By Abdul-Rauf Musa
A desperate struggle for the soul of the People’s Democratic Party in the North-West zone between Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has snowballed into a violent confrontation on Saturday, with the supporters of Kwankwaso ransacking the Kaduna venue of the zonal congress and disrupting the proceedings.
At the centre of the crisis is the election of zonal executives that would pilot the affairs of the PDP, as the party prepares to confront the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Before the day of the congress, Kwankwassiya members have bombarded social media inviting their members to mass to Kaduna in order to salvage their leader from the gang-up of “hypocrites.”
Sources at the venue alleged that it was the same Kwankwaso, who after coming to the venue in the same vehicle with both Tambuwal, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle, and other notable dignitaries, somehow sneaked out and led his supporters into the venue thereby setting the stage of the violent attacks on people and vandalizing election materials.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service, Kwankwaso accused Tambuwal of meddling into the affairs of Kano State PDP chapter and that the Sokoto State Governor is too hasty and restless.
Kwankwaso stated clearly that Governor Tambuwal is sponsoring Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo in the position of National Vice-Chairman, North West, adding that: “I have a reliable info that it was Tambuwal who bought the form for Bello Gurgu.”
He added that while positions available to North-West was shared among the seven states that made of North-West, he wondered why would Tambuwal hell-bent in causing crisis into the Kano state PDP chapter.
Kano got the positions of Vice-Chairman, North-West, Woman Leader and Ex-officio.
Both Kwankwasiyya faction and Aminu Wali factions purchased the forms for the three positions, but Kwankwaso fearing that his faction may be defeated at the zonal congress mobilized Kwankwasiyya supporters to Kaduna.
In his response in the same BBC Hausa Service, Governor Tambuwal wondered why would Kwankwaso accuse him of meddling into Kano PDP. He stated that already it is known fact that there exist a faction of Aminu Wali and Kwankwasiya in the Kano PDP.
“Our concern is the unity of our party, and we had a meeting in the house of His Excellency, the former Sokoto State Governor, Dr.
Attahiru Bafarawa where it was resolved that everybody should be allowed to buy the forms and contest, as far as we are concerned,
positions allocated to Kano belong to both Kwankwasiyya and Aminu Wali factions and both are bonafide members of PDP in Kano.”
Tambuwal maintained that it is the equity and fairness being exhibited by the party at the national level that is unsettling god fathers. The Sokoto state governor also added that as a party struggling to reclaim its glories, all hands need to be on deck to ensure PDP is right on track, therefore needless bickering over factional hegemony is totally uncalled for.
Malam Abubakar Hayatu Karaye, a political pundit who monitors the activities of the party in the zone, heaped all the blames on the self-conceiting nature of Kwankwaso of wanting to corner all positions to his factions.
“The problem with Kano PDP chapter is that, Kwankwasiyya wants to corner everything available for Kano PDP. Kwankwaso is already Alpha and Omega, he shared elective positions to his cronies without recourse to the party’s extant rules. He wants every PDP member in the state to be a Kwankwasiyya follower and this is not possible.”
“Had it been that Kwankwaso is presenting his best and capable men from his team for these positions, it’s okay. But look at the person he presented to PDP as vice chairman, North West, Muhammad Jamo, who knows him, when he has the likes of former TETFund Executive Secretary, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi, Dr Yusuf Adamu Dangwani and many more capable people, but he is presenting quacks with no intellectual or political pedigree for these sensitive positions.”
The PDP zonal congress abruptly ended without electing and reaffirming the zonal leaders of the party, and a feeler from the party stated that the party is tinkering with plans of allowing states in the zone to present their people based on the agreed sharing formula.
Now all eyes would be centred towards Kano. Would Kwankwaso allows free and fair elections among the PDP members in the state, only time will tell.
It remains to be seen how this crisis will be resolved between Tambuwal and Kwankwaso as they both seek to control the delegates from the North-West that maintained huge members.
It is no longer a secret that both Tambuwal and Kwankwaso are eyeing the 2023 presidential ticket of the PDP, hence the schism for the party’s huge delegates from the North West degenerate into the violent confrontations.
Later hoodlums took advantage of the mayhem and robbed many people and passersby of their belongings including cellphones and money. It took the efforts of the scanty security personnels at the venue to disperse the hoodlums.