THREE HOURS WITH KWANKWASO: THERE WAS A GOVERNOR!
I have never attached any distinct prominence to his Excellency, distinguished Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso except the little prestige that accompanied his ability to defy logic and political projections by his defeat of the boisterous and crafty Atiku in the 2015 APC presidential primaries to emerge 2nd after Buhari in a shocker that left the political observers of that era in awe.
I have never dreamt of being in a close range with the grand commander of the Kwankwasiyya movement neither have I voyaged into the verisimilitude of addressing him or listening to tap from his ocean of experience as a pioneer of the Nigerian project.
I have therefore allowed mere speculations, assumptions and hear-say to form the fulcrum of my perception of him. I have learnt a lesson, judging from a distance leads only to impaired and uninformed conclusions!
I had thought that His Excellency is an old, overbearing and a tribal politician who if bequeathed power to would fast track Nigeria to precipice.
Three hours was able to disarm my feeble mind, decapitulate my delusions and place me in a more sophisticated position where rational thinking, dispassionate appraisal of his person, conclusions based on the deductable facts on ground were ably enough to shape my opinion of him.
It was Atiku who invited me to the Maitama residence of his Excellency on the 21st of August 2017. I met with Atiku at 8pm in Maitama guest house and at about 10pm we were already at the residence of the great “Nigerian” political enigma
Inside the building, hung the aura of celebration, festivity or even a carnival in a market-like atmosphere where both the well and shabbily dressed Northerners and southerners settled in a peaceful atmosphere and freely intermingled with one another. I was initially shocked, every little corner of the building was kept busy by three or more people(irrespective of religion, region and tribe) who convene to share their thoughts on the political happenings.
I was amazed. This was to me impossible in this era when the sound of disintegration has formed a rhythm in the ears of even the deaf and the drum of war agog in the most peaceful sanctuary. It seems to me that true Nigerians only lived or visited His Excellency’s house or that it is only in his house that Nigeria is an indivisible nation whose unity is not negotiable. I was perplexed!
At about 12am, we matched into the glorious presence of the new Nigeria’s political pathfinder who joined us after we sat for not over five minutes in his moderately furnished sitting room. What preoccupied my mind all through was whether the great Kwankwaso who has been deputy speaker of the house of Representatives, minister of defense, 8years governor of the commercial state of Kano and a current Senator of the federal republic could comfortably settle in such a humble abode. It was below my expectations. I expected a skyscraper with rooms adorned in gold and diamonds or a palace befitting of a king. After quietly reminiscing for a while in the innermost part of my heart haggling to come to terms with or to reconcile the profile of the great Kwankwaso with the humble and moderately furnished sitting room hardly different from that of an average Nigerian, I hurriedly concluded without any iota of the contradictions that Kwankwaso is not a “Nigerian” politician but a replica of Mallam Aminu Kano and could have grown under the direct tutelage of the great mahatma Gandhi of India
He is younger than what we see in the pictures, a fine gentleman with a marvellous smile capable of dousing a raging volcano. What a man!
His sight alone took my mind to Singapore where Lee Kuan Yew, presented himself, built and transformed the country from grass to grace, gutter to an island against all odds and amidst the greatest difficulties.
He listened to everyone of us with rapt attention and while we spoke, he jotted down the points we made including the advice and solutions proffered. I couldn’t brace up with the realities, I felt my eyes where still covered with the biblical scale that blinded Saul on that ignoble journey to Damascus. The great Kwankwaso taking advice from young us? We felt like we were the best political tacticians of the era and each and every one of us wore a face of pride and satisfaction. It was unbelievable to have advised Kwankwaso, our happiness was extensive without bounds.
Only in Kwankwaso resides, a reformer, humanitarian politician, Intelligent leader and an economic pace-setter. What an understatement!
What more can we expect from a true leader? It is a rare quality for a Nigerian politician to listen and assimilate the ideas of young us. A listening leader will meet not only the yearnings but also the aspirations of the people.
Sen. Kwankwaso rekindled, rejuvenated and reinvigorated my waned hope in Nigerian politicians.
That singular characteristic has placed him in a vantage position that is not provided by mere mortals but prompted and made inevitable by the current situation of the country to liberate us from the woes of this era and place Nigeria once again in the hands of Nigerians where everybody especially the youths, irrespective of religion, region and tribes would be provided with a veritable atmosphere to hatch and harness their potentials.
It is a call to duty!
He spoke in a low tone, he was very apt and honest in his speech. I expected a barrage of hate speeches, insults, and diatribes on his perceived enemies and political adversaries as is ideal of Nigerian politicians but I was roundly disappointed!
The three hours informed a lifetime opinion and the lessons of those hours are capable of leading me not just for the rest of my life but also enough to overflow in my next coming.
I could remember how he switched off the air conditioner when a lady in the delegation was being affected by it, he inconvenienced himself to please us. The Mr integrity of Nigeria was unveiled that day at Maitama.
A new generation leader and a healthy, dogged bridge builder lives in Kwankwaso!
It is not unbecoming to opine that Nigerian youths cannot be guaranteed of their future unless Kwankwaso drives the Nigerian ship, they can never be groomed to take over the polity in the nearest future without his political intervention.
It is a clarion call for the total liberation of the Nigerian youths from the clutches of the evil fists of Unemployment and utter dejection by the traditional government of Nigeria.
Only a healthy leader will guarantee a healthy nation through a healthy economy amidst a healthy unity in a healthy atmosphere.
HE Engr(Dr) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is the answer to the Nigerian barrage of problems.
Comrade Okpe Sylvanus
Political commentator and civil right activist
Chief political editor with statereporters newspaper
Former PDP social media observer group chairman, Benue chapter.
Coordinator of Goodluck Support Forum(GSF), UNN chapter 2015
National publicity secretary of patriotic Nigerian youths against corruption and social injustice