Friday, 26 August 2016

Kano & politics of love – By Louis Odion, FNGE


By on 17:26
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Gov Ibrahim Ganduje

After iconic Gani Fawehinmi, only a few lawyers would come near Comrade Kanmi Osobu in terms of popularity vis-a-vis human rights advocacy from the idealistic 70s, through the turbulent 80s to the early divisive 90s. In all Afro Beat originator Fela's brushes with the establishment during these epochs, Osobu constantly stood by him through thick and thin.
An inexhaustible bag of yabis (humour) like Fela, Osobu was often a spectacle in and out of the court before his demise.
Once, he reportedly returned from a frolicking to the United Kingdom to a little storm instigated by workers (fellow comrades, for sure) in his chambers unhappy that whereas they were left to rough it out at home for months without salaries, their comrade chose to travel out with a lady-friend to "enjoy".

Louis Odion

After listening to the militant submission by the most senior among the lawyers flaying "this bourgeois indulgence utterly unbecoming of a true comrade", Osobu reportedly quipped: "Well, comrades I heard all you have to say and cannot fault your argument, very brilliant, except on one point. When you pick quarrel with my traveling overseas with a lady friend, comrades I only wish to ask you just one simple question: is our struggle now against love?"
Of course, the room erupted in delirious laughter.
Well, we are tempted to pose this question also today as erstwhile governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, and his successor and now estranged political godson, Abdullahi Ganduje, appear to have carried their animosity to the province of love. Some weeks ago, Kwankwaso, the senator presently representing Kano Central, announced a plan to bankroll the mass wedding of 100 couples under the auspices of his non-governmental organization, the Kwankwasiyya Development Foundation.
As governor between 2011 and 2015, Kwankwaso formed the habit of helping widows find love by underwriting the mass wedding as a way of promoting family values. Since the incumbent has not organized any since assuming office last year, the more politically astute Kwankwaso would seem to have seen a window to score a political point.
But Ganduje apparently was not ready to allow that happen. To scuttle the plan, the state soon announced a youth empowerment programme to hold same day and same time. Determined not to be beaten, the Kwankwasiyya people announced a postponement of the mass wedding till the following day.


Kano Mass Wedding

It was at this point that Ganduje decided to flex some gubernatorial muscle. The police, allegedly at Ganduje's prompting, directed that both the youth empowerment event and Kwankwasiyya's mass wedding be postponed over adverse "security reports".
Things however took a bizarre twist Tuesday as heavily armed policemen sealed off Kwankwaso's residence at Lodge Road that doubles as the headquarters of the Kwankwasiyya Movement. The action, according to the state police spokesman, DSP Magaji Musa Majia, was peremptory "because of an intelligence report that there is a plan to conduct mass wedding at the house."


Rabiu-Kwankwaso

Too bad, the police would appear to move in only after the proverbial horse had bolted out of the stable. For sources close to the Kwankwasiyya movement reportedly confided that the mass wedding had already been conducted on Monday secretly with "only brides and grooms' next of kins, including some selected Islamic scholars" present.
Now, what is unclear is whether charges would be entered against the sponsors of the mass wedding despite a subsisting restraining order by the police.


Ag. Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim K. Idris

Indeed, Ganduje and Kwankwasiya are free to continue to seek avenues to trade rough tackles. But it is doubtful if those who took advantage of the reported mass wedding would be amused. Like Kanmi Osobu, they must now be wondering if the battle between the godfather and his estranged godson is also against love.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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