VP SHETTIMA AND THE WINGLESS KITE OF SUBSTITUTION: THE KWANKWASO ANGLE

.By Inuwa Bwala


They want to make it look like a game, much larger than the topic being discussed, and the intrigues are also quite familiar.
They want to make it look as if it is more the issue of a particular region, trying to force itself back into reckoning, having effectively lost out in the political chess game in Nigeria.
But it is a ploy to sway public attention and to divert the government from pursuing its lofty programmes.
A similar narrative played out when the El-Rufais and the Gandujes were in power reckoning in the race to 2023 when they tried to pitch the North East against the North West. It woefully failed that time, but they seem not to have learnt their lessons.
Unfortunately, it is an agenda flying on a wingless kite and an in a coach less locomotive. The North East and North West have historically been allies in Nigeria’s power equation. Trying to change the narrative to please a few will always fail.
They are few, but very rich and powerful. It is the case of a few people desperately in search of a political oracle amogst them, around whom the political fortunes of a whole region will now oscillate.
I could not therefore help smilling to myself, as I watched the recorded encounter between my brother Daniel Bwala and one TV presenter Gimba Umar: discussing a presumed 2027 Vice Presidential race, between the Vice President Kashim Shettima and former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
The presumptions that there is going to be a change of a running mate to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2027, is in itself funny to those who knew the existing bond between Tinubu and Shettima, as well as those who were familiar with the circumstances surrounding the emergence of Kashim Shettima, as the Vice President, in the first place.
I smiled because I am familiar with the narrative in this agenda setting game, which the presenter is trying to push.
But I smiled because, as usual, Daniel Bwala, also saw through the plot and presented lucid arguments, often leaving the interviewer scavenging for counter naratives, which turned out to sound rather politically infantile and naive to a discerning mind.
As a journalist, I know the anchor must have realised he made the wrong choice in inviting Daniel to kick-start that rather unpopular narrative.
From all indications, those writing the script of a change in the Vice President in 2027 are both uncharitable to President Tinubu and calous in featuring Rabiu Kwankwaso as the protagonist of that, absurd theatre.
Be that as it may, I wish to briefly discuss a few posers, which could serve as a clue as to why that topic should not be given the garb of an issue, but confined to the dustbin, where it rightfully belongs.
Firstly, one needs to ask whether there is a break in the relationship between the president and the vice president. If there is none, then one needs to ask where Vice President Kashim Shettima may have faltered in the discharge of his duties to warrant the need for a change.
Again, given the tight political fusion between the President and the Vice President, what makes anybody think that, Rabiu Kwankwaso or any of his ilks in the Northwest could make a better trusted ally to the President more than Kashim Shettima?
With the outcome of the 2023 elections, which clearly rubbished earlier hypotheses of political and regional influence futile, what makes anybody think that President Tinubu will want to revisit the futile permutations of the old?
Against the background of Vice President Kashim Shettima’s excellent outing as Vice President, coupled with his growing political sagacity, is Rabiu Kwankwaso a competent rival, even in a contest of public court?
Unless Kwankwaso, like the stubborn fly, forgets to let go of the coffin, which is being lowered, he risks being buried with this unpopular political thesis.
But more importantly, with less than one year into the life of an administration, who knows who will be well and alive to think of a challenge in a presumptions race in 2027, when the ultimate judgement rests with the almighty.
I will deliberately skip exposing the unseen hands in pushing for that narrative, but not without cautioning, that we are familiar with the trenches, where they are firing.

Inuwa Bwala was two times Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture in Borno State.


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