Opinion: Ganduje’s Cudgel

By Yusuf Akinloye Akintunde

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In less than thirty days, Aminu Shariff, the controversial Kano gospel singer whose blasphemous song led to wild protest across Kano municipality would be sent to guillotine except the death penalty handed to him by Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad of the Upper Sharia court in Hausawa filling hockey area of the state is appealed. But his death, news report says will pass through the table of the state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who’s declared his readiness to smash Mr. Aminu’s head with his official “Cudgel” should he failed to appeal the judgement.

Since the Mr. Ganduje’s involvement oozed into the public, the moral character of the Governor, who prior to the last election was caught on camera demanding bribes from contractor continued to pitch critics and supporters against each other. While Mr. Aminu’s sin stands condemnable but not to the point of death, what’s abhorring and nauseating is the position of the Governor, who if judge by same Sharia with which Mr. Aminu’s sentence was made should have his hands amputated while cooling his feet in the gallow.

Essentially, Mr. Ganduje personified a typical Nigerian politician: fantastically corrupt, morally bankrupt, pathologically deceptive, clueless and indifferent to the plights, pains, pangs and suffering of the poor masses. His ultra conservative perspective exemplified by his fight to death brawl with the dethroned Emir Sanusi Muhammad 11; insatiable lust for power, greediness, clannishness present the best lens through which the mentality, banality, and hypocrisy of average Nigerian politician can be glaringly viewed. Indeed, no sitting Governor, better typified the complete traits of Nigerian ruling elites than Mr. Ganduje whose reign has brought untoward hardships on the people of the ancient state.

While COVID’19 temporarily headquartered itself in that centre of commerce for a brief stay, Mr. Ganduje was surprisingly nowhere to be found. A leader stands by his people in their lowest moment but anyone who’s aware of the the Governor’s antics, gimmick and theatrical show especially in addressing existential issues of insecurity, Job, education and crimes will not blink to his administrative malfeasance or how else could various damning reports indicating the precarious situation the state has been dragged into since the dawn of Mr. Ganduje’s new era.

Take out of school children in Nigeria. The Kano of Mr. Ganduje is home to highest number of out of school children in the country with over a million kids roaming aimlessly on the street. It is no surprise Kano is one of those crime hotbed in the country. Furthermore, the state poverty rate blow off one’s mind, as it is for prevalent drug abuse, petty crimes and as for unemployment, Kano sits comfortably among other states on the large keg of gun powder ticking to explode, all of these and more seem not to pinch the Governor to demand quick and speedy action as it is for that dastard death sentence aim at bloating his ego while appeasing to a section of his state.

As the saying, no society grow beyond the caliber of its leaders but when such society raced from economic backwater to heartland of prosperity, and abundance, their leaders deserved applause as well as commendation. In Kano however, the reverse has been the case. Aside Governor Ganduje’s Cudgel and Aminu Shariff blasphemy lies an important and deeply ingrained issue of double standard especially between the poor masses and the ruling elites in matters of law. Northern Nigeria display this crass and flagrant disregard to the apogee. When an elite err, he’s opt for secular law that can take years of battle while a poor man is speedily tried with Sharia. What errant contradictions? Unfortunately this Kano shenanigans confirm Karl Marx’s Maxim that indeed “religion is the opium of the masses”.

Mr. Ganduje’s deployment of state machinery to protect himself from the long arm of the law when err while leaving lay man to death, dangers and vulnerability speak about his leadership temperament and emotional intelligence. Indeed, the death sentence handed to Aminu Shariff with the Governor weighing his cudgel casts deep aspersions on the person of Mr. Ganduje who it is expected should exercise some modicum of integrity and morality but has failed the litmus test time without number. Expectedly, he who must come with equity must come with clean hands and since clean hands in this regard refer legitimate hand.

Malcom Gladwell says the principles of legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from other. As Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje raised his ‘cudgel’ to hit Aminu Shariff’s skull, one is tempted to ask, where is justice, fairness, voice and equality?

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