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Nigerian Politics: Kano 2011 And The Ulama Class?


28 December 2009

By Kabiru Tsakuwa

As the struggle for the Kano-Africa house gradually and steadily thicken, many people tend to under play the importance of the powerful but yet generally unrecognized influence of the Kano Ulama Class in determining the final outcome of various elections.

Most Politicians generally focused their attentions on the widespread appeal to the populace, adequate purse; effective campaign machinery; and ability to rally round all the political gladiators at both local, state and federal level as the sole determining factors to winning elections any time and any day in Kano. But to me, that is a costly miscalculation and whoever disputed it should ask former governor kwankwaso for a readily answer.

Truly, whoever took them for granted as far as the unique and peculiar Kano politics is concern has greatly missed the point and most likely, is a very poor student of Kano’s unique political history. Yes, it is true to a large extent that prospective candidates have to have the afore-mentioned qualities for them to make any significant impact in the murky politics of Kano. But that is by no means adequate if we take into account other determining factors that almost always come into play at the nick of time.

There is no gainsaying the fact that Kano is a highly religious town and whoever takes that for granted does so at his own peril. The people have no apology whatsoever in that regard. We have seen ample demonstrations of religious fervor on many occasions to do with elections, and it bears no repeating that many have lost out totally in the political permutation for their failure to adequately go with the crowd; while others have used it amply and to maximum advantage!

A lot have occurred since the 2007 election, but I personally did not see any significant changes in the way the electorates will vote in future. I believed whoever shows greater promise to defend their religion and way of life has an advantage over and above all others. the voting pattern will be skewed in favour of some body who will ensures continuity of the sharia project, the on-going massive urban renewal; and total deference to the powerful and highly revered Kano traditional institution.

For those who may not have known the efficacy and power of the Kano Ulama class-many of who are renowned mystics and saints having completely divorced the world with all its glitters; a brief recourse to history may suffice to let them know how great a factor they were in the political permutations of Kano.

At the heat of the 2007 election, during the annual new Islamic year anniversary which corresponded exactly with the Christian-Gregorian calendar of the year 2007; a relatively young sheikh rose out of the multitudes onto the podium and boosted openly for all who cared to listen that “the incumbent governor is going to be re-elected, and whoever prayed against that will have his prayer null and void even if such prayer was conducted at Madina”. And there and then, another frail looking sheikh of the older stock, who happened to be the leader of the Ishirinia reciters of Kano, also bolted out of the blue onto the podium and strongly affirmed what was earlier said by the relatively young sheikh concerning the2007 election.

The result as the say is already history as the incumbent went on and got re-elected much to the consternations of those who may either out of malice or ignorance earlier took them for granted.

Now, as the 2011 draws near, a lot of political calculations, alignments and realignments are being proposed. Already, most contestants are well known, having indicated their interest to vie for elective posts in the forth-coming election; while the ascetic members of the Ulama class have remained largely quite. But to those imbued with understanding, such uneasy and ominous silence is highly tactical and is indicative of many things to come. First, it might be a deliberate attempt to study the contestants carefully with a view to determining who will be more amenable and responsive to their interest. Second, it might also be a carefully thought-out strategy to play it safe only to make their stands known at the nick of time, having already anointed one of their own as a most likely candidate!

Whatever the reason may be for their silence, the fact remain that, as stakeholders in the Kano’s socio-political scheme of things; a lots of Powerful ‘Asraru-missiles’ will be deployed to ensure a hitch free successes of their already anointed candidate-a candidate whom from the look of things also has the backing of the powerful Kano emirates council; the incumbent Sardauna of Kano and above all vast majority of loyal followers. And who dare contest against such a sturdy candidate with formidable and intimidating God-fathers!

As for your’s sincerely, as far as the forth coming 2011 general election is concern, I think my tent has already been pitched in the direction where the compass have pointed .I admitted my limitation and inability to oppose the smooth flows of the powerful current; to avoid being swept off the track. How about you?
 

 

 

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