By Mukhtar Sani Yusuf
I heard Senator-elect Honourable Kawu Sumaila describing himself and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as Sabo Bakin Zuwo and Aminu Kano of our time in an interview he granted to local radio stations in Kano a few days after he was declared the winner of the just concluded election on Kano South Senatorial district under the platform of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP). Perhaps, Kawu Sumaila’s analogy has to do with the relationship that existed between Malam Aminu Kano and Aliyu Sabo Bakin Zuwo, the relationship between a leader and his disciple and those who fought and championed the course of emancipation of the poor people and the downtrodden. Kwankwaso and Kawu are now under the same umbrella, as a political leader and his loyalist following the same path of fighting for the common man’s rights.
Although Malam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Sabo Bakin Zuwo are household names in the political history of Nigeria and Kano state in particular, Kawu Sumaila’s recent statement aroused my attention as passionate of political history to take a deep dive into the political history of the two ace politicians of the blessed memory. And in this piece of writing, I laid my emphasis on where Bakin Zuwo and Kawu Sumaila shared some similarities and differences.
According to Wikipedia, “Sabo Bakin Zuwo had no background in formal education, he missed the opportunity to get formal education at an early age but was said to enrol himself at the age of sixteen at Shahuci primary school adult literacy class in 1950-1954, Igbo community school Sabon Gari and a course on local government administration in ABU Zaria. He also attended Malam Aminu Kano political school in Sudawa, Kano. An outspoken politician, Zuwo was said to have used radio more effectively than any other politician in Northern Nigeria. He was elected to the Senate in 1979 and sponsored more bills than any other senator at the time.”
Unlike Bakin Zuwo, Kawu Sumaila acquired formal education at an early age. He attended Sumaila Gabas Primary School, Sumaila, and Government Secondary Sumaila, where he earned his First School Leaving Certificate and Secondary School Leaving Certificate in the years 1976 & 1988, respectively. He proceeded to Bayero University Kano and acquired a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma in Educational Management before he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 and spent 12 years representing Sumaila/Takai Federal constituency. Like Bakin Zuwo, Kawu utilises radio oftentimes to enlighten the local populace. An outspoken lawmaker, Kawu sponsored many important bills that reshaped the status of Nigerians during his days in the House of REPs.
In the 1983 gubernatorial election in Kano, Bakin Zuwo contested the election under the platform of PRP and defeated former governor Alhaji Abubakar Rimi. Even though he had the shortest reign as a governor of Kano state from October to December of 1983, he is remembered for his act of closing down the popular palace cinema in Kano, which was considered the haven of immorality at the time after listening to the yearnings of people.
Like Bakin Zuwo, Kawu also contested the seat of Kano state governor in 2015 after he finished three tenures in the House of Representatives. He later withdrew the contest on the day of the APC primary election to support the candidacy of the current governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. He was appointed SSA to the president on National Assembly matters shortly after president Buhari emerged as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2015.
In what appears similar to the act of Alhaji Sabo Bakin Zuwo in 2016, there was a public outcry in Kano on the federal government’s proposed film village to be cited in the state after listening to the peoples’ call who vehemently rejected the project, Kawu singlehandedly took the bull by the horns to approach the president on the matter. This single act led the federal government to rescind its position about the project.
One thing I learned about Alhaji Sabo Bakin Zuwo and Senator-elect Kawu Sumaila, which they shared in common, is vociferousness in voicing out their stance, especially when fighting for the interest of their people.
Hon. Kawu Sumaila is now elected Senator who will represent the people of Kano South in the Red Chamber, and before he was elected, he reached the pinnacle of formal education as he bagged PhD in political science.
Mukhtar Sani Yusuf wrote from Kano and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a Reply