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Date Published: 05/18/10

Why the much ado about Takai? By Saka Raji Audu 

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The political destiny of Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano came to the limelight of recognition in 2003. This was the period the good people of Kano were in dilemma, looking for who would save them from the strangulation of bad leadership orchestrated by the national ruling party. Kano State was lucky to have Malam Ibrahim Shekarau at hand. At that time, no body took Shekarau seriously but when God has decided on any thing, no man born of a woman can put asunder. So, it was not a surprise that Shekarau, in spite of his poor financial status still became the governor of Kano State against this odd. 

Having completed his first time in office as the governor of Kano State in 2007 and proved himself right, Shekarau still got the mandate of his people and thus became the people's governor and the first governor since the creation of the state in 1964 to be elected twice. Apart from the fact that God has already decided that Shekarau would achieve such feat, there are people that God used for the realization of Shekarau's second term as in the first term. Considering the various wonderful achievements of the Shekarau –led- administration, the good people of Kano and many Nigerians became so much fascinated by his work and are today proud of him. 

As a result of Shekarau's unprecedented achievements in the state, every politician wants to associate with him as his mentor. It is now easy for any body to say, he or she brought Shekarau to power and now that Shekarau is on the verge of completing his second but final tenure as the governor of the state, many opportunists have sprang up to be the next person to take over his seat. Naturally, not all those that are very close to Shekarau that like the good work he has been doing. Some people are really with him to ensure that come rain, thunder and sunshine, he succeeds while some others are simply there for whatever they can personally achieve or grab from him.  

It is however not easy to identify the shaft from the grain because people often behave as lizard since all lizards lie on their belly, no one can easily tell the one that is suffering from belly ache. Many politicians who are interested in the seat of Shekarau after his exit in May 2011 has been on their feet trying to create impression that they are the right candidate that the governor would give his blessing to take over his seat. As a result of this predetermined concept in the mind of some people, they were sure of Shekarau's backing when the time comes. 

According to the concept of Islam, one is ordained not to be desperate for leadership. Whoever is desperate to be a leader is either that he or she is only interested in the resources of the people or does not know what leadership entails. The coming of Shekarau as governor of Kano State in 2003 was strictly based on this principle. He never acted as a desperado that wanted to get power on the basis of do or die affair. No, he allowed people to call on him. Even when he was asked to contest for the second term in 2007, it took him time before he could answer the clarion call of the people. This is the type of leader that can truly represent the wishes and aspiration of the people and this is exactly what Governor Shekarau represents.  

No one can deny the fact that some politicians in the ruling party of the state had persistently asked Governor Shekarau to point at whomever that he feels should take over his seat in 2011. The simple but dignified governor was very reluctant at doing so because according to him, he was still being preoccupied on giving his people the dividend of democracy. The pressure was so much that two weeks ago, the governor had no choice but to call a spade a spade. He made public his choice of Alhaji Sagir Salihu Takai, his former Commissioner of Water resources as well as Local Government, based on the past good work of the Commissioner. After the announcement of Shekarau's choice, some other candidates who had earlier concurred to accept Shekakarau's choice suddenly started revolting, saying that what the governor did was wrong. This observation would have scored some point if they had not been party to asking the governor for his point of view. But they are the same people who asked the governor to do what he has done. How could we have eaten our cake and still want to have it? This is a mere cheap political misfit.  

There is no doubt that it was Shekarau solidarity that brought some of the aggrieved candidates on board. Some of them had already been politically sunk and no one knew them until Shekarau became governor in 2003 and 2007 respectively. In some cases, the wealth some of them would have acquired that is spurring them for a show down with the governor today is perhaps made from the opportunity of serving under Shekarau's administration. In any case, one did not hear any of them aspiring for governorship seat in 2003 and there about. Fundamentally, if they had truly honoured and loved Shekarau from the bottom of their heart, there would have no need of the present hullabaloo concerning the endorsement of Alhaji Sagir Salihu Takai, after all, they asked for it.  

The argument that Takai is not a popular candidate and he is being imposed does not in any way hold water. How comes a man that served government in strategic and prominent ministries is not popular? What has he done to people that make him unpopular? Who was Shekarau in 2002 and 2003? The late President of Nigeria, Alhaji Umoru Musa Yar'adua was governor of Katsina State for eight years. He was not relatively known by Nigerians until he became President of the country. Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari was not the most qualified candidate in 1979 presidential election. He was just a Grade II teacher certificate holder. Still, he won the presidential election and ruled for four years before the military incursion.  

For the fact that Governor Shekarau endorsed Takai as his preferred candidate does not mean that every one must endorse him. Even if he eventually emerged as the choice of ANPP in the state, he must still face other candidates from other parties. Where then is the so called imposition? Whoever is saying that Shekarau is imposing Takai should cast back their minds to how ANPP produced her Presidential candidate in 2003 and 2007. The recent nomination of Alhaji Namadi Sambo, Kaduna State Governor by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan as his Vice President is another case in point. While the party caucus would have preferred some other candidates, President Goodluck Jonathan prefers to work with Alhaji Namadi Sambo who was never thought of. No body can say that Goodluck Jonathan imposed Namadi Sambo because Jonathan would still have to present him to the Senate for ratification.  

We should therefore not fail to understand that it is the same governor Shekarau that appointed Alhaji Sagir Salihu Takai as Commissioner without any one raising an eyebrow that equally endorsed him for governorship contest. Of course, there are so many people that contributed immensely and in different ways to the progress and advancement of Shekarau administration. There are those who shouted on the radio, television and those who used their pens that are even mightier than sword. What about the people who had sleepless days and nights to ensure the success of Shekarau administration. What about the large number of voters that trouped out like a migrating bees to vote for the governor? What is the status of these categories of people in the government today? This is why the few ones that is lucky to be appointed and part of the administration, even for a day should be grateful to God for being identified among others. Likewise, those who are not lucky to be part of the government should also be grateful to God that Shekarau has performed to the benefit of the society.  

As it is, Shekarau might not undo what he has done, no matter the level of deceit and blackmail from the aggrieved and certain sponsored media reporters who have been concocting their opinions about the matter as news. It is totally mischievous for any media reporter to insinuate that Shekarau endorsed Sagir Takai because the governor is 'afraid' of being 'probed' on the issue of water and local government affairs, the Ministries Takai held swayed as Commissioner. These desperate assertion by the fourth estate of the grab, sorry, of the realm is not tenable but despicable. It is not quite long ago when the same media embarrassed itself through a reported contradictory story about the same rally organized by Takai's supporters. This open partisanship of the media in an issue it should maintain neutrality cannot make any difference. The reporters of the media from the pyramid state should however continue to jungle and manipulate facts about Shekarau's endorsement of Takai. People are already aware of the truth no matter the reporters' cosmetic and adulterated reports on the issue. 

Consequently, the true loyalists of Shekarau and his administration shall continue to maintain truth for not only the interest of Kanawas but also that of Nigerians. After all, TAKAI simply means, "Take All Kanawas Along In confidence." So, the good people of Kano should not make the mistake of accepting all kinds of lies being dished out by the anti-progressive elements in and outside the government about Shekarau's endorsement of Takai. The Shekarau we know cannot endorse a man that cannot perform like him. He cannot vouch for somebody that would only be an embarrassment to the doctrine of the community. This is why the unnecessary noise making about Takai endorsement is the first indication that after all, governor Shekarau is right in his decision. The noise makers are the same people who ordinarily had not wanted Shekarau to succeed in his administration.  

Finally, we should avoid splitting the beans because our hadith says, "do unto others as you will like others to do unto you."Ko ba haka ba?  

Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: sakaraj@yahoo.com      

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