-By Austen Akhagbeme:
Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso, the Presidential candidate of the NNPP is a politician with cult followership- the kwankwasiyya movement, within his North-west political enclave.
As a former governor of the most populous state in the North and one that has been fairly consistent with grassroots politicking in Kano state, one cannot deny his grasp of the politics and the grab on the jugular of a sizable number of the “Talakawas” who constitute the majority of the voting public within his political domain.
This, probably, has made the former governor thick, assumingly perspicacious and wantonly arrogant without knowing. This self-proclaimed and widely acclaimed lover of the masses threw a salvo recently that got all tongues wagging and kept all mouths agape.
His asymmetric understanding of the Peter Obi phenomenon vis-a-vis the politics of the South East within the Nigerian political equation leaves much to be desired.
His delusional superiority claim over Peter Obi and his raging but towering political conscientisation movement is an indication of the disdainful perception some elites of other regions have for the South East. And this can be misleading.
The former Kano state governor must have started before Mr Peter Obi having claimed to have been building his movement now for over three decades. Outside that, Obi was a two-term governor of a state too, with a record of administrative dexterity and prudence in the financial management of state resources.
This has endeared Obi to a mass movement of the Nigerian youth rooting for him all across the country, especially in the South. So for Kwankwaso to think that it is demeaning and subservient to serve as a vice-presidential hopeful under Peter Obi is nothing but an arrogant display of superiority complex.
The most painful was his election to tutor the South East about politics and how not to remain at the bottom of National politics. The South East has truly become the punching bag used by political pugilists for sparring.
For a presidential aspirant, seeking to govern a whole nation, to speak the way Kwankwaso did about the South East and their political chances in a federation like ours smacks of insensitivity to the ever-yawning desire of the South East region.
And it goes a longer way, too, to show that these politicians are not into politics for the benefit of the nation but for their selfish interest only. Let Peter Obi look elsewhere and leave this quaking Kwankwaso alone.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online