By: Mudassir Yunusa, Zaria

THE political atmosphere in Kano is full of debates and cases especially on social media following the order placed by the state House of Assembly for immediate removal of all Kwankwasiyya inscriptions from public buildings and properties. This decision draw a line between the people from within and outside the state, where some are expressing their support on the decision while others perceived it as a gross injustice particularly to the ex- governor who is the leader and also the grand patron of Kwankwasiyya political movement, who mostly anointed considerable number of both elected and appointed stakeholders in the present administration including the number one citizen in the state.

Before making any statement on the above subject matter let me make it boldly clear that I am not a politician and neither aligned to any political party or group, but a common citizen who possess legitimate right to express own view including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas, belief and information without fear or interference especially on issues of diverse interests. However, it is obvious that opinion of Mr A might probably differ from that of Mr B and perhaps might be similar to Mr C point of view, and we all know that without public opinion there will be no viable democracy, that is why freedom of expression is clearly provided in section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution.

However, the idea of marking government structures with personal name and logo in Kano came into being with the return of PDP administration in 2011, the government of Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso branded all its projects with KWANKWASIYYA inscription as a symbol of identification, it has even gone to the extent that ‘KWANKWASIYYA’ is written on public buildings that were in existence even before the reemergence of Kwankwaso for the second term, but merely renovated or improved upon with public funds. At that time so many people were confused as weather government has became the property of a single person or group of individuals with common interest. The contradiction then was why instead for the government to indicate confidently as usual what is constitutionally right and acceptable as the actual commitment of Kano State government but rather write a name that clearly entails private ownership? I was among the people that spoke publicly and advice the governor in my piece with the title ‘THE PERSONALISATION OF PUBLIC WORKS IN KANO; IS IT A CONSTITUTIONALLY RIGHT?’ which was published in New Nigerian Newspaper (2012). The truth of the matter is that, it is highly unconstitutional for any Governor to use public funds in the provision of what is considered as mandate for him or her and personalise it. We are aware that government funds and or properties would never belong to a particular individual or other identified entities, therefore any entrust to such properties should never claim its ownership either conditionally or unconditionally no matter how powerful he/she is (they are).
Therefore, with the above pronouncement I wonder why would somebody inscribe his/her name or logo on public buildings and properties done with public funds? I consider this as African mentality adopted by our leaders. The truth of the matter is one and only, whether we like it or not, the decision taken by Kano lawmakers to remove Kwankwasiyya and other individual name, symbol or logo written or placed on government properties is very right even though it was not done for the sake of correcting the error done by the previous administration but many believed that the decision taken has more or less positive connection with the political acrimony that surfaced early this year between the incumbent governor and his predecessor. To me this political feud will not yield positive result to the people of Kano State. Likewise the money dedicated for the work should have been used for some projects that are more important compared to wiping out those inscriptions. Example is the payment of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for Kano State Students and host of others.
Finally as for the substitution of three ultra modern housing estates (Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Bandarawo), the lawmakers ought to have considered and acknowledged the effort of Kwankwaso in building the estates and named one of them with his name to serve as a recognition and commendation for a job well done. I think this will provide the platform of justice and political fair play that can assist in building an organized state and society.

MUDASSIR wrote via from Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Zaria

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