Death has never been preferable to life. Ideally, no one will want to lose a loved one, but it is inevitable to lose and be lost one day.
The Deputy Governor of Kano State, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna has recently tasted yet another grief of losing a beloved member of his family. It was the death of his uncle, Alhaji Yahaya Gawuna, who was one of the few surviving elders of the large family.
It was indeed a sad night to remember by the deputy governor, but a moment to ponder when the agony of the death eventually subsides. “Moment to ponder”, to ponder what? That is the question that will require an answer from me, the writer of this piece.
Indeed, popularity is indispensable in politics, not only in Nigeria but worldwide. With the maxim; ” politics is the game of number”, popularity goes in tandem with humility, especially in states like Kano, which has a longstanding reputation of religion and culture.
Undoubtedly, Gawuna, as a seasoned politician in Kano State, the second-most populous state in Nigeria, has acquired these two major qualities that are the catalyst for successful politics in the country.
Apparently, the whirlwind of the 2023 gubernatorial election in Kano state has already set in. Aspirants of the hot seat have already emerged. Political activities are already in play. However, taking into cognizance, the tradition of modern Nigerian politics, Gawuna, as the deputy governor, has stood on the pole position to grab the ticket of the exalted seat in the state.
Recently, a statement credited to the wife of the governor of Kano state, Professor Hafsat Abdullahi Ganduje caused satire in the polity after she was reported to have pointed Murtala Sule Garo, Commissioner for Local Government, as the ideal candidate to succeed her husband.
Although, the state government, through the Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, debunked the insinuation that the First Lady was not referring to Garo.
However, for all the political hullabaloo in the state, Gawuna has remained silent- maybe he is carefully reading the game to see his rivals’ loopholes and take advantage when the election comes.
Notwithstanding the fact that Gawuna has never made public, his aspiration for the Kano state governorship ticket in 2023, it is foolhardy to assume that he doesn’t want to vie for the most prestigious seat in the state commands respect politically and economically among its peers in the country.
Also, a meticulous look at the events as they unfold indicates that the serving Commissioner of the Ministry of Agriculture could be the one to win the race. To be honest, considering his unflinching loyalty to his Boss (Ganduje), his party, APC, and humbleness to everybody, including oppositions, Gawuna deserves the governorship seat.
After the death of Gawuna’s uncle recently, I personally, alongside my friends, paid him a condolence visit at the bereaved family house, located at Gawuna quarters in Nassarawa Local Government area. My visit to the former Chairman of Nassarawa Local Government, one of the most populous LGAs in Kano, prompted me to write a small piece on what I saw- this is where the answer of “ponder” comes.
The way I see it, though it is a sad event, the death of Alhaji Yahaya Gawuna has inadvertently become a litmus test to the deputy governor’s popularity and prowess to muscle power against his rivals and eventually emerge winner of the much-awaited governorship election come 2023.
Looking at the miscellaneous calibre of people that were trooping to condole Gawuna, the sad event has indeed become an inadvertent pointer to him that his humility and political dexterity is still paying off, and has thus, put him at the advantaged spot to grab the 2023 ticket.
At the mourning sitting (zaman makoki), I saw a plethora of solidarity to Gawuna from the entire juggernaut and stalwarts of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Firstly, few hours after the announcement of the death, governor Ganduje released a statement, through his Press Secretary, Alhaji Abba Anwar, commiserating his loyal deputy over the loss of his uncle. The statement swiftly became a story in many of the national dailies and online platforms.
The governor also led almost entire members of his cabinet and other APC stakeholders to attend the funeral service of the deceased. This is in addition to the solidarity of Gawuna’s presumed rival, Murtala Sule Garo, who reportedly led almost all the 44 Local Government Chairmen to pay the condolence visit to one of his political leaders.
Astonishingly, I heard that the First Lady of Kano state, Prof. Hafsat Ganduje, also led her entourage to pay a condolence visit to the deputy governor. This is in addition to the other aspirants of the gubernatorial seat, who also went there to commiserate with the deputy governor.
What surprised me the most is the presence of leaders of the Kwankwasiyya political group and their followers, who thronged the Gawuna quarters to attend the funeral service of the Gawuna’s uncle.
This made me agape and asked myself, is Gawuna that popular? See how this man is commanding respect even from the APC’s major opposition in Kano?
At the time when gubernatorial aspirants are busy campaigning ahead of 2023 at political events and other ways, I, personally, have never seen any occasion that became a platform for Gawuna to express his interest in the number one position in the state.
However, the death of his uncle has become a litmus test for him to ponder over his mettle to flex muscles and eventually defeat his rivals in APC and PDP to become the governor of the state in 2023.
I believe Gawuna has set aside politics at that moment as he had been overtaken by the grief of his uncle’s death. But, as a spectator, who keenly follow the politics of Kano State, the sad event had made me convinced that if politics is the game of number, the deputy governor could win the 2023 election.
Finally, as I pray to Almighty God to rest the soul of Late Alhaji Yahaya Gawuna in Jannatul Firdausi, I reiterate the fact that the occasion had been a pointer to Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna’s ambition come 2023.
It also further taught me that humility is key to success in the politics of Kano state, by extension, it is the catalyst for running a successful life. Hence, Gawuna has unintentionally got an opportunity to measure his political strength.
Adamu Danlami writes from Kano and could be reached on