The Federal Government has denied the claim by the Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso that President Goodluck Jonathan is plotting to kill him.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku and his Police Affairs counterpart, AbdulJelili Adesiyan, in separate statements on Friday, described the governor as being “desperate and paranoid.”
Mr. Kwankwaso had earlier alleged that the president was after his life. He accused the president of instigating the crisis that trailed the emergence of a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, as the Emir of Kano last Sunday.
Mr. Maku, in the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Joseph Mutah, said rather than castigating Mr. Jonathan, the governor should tell the people of Kano his role and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Mr. Sanusi’s emergence as the emir.
He said the governor was engaging in a campaign of calumny against the president and the Federal Government even though the appointment of traditional rulers was done by state governments.
“It is a known fact that the appointment of traditional rulers is within the purview of state governments and it is surprising why Kwankwaso has chosen to drag the name of the President into the succession crisis rocking the Kano Emirate,” Mr. Maku stated.
“Instead of throwing tantrums and casting aspersions on imaginary enemies, Kwankwaso should face the people of Kano and explain to them the role he and APC leaders played in the imbroglio.
“The Police in Kano have offered explanations why officers and men were deployed to guard the palace of the emir, yet Governor Kwankwaso decided to further his unbridled campaign of blackmail against the President and the Federal Government.”
The minister said Mr. Kwankwaso’s recent outbursts had lent credence to observations in some quarters that he (governor) was now afraid of his own shadow “as the people of Kano become increasingly impatient with his years of one-man rule under which he imposes his will on the state in total disregard to the wishes of the people.”
He recounted, “After the recent denial of freedom of choice for the people of Kano by imposing local government chairmen and councillors on them, he then took on the late Kano monarch shortly before his demise.
“Governor Kwankwaso, as is well known to the public, then went on a highly politicised selection process, turning the ascension to the throne of Kano into a partisan political enterprise during which prominent All Progressives Congress leaders and some governors moved to Kano reportedly to influence the outcome.
“The result is the outpouring of anger and protests in the ancient city of Kano with the unfortunate breakdown of law and order.
“Governor Kwankwaso is therefore singularly responsible for the violence in his state. The selection of successors to other traditional institutions in other parts of the North in recent years has not witnessed the kind of public anger and protests and violence that greeted the exercise conducted by Kwankwaso at the Government House in Kano.”
Maku explained that the police authorities, in the light of the violent opposition to the highly political selection process for the new Emir of Kano only helped to restore law and order and to protect the historic palace of the throne of Kano from being razed or destroyed by aggrieved people of Kano.
“To turn round to blame President Jonathan or the Federal Government for the crisis is the height of delusion and irresponsibility on the part of Kwankwaso,” the minister said.
“He is the architect of the crisis and violence and if he has a conscience, he should examine his role in this unfortunate and needless crisis into which he has plunged the ancient city of Kano and its respected traditional institution in recent weeks.
“The latest claim by Kwankwaso is wild and outlandish and does not fit into the character of President Jonathan or the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Federal Government urged the people of Kano to remain peaceful and law-abiding, as well as shun violence “in spite of the highhandedness of Governor Kwankwaso and his associates.”