By Shariff Aminu Ahlan

Politics is widely known to be an interesting venture full of tricks, shenanigans, intrigues, plots, counter plots, scheming, unpredictable occurrences, betrayal, undercover moves, compromise, failed promises, manipulation, deals, blind loyalty and unexpected surprises.

No mortal can dispute the fact that the ancient city of Kano is an epicenter of real politicking in the entire nation, with abundance of heavyweight politicians who had one time or the other held several positions of power and influence in the nation democratic setting and enlighten citizens who are always abreast of the activities taking place in the state, nation and the entire global world due to their long time addiction to news be it local or international. As such, their political awareness is awesome and beyond comparison with other states in the federation.

Moreover, the state is also blessed with huge number of population which made it the most populace and capped it commercial and religious activities that is in existence for centuries which ultimately made it the center of commerce, religion and tradition in the country. Such glittering factors made the state one of most prosperous and powerful states in the federation, which is populated with powerful politicians, business magnets, famous academicians, influential Islamic ulamas and globally acknowledged strong traditional institutions.

As politicians always crave, plot, program and adopt different antics in their pursue of political power through legal and illegal, rational and irrational means, for all that matters to them is be on the position of authority to use or misuse it depending on the individual mindset which defers according to their intentions be it negative or positive. As such the politicians in our ancient city of kano are no different with their colleagues from other parts of the world, and every democratic position of power from wards to National level is always subjected to keenly contested and highly powerful political gimmicks and shenanigans.

And the higher positions such as members of State and National assembly and above all the exalted seat of No. 1 citizen in the state are always subjected to keenly contest and deep politicking that bear the burden of convincing the enlighten electorate to  accept and entrust the position seekers with their votes that represents their collective destiny.

The position of governor which ultimately placed an individual as the alpha and Omega of one the most influential and powerful state is no doubt the most keenly contested and requires people of integrity, abundance means, intellectual acumen, grassroots connectivity, influential, high level connection, general rapport with party members, exceptional political acumen, irrevocable bond with huge number of populace, massive support of traditional and religious leaders, capped it with extraordinarily aura and charisma. As such all those yearning and dreaming of mounting the seat are always known to be highly powerful with abundant resources at their disposal due to the unfortunate monetization of our politics.

Despites the fact that the election period is not even around the corner, with almost two years prior to the appointed period, that didn’t deter ambitious politicians from starting their home work with underground plots and intense planning and scheming to realize their ultimate ambition comes 2023.

As it is customary to the politicians seeking high place positions, planning in earnest and placing their arsenals in the right places is always the most logical move so as to avoid being left behind. And the seat is now being sought after by different suitors known and unknown. Not to mention huge number of others who would declare their intentions at their appropriate time based on their timing and  programmed strategy.

As it is the norm in our political culture, every outgoing governor has a strong and influential say on who would be his successor, and the chosen ones always enjoy the backing and solid contribution from the outgoing governor and entire party structure. A lot of influential Kano born-politicians are already warming up to win the Kano State’s ‘sweetheart’ who can graciously succeed him come 2023.

Top of the contenders are; Senator Barau Maliya, the sitting Deputy Governor Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the former Governor, Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and the former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Inuwa Waya.

Then all powerful and new darling of APC faithful who have once contested for the post in 2015 under a party he single-handedly nurtured, financed  and made strong called Green Party. His return to the ruling party was received with fanfare and grand reception never witnessed in the history of the state political journey.

Those are the notable ones that they either mention it themselves or rigorously promoted and engrossed in selling them to the electorate in the ancient city.

All these influential politicians may be on the running and not mention other Political gladiators who are waiting for the right moment to strike.

And in the midst of all those powerful and influential, known and yet great personalities – Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkareem Zaura, popularly known as: A.A.Zaura, descended on the party out of blues. 

His entry and grand reception accorded him need not to dwell on, as is well-known and documented. He specifically came in as a die-hard fan of the ruling party, but now a strong pillar and a Fab! Yes, a fabulous member of APC. And without uttering or assigning anyone to indicate his future political ambition, many didn’t not hesitate to reach a conclusion that he too would vie for the seat of outgoing Governor come 2023. And they dare not be blamed on their accession because he once contested for the seat under a party he single-handedly formed and nurtured.

Not a few people perceived him as an underdog among the aforementioned powerful politicians. Many think that he is with no iota of doubt a capable hand with expertise to manage the state, but lacking financial might, connection and acceptance needed from both top party echelon and the voting masses. How wrong they are!

The man A.A. Zaura has overnight turned into a mysterious persona that many are sleeplessly trying to unravel. Politicians of all kinds are busy scratching their confused heads to find out precisely what made him tick and why is his name spreading like a wildfire. The hitherto presumed to be an underdog that can easily be trumped upon and exterminated politically is gradually turning into something beyond their comprehension.

But the simple truth is that there is nothing mysterious about this extraordinarily charismatic politician. He is just like a man next door but bestowed with intellectual acumen, political sagacity, humanitarian tendency and natural appeal which can easily swallow any curious mind. His past antecedents are well documented and speak for itself. Humanistic to the core, his philanthropic gesture is inherent, with his foundation called A.A. Zaura catering and giving succor to humanity for almost a decade and half. 

A silent achiever who is noiselessly programing, building, structuring and systematically heading to his desired direction without much ado and fanfare. He is known by nature as a silent and effective achiever who doesn’t say much, but allows his work and actions to speak for itself.

A man parsimonious with praises, boosting, self glorifying , or blowing his trumpet, his humanitarian gesture is out of this world. Anyone familiar or abreast of political news in the state is fully aware of his countless humanitarian programs centred on downtrodden or those in dare need of succor irrespective of political affiliation, tribe or gender.

And what baffles political watchers and makes the powerful political gladiators perplexed with their mouth wide open is his rising profile and the unexplained scenario in which the man has now become the talk of the town and one of the most talked about politicians in the state.

Now, the man initially presumed to be a mere underdog who would not be considered for reckoning, is now a formidable force that won’t be treated lightly and is set to rock the boat going by the outpouring of accolades and commendations by all and sundry. Not few have believed that he may end up being the winner in the long run. In fact, Iam a living witness to a scenario where people are discussing Politics with emphasis on the one that may inherit the throne of His Excellency. One of them made an interesting remark where he was referring to how people are discussing Zaura with nostalgia and feeling of trust and admiration. He even claimed that his name is gradually becoming an overdose.

I was amazed, smiling and digesting the conversation and relished the encounter as a living witness of their discussion. Now it seems like an Underdog is turning to an Overdose.

Shariff Aminu Ahlan is a Lecturer at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education Kano.

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