement and empty threat should have been backed by citing the exact provisions of the constitution, any statute, law or rules and regulations that were breached by the governor for his action, for it to hold any water, particularly in a court of law.
“In addition, the statement is another futile attempt to hoodwink people of the fast and unceasing waning popularity of the red cap across the state as more than 80 per cent of those that hitherto wear it have since dropped it.
“Much as everybody is aware that top echelons of the Kwankwasiyya Movement and their associates are hell bent at tarnishing the good image of the state government and the person of Governor Ganduje, through spreading falsehood and distorted information for their selfish political interests, the government will not be distracted in its resolve and commitment in the implementation of laudable programmes, projects and policies that improve the wellbeing of the people and development of Kano State.