Two ministers said the governor’s allegation showed he desperate and has failed as governor.
The Federal Government has denied the claim by the Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, that President Goodluck Jonathan is plotting to kill him.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku and his Police Affairs counterpart, AbdulJelili Adesiyan, in separate statements on Friday, described the governor as being “desperate and paranoid.”
Mr. Kwankwaso had in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday alleged that the president was after his life. He accused the president of instigating the crisis that trailed the emergence of a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, as the Emir of Kano last Sunday.
The governor had on the previous day said on his Twitter page that his administration followed the same process which his Gombe State counterpart, Ibrahim Dankwambo, adopted in naming the new the Emir of Gombe and wondered why Mr. Jonathan should cause crisis in Kano.
Mr. Kwankwaso accused the president of plotting an “agenda which is not good for this country.” According to him, Mr. Jonathan had enough security challenges to contend with instead of turning attention to Kano State.
Mr. Maku, in the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Joseph Mutah, said rather than castigating Mr. Jonathan, the governor should tell the people of Kano his role and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Mr. Sanusi’s emergence as the emir.
He said the governor was engaging in a campaign of calumny against the president and the Federal Government even though the appointment of traditional rulers was done by state governments.
“It is a known fact that the appointment of traditional rulers is within the purview of state governments and it is surprising why Kwankwaso has chosen to drag the name of the President into the succession crisis rocking the Kano Emirate,” Mr. Maku stated.
“Instead of throwing tantrums and casting aspersions on imaginary enemies, Kwankwaso should face the people of Kano and explain to them the role he and APC leaders played in the imbroglio.
“The Police in Kano have offered explanations why officers and men were deployed to guard the palace of the emir, yet Governor Kwankwaso decided to further his unbridled campaign of blackmail against the President and the Federal Government.”
The minister said Mr. Kwankwaso’s recent outbursts had lent credence to observations in some quarters that he (governor) was now afraid of his own shadow “as the people of Kano become increasingly impatient with his years of one-man rule under which he imposes his will on the state in total disregard to the wishes of the people.”
He recounted, “After the recent denial of freedom of choice for the people of Kano by imposing local government chairmen and councillors on them, he then took on the late Kano monarch shortly before his demise.
“Governor Kwankwaso, as is well known to the public, then went on a highly politicised selection process, turning the ascension to the throne of Kano into a partisan political enterprise during which prominent All Progressives Congress leaders and some governors moved to Kano reportedly to influence the outcome.
“The result is the outpouring of anger and protests in the ancient city of Kano with the unfortunate breakdown of law and order.
“Governor Kwankwaso is therefore singularly responsible for the violence in his state. The selection of successors to other traditional institutions in other parts of the North in recent years has not witnessed the kind of public anger and protests and violence that greeted the exercise conducted by Kwankwaso at the Government House in Kano.”
Mr. Maku explained that the police authorities, in the light of the violent opposition to the highly political selection process for the new Emir of Kano only helped to restore law and order and to protect the historic palace of the throne of Kano from being razed or destroyed by aggrieved people of Kano.
“To turn round to blame President Jonathan or the Federal Government for the crisis is the height of delusion and irresponsibility on the part of Kwankwaso,” the minister said.
“He is the architect of the crisis and violence and if he has a conscience, he should examine his role in this unfortunate and needless crisis into which he has plunged the ancient city of Kano and its respected traditional institution in recent weeks.
“The latest claim by Kwankwaso is wild and outlandish and does not fit into the character of President Jonathan or the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Federal Government urged the people of Kano to remain peaceful and law-abiding, as well as shun violence “in spite of the highhandedness of Governor Kwankwaso and his associates.”
On his part, Mr. Adesiyan said rather than appreciate the security agents for ensuring that peace returned to Kano, the governor was regrettably abusing the president.
In the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Wale Akinola, the Police Affairs Minister said Mr. Kwankwaso needed to be enlightened on the role of the police and other security agencies.
“Police have the mandate to protect the lives and property of every citizen of Nigeria and Kano State cannot be an exception,” he said.
“When there is protest, the police should be able to protect people’s lives so that it will not lead to a major crisis and that was what the police did in Kano to stop youths who were dissatisfied with the appointment of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.
“But instead of appreciating the efforts of security agents in bringing about peace in the state, Kwankwaso was abusing Mr. President.
“I think Kwankwaso needs to be educated on the role of police and other security agencies in the society as well as the functions of the President of Nigeria in order to give him an insight into their operational procedure.”
Mr. Adesiyan stressed that the Mr. Kwankwaso’s outburst against Mr. Jonathan showed that he was a failed governor who acted against his people.
He said, “It is rather unfathomable that Kwankwaso could use the protest that followed the appointment of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano as an opportunity to insult the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the way he likes.
“His recent outburst is an indication of a failed governor who acts against the will of the people.
“Have you ever seen the opposition party insulting the President of the United States of America, or the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, or Chancellor in Germany? It is only in Nigeria that those who lack patriotism like Kwankwaso can insult the President at will.
“Rather than reflect and ever remain grateful to PDP for giving him the platform to become a governor and a minister, Kwankwaso now has the audacity to abuse the President.”
The minister said while he recognised the inalienable right of citizens to hold opinions and identify with political platforms of their choice, he found it very difficult to understand the type of bitterness that had taken hold of an elected person like Mr. Kwankwaso “who hugely benefitted from the PDP on which platform he was twice elected governor in addition to being appointed minister.”
Mr. Adesiyan added, “Kwankwaso has not only shown his aversion to the unity of the nation but also the agenda of his party, the APC, to attack well-meaning individuals and leaders as a means to cause confusion among Nigerians and destroy our oneness as a people.”