• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Kano state faces economic disruption as APC, NNPP plan rallies

Crowd for hire: 2023 campaign rallies as a metaphor

Kano State’s economy is poised for disruption as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) both plan to hold rallies on the same day.

The APC’s “Good Governance Rally” and the NNPP’s protest are scheduled for Saturday, raising concerns about potential clashes and economic fallout.

The APC’s Director General/Garo Campaign Organisation, Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, expressed concerns about the NNPP’s planned protest, alleging that the party intends to target key APC figures.

He urged the Kano State Police Command and other security agencies to take proactive measures to prevent violence and protect lives and property.

Bichi highlighted the potential economic consequences of the concurrent rallies, pointing out Kano’s status as a commercial hub that hosts conferences, seminars, and attracts foreign direct investments. He attributed the recent decline in such activities to the “confusing judgment of the Court of Appeal” in the Kano governorship election case.

Despite the concerns, Bichi assured that the APC’s rally will remain peaceful and that the party is committed to restoring confidence among its supporters and the people of Kano. However, the prospect of two major rallies taking place on the same day raises the risk of clashes and disruption to the state’s economy.
He called the Kano state Police command and other security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities and take appreciative measures to avoid loss of life and property.

“We are law-abiding citizens and will not do anything to disturb peace, but we will not hesitate to protect our lives and belongings.”

“Since the conduct of the 2023 governorship election and the declaration of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) as the winner, the ruling APC as peace peace-loving party, remained calm and shunned any form of violence.

“However, the people of Kano have been living in perpetual fear of intimidation and threat to life and property, since the assumption of office, starting with the orgy of violence by elements of the NNPP, targeted at the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Apart from public property, the state headquarters of our party and properties of some leading figures of the APC were torched, all in the name of celebration.

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“Things appear to be getting worse since the embattled leader of the NNPP Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso came back to Kano on Sunday, where he held a meeting of the party’s stakeholders, at the end of which they come up with line up of activities that included unleashing of violence to not only eliminate the APC in Kano but also to make it ungovernable in the event of Supreme Court judgement in favour of the APC.

“Kano remained peaceful throughout the eight-year administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as evidenced in the increased number of governmental, non-governmental Organisations and corporate bodies rushing to Kano to hold their conferences, seminars, symposia and Annual General Meetings and importantly inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

“After filing its case at the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that sat in Kano, the APC patiently pursued it for months up to the pronouncement of the stage where the three-man panel of judges fixed the date for the judgement.

“However, sensing defeat, the NNPP resorted to threatening to kill the judges of the tribunal should the verdict of the court eventually be announced and not in their favour. The threats by the NNPP government’s cabinet members included among others, the Secretary to the Kano State Government, Baffa Bichi, forced the tribunal to deliver its judgement via Zoom for fear of their lives.

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“The NNPP government then resorted to sponsored street protests, including embarrassingly the one held in London on which millions of naira were said to have been spent. The aim of the protests to further instil fear in the mind of the people failed, as only a few attended.

“The government of Kano state also set aside millions of naira for propaganda in the media and spreading all sorts of lies and to also blackmail and harassing officials of the former administration.

“They also sustained their attack on the judiciary and cast aspersions on the integrity of the judges” he said.

The economic impact of the rallies could be compounded by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Kano governorship election. The APC has challenged the NNPP’s victory in the election, and the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict soon. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the APC, it could further destabilize the political landscape and exacerbate economic uncertainty.

The simultaneous rallies underscore the deep political divisions in Kano State and the potential for unrest. While both parties have pledged to maintain peace, the heightened tensions pose a significant challenge to maintaining public order and ensuring economic stability in the state.