Written by Dr Aminu Magashi Garba
22nd October 2018
It was 12 years ago and another October in 2006, my friend Ja’afar Ja’afar wrote one of the most scurrilous and uncouth article on a sitting executive governor of Kano State Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, as a first termer he won the primary ticket under ANPP to contest for the gubernatorial election, while his archrival Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso couldn’t secured the PDP ticket due to a white paper issued by Kano State Government that he couldn’t set aside in court. PDP gave the gubernatorial ticket upon his recommendation to one of his loyalist Alh. Ahmad Garba Bichi. The article titled “How Shekarau operates his foreign Bank Accounts” was published in Gamji Website which at that time was arguably the most influential online media platform for Nigerians both at home and in-diaspora. Then I was a regular weekly Gamji Columnist writing on Public Health, as such every morning it was a ritual for me to peruse the site before going for my Master’s degree classes at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The article written by Ja’afar Ja’afar condemned Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau under false pretense and written petition by someone who was loyal to Kwankwaso and he used the petition to castigate, condemned, maligned and took Shekarau to the cleaners. He accused Shekarau of operating foreign accounts in London, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Egypt, he said and I quote “The Story of Shekarau’s Foreign Accounts, in which I wrote……one M.I. Shekarau, a Nigerian, has a classified National Westminster Bank Plc account with a whopping deposit of £4,512,269.59 with the account number: 4113242.” For a limited space, I will only use ‘the National Westminster Bank Plc’ as an example because after reading the article and for the fact that I was in London studying, I and 3 other persons we visited one of the National Westminster Bank Branch not far from my school to verify the allegation out of penchant for truth. We talked to the customer care to know the bank’s account codes and initial figures for all its accounts and to our bewilderment the account number quoted by Ja’afar Ja’afar in his article was not in existence.
That same day which was Tuesday 24th October 2006 by exactly 3:51pm at my school students’ common room I sent Ja’afar Ja’afar an email and asked “I am worried about the true picture of the Foreign Accounts stuffs, how true is it?” and his reply came to my email at exactly 5:21pm same day and he wrote “On foreign accounts: I was only served a copy of a petition sent to the EFCC by some patriotic Kano people”. The conversation was more than what I quoted above and we also had another email conversation on the 10th and 12th of January 2007 all related to Kano issues. I will not bore the reader with details due to limited space.
What was the aim of this journey and narration? I want to show the reader an established ‘pattern’ of Ja’afar Ja’afar using unsubstantiated evidence and claims to descend on sitting executive governors of Kano State. And not only using unsubstantiated evidence but waging online media attacks in October 2006 and October 2018 respectively to sitting governors going for 2nd term elections and at a time when Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso lost his tickets to run. The reader can draw his/her analogy.
Coming back to this month of October 2018, 12 years after Shekarau survived his attacks, it is now the time for Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to taste the bitter pills of Ja’afar Ja’afar’s vituperation and at a time when Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso lost his presidential bid in the same PDP that he lost to contest in 2006 as a gubernatorial candidate. This is the journey and the ‘pattern’ and the reader can draw his/her analogy again.
Today we have far wider reached online media platforms than the Gamji website of 2006, my friend Ja’afar Ja’afar used video clips which were according to him giving by another source. The Video clips are yet to be substantiated and authenticated by any competent court of law or any security agency of our land with the constitutional mandate to do so but yet my friend is already calling for impeachment and inciting the public and Kano state citizens to take action just by mere watching video clips. Where is our altruistic decency? Where is our research and journalistic ethics? Where is the balancing of reports? Where is our teaching in Islam when we are confronted with such issue? They have all being thrown to the dustbin. The singing now is “Ganduje must go or resign or impeach or not elected”
Is Ja’afar Ja’afar’s actions aimed at exposing alleged corruption or ensuring “Ganduje’ does not get 2nd term. If it is about exposing alleged corruption, he has already done so, according to one of his writings, he has submitted the clips to President Muhammadu Buhari and 2 security agencies that are now assessing the clips to derive at a conclusion. Having done that, he has fulfilled his patriotic and altruistic mandate and what we all need to do is to wait for the result. To release the 1st clip, then the 2nd clip and now being encouraged and clapped to release the 3rd and the rest of the clips is no longer a patriotic and altruistic action but falling in to a trap of a political chase game and battle of survival for the soul of the Kano State Executive Governor Seat in February 2019 election.
The clips are not only embarrassing a sitting governor but rubbishing the exalted seat, pushing the state to its knees and the entire people of Kano who are the biggest victims of all these shenanigans. The state is thrown in to unnecessary tension and have put investors either for business or development work in a panic mode and worries. Without peace and enabling environment, the state health and educational sectors cannot operate properly which will further throw the state into a vicious cycle of poverty, ignorance, diseases and squalor.
It is important to ask ourselves, who is the biggest beneficiary in all these? And who is the biggest loser? I will leave that to the reader to decide. I have already informed the secretary of the Kano State House Committee saddled to hold the public investigatory hearing on Thursday 25th October 2018 of my readiness to attend and make presentation in order to establish the “pattern” mentioned above under a sworn signed affidavit and by taken oath.
Ja’afar Ja’afar my friend and a brother, I heard him in “Kowane Gauta” in Radio Freedom on Thursday 18th October 2018 that he will attend the public hearing. That’s settle it then, let us all meet there and face the very Kano State Public that we are all passionate to ensure their socio-economic development with our facts, documents and evidences. That’s also include the civil society leaders abetting him and fuelling the crises who many of them cannot survive public scrutiny and review on their organizational financial recklessness and impunity.
The reader can view the full article “How Shekarau Operates His Foreign Bank Accounts” (http://www.gamji.com/article6000/NEWS6778.htm)
Dr Aminu Magashi Garba is a Public Health Commentator, Daily Trust Newspaper Health Columnist for over 16 years and a publisher of an online newspaper ‘Health Reporters (www.healthreporters.info)’ and in his voluntary capacity is the Chairman Governing Board of Kano State Ultra-modern Specialists Hospitals.