Countdown to 2019 election: Governors, senators in heated clash
Senators and governors are locked in a bitter row over the 2019 elections. The development sparked an uproar on the floor of the Senate yesterday.
Zamfara Central Senator Kabiru Marafa accused Governor Abdulaziz Yari of plotting to eliminate him. Both are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) .
Marafa asked his colleagues to hold the governor and his deputy responsible should anything happen to him and members of his family.
He said he had information that his life and his family members’ were no longer safe.
The senators/governors crises in some of the states were brought up by Bauchi Central Senator Isa Misau who said the crisis between Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, could threaten the peace in that state.
Misau criticised alleged display of weapons by youths and women in Kano State on Tuesday.
Kwankwaso (Kano Central) was on Tuesday advised to shelve his planned visit to Kano State to avoid a breakdown of law and order.
Kwankwaso has been having a running battle with Kano State Governor Ganduje over unresolved political differences.
The Bauchi State lawmaker urged the Senate to condemn a situation where a senator would be prevented from visiting his constituency.
He insisted that if the development was allowed to fester, it would become a norm too dangerous to handle.
Misau said: “I want to talk about what is happening in Kano. About 70 per cent of the people in my place share boundaries with Kano. The level of thuggery we have seen in Kano State is troubling. We need to talk of how Boko Haram started in the Northeast. It started as “ECOMOG.”
”This issue happened when one of our colleagues said he was going to visit Kano State. Instead of him to be allowed to visit and talk to his people, the police stopped him. If a senator is not allowed to visit his constituency, one day, it will be anybody’s turn.
“The kind of weapons people paraded yesterday in Kano was troubling. We are watching. I see no reason why a person who wants to travel to his own town will not be allowed. For the first time in the history of this country, women were given arms in Kano on Tuesday.
“If we do not do anything about this, we will be in trouble. How do we give our own people arms? We need to investigate what is happening in Kano State to avoid a national crises.
“We need to condemn what happened in Kano. We need to investigate arms that were given to people in Kano.”
Hardly had Misau concluded his submission when Kano South Senator Kabiru Gaya challenged his right to bring an issue that was being addressed in the state to the floor of the Senate.
Gaya, also a former governor of the state, noted that contrary to the bad picture painted by Misau, there was no breakdown of law and order in Kano State.
He told his colleagues that Kano politics is peculiar and should be handled with care.
Gaya, who described the face-off between Ganduje and Kwankwaso as a “family affair”, asked the Senate to tread softly due the volatility of Kano politics.
He said: “Let me clearly say that we are peace loving people in Kano State. Kano politics has always been different. Kano has always been a volatile state during politics. The rally we had in Kano, there was no case of fighting.
“Nobody was killed. Let us understand. The issue of the two governors must be understood. They are both governors. This is a family matter and we are working to reconcile both of them.”
Backing Gaya, Senator Jibrin Barau (Kano North) questioned why Misau should bring the issue to the Senate.
Barau said senators should restrict themselves to issues in their states, instead of delving into areas that do not directly affect them.
He wondered why Misau was not bothered about the face-off between him and Governor (Bauchi State) Mohammaed Abubakar)
The Kano North Senator accused Misau of misleading the Senate, by claiming that Kano State could be thrown into chaos.
.Barau said: “I am worried here. A trend is now emerging and we tend to create troubles among ourselves. What Misau has started will not go well with this Senate. The Senate President must stop it.
“We are all politicians. There are bound to be disagreements. Misau is being used by some people to blackmail us in Kano State.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki frustrated attempts by Misau to respond to the barrage of attacks on him.
Saraki gave Kwankwaso the floor, but he declined, saying: “I believe as a leader, I do not want to say anything.”
Saraki asked his colleagues to avoid bringing personal problems with state actors to the floor.
He noted that senators needed to agree at what point certain issues will be entertained in the chamber.
Saraki said,”This is a matter that can be addressed at the state level. There is still a room for reconciliation. There is going to be a trend when politics will creep in here. We need to try and manage this issue. Many states have these challenges.
“We need to agree at what point this issue should come to the floor of the Senate. Let us rise above these issues before we bring them here. We need to set up a committee to begin to look at these issues.”
Saraki told Committee on Police Affairs Chairman Abu Ibrahim to invite the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and ensure that adequate security is provided whenever Kwankwaso decides to visit his constituency.
“They must provide security at anytime Senator Kwankwaso wants to visit Kano State,” Saraki added.