By Muhammad Garba
I read with mixed feelings an article titled: “A warning to Governor Ganduje and those that think like him” written by Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Going through the content of the article, one can understand that the author either ignorantly put it down or must have been misinformed.
The piece, which is full of abusive language and gone viral on the social media, depicts a misrepresentation of facts on a comment purportedly attributed to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in which he (the governor) allegedly accused the Igbos and Yorubas of agitating for freedom, “thereby creating their own insecurity with the establishment of IPOB and Oduduwa Republic which are now terrorizing the entire nation.”
Since the write-up became viral, unfortunately, where and when the governor made such statement could not be established. Even the author did not state that. Surprisingly, we expected Fani-Kayode as a lawyer to be warry of the consequences of making such kind of allegation, especially where he uses pejorative language on the person of the governor.
In as much as one might be entitled to his opinions which he indebted nobody an apology for any intention whatsoever, he must in every veneration make sure those thoughts remain within personal jurisdictions.
But in a situation where such opinions have the propensity to sway or pervert the thinking of others or disturbs their comfort, then such a person cannot and will never said to be entitle to such opinions.
It is not my intention to join issues with him or retort him based on his own hankering, given that discerning minds would always know the truth of the matter, I was astounded as to what Fani-Kayode’s clairvoyance could offer him by making such accusation against the governor.
There is no way Ganduje can make such a statement. He is a detribalized Nigerian who has many friends all over the country, including, of course, in the Igbo and Yoruba Land. He holds the traditional title of Agu Na Eche Mba of Igbo land conferred on him by the South East Council of Traditional Rulers.
He is an alumni of the University of Ibadan, and only recently makes list of best 11 on the university’s alumni’s assessment as presented by its Alumni Association, Professor Elsie Adewoye.
Ganduje is also a nationalist considering his leadership style in managing and accommodating different ethnic nationalities with love and patriotic posture. Since he assumed office in 2015, ethnic nationalities in Kano are closer to his government than any other administration in the history of Kano.
Apart from the unprecedented development programmes of his administration that extend to the Sabon Gari area in Fagge local government, which predominantly houses the non-indigenous community in form of road construction and rehabilitation, Ganduje was the only Chief Executive that takes proactive measure to forestall break down of law and order in the event of ethnic tension in other part of the country, by securing the safety of their life and property.
In fact, it has been his personal conviction that anyone who chose to come to stay in Kano should never be addressed as non-indigene. And in ensuring that his conviction is real, he appointed senior aides into the government from major ethnic groups living in Kano. In fact during the heights of the quit notice served by Coalition of Arewa Youth, he had to personally intervene by summoning series of meetings at the Government House, Kano to not only douse the simmering tension, but harmoniously resolved the crisis.
The Ganduje administration also introduced an Annual Inter-Religious and Community Conference towards strengthening Inter-Faith and Community Relations for Harmony, Peace and Sustainable Development in Kano state.
A typical Fulani man, Governor Ganduje gave the hand of his daughter, Fatima, to Idris Ajimobi, the son of former Oyo state governor, Late Abiola
As a one-time minister, Fani-Kayode should have been engaged in promoting ideals for the unity and development of our country not premodial sentiments. He should know better than to insult the sensitivity of a particular ethnic group or its leadership.
It is high time that Femi Fani-Kayode learn to respect himself by stopping from making unsubstantiated allegations and often times with abusive language that border on hate speech.
Garba is commissioner for Information, Kano state