By Yusuf Idris Gusau
The ancient city of Kano held it’s breath during the visit of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu on Saturday.
Various notable media outfits had described the crowd that turned up to receive the standard bearer as unprecedented and overwhelming.
The crowd which stretched from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), through the city center, were dazzled by various artists and traditional dancers on ground.
The massive turn out for Tinubu in Kano despite the fact that a leading politician in the state and founder of the Kwankwasiyya movement, Rabiu Musa Kwankwasiyya was also contesting for the presidency in 2023, shocked analysts and observers.
But to ardent observers of the politics of the Northwest, the turnout was a mere tip of the iceberg because the zonal moblisation for the Tinubu presidential campaign led by no other person but the mobliser-in-chief himself, the amiable Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mohammed Matawalle is just rehearsing and testing the microphone.
By the time the real deal commences and the campaign train returns for the main visits, the ancient city will shake to its very marrow.
The Matawalle-led zonal campaign coordination is already a movement, mega one, that would drive the victory for the APC and its presidential candidate.
As Nigeria advances in the political arena both administratively and by the political actors who are fast adjusting into the new changes being introduced at this time of our national life under the transparent leadership of the All Progressives Congress APC as piloted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Matawalle has been able to fully and peacefully mobilize more and more support to the party in the most populous zone of the country which governed by APC governors except Sokoto, which at the moment is warming up to be taken over by the APC following the Matawalle magic wand supported by his ever loyal lieutenants comprising state party executives and stakeholders.
The Tinubu campaign train is moving with such strength and power that cannot be ignored by even opposition parties as many of their supporters and well wishers trooped out at the Kano October 23, visit to the state to pay their respect that could likely alter their choice of party to support in the 2023 general elections to the APC instead of their current party of belonging.
It is in order to give the deserving respect to all strata of people that the presidential candidate insisted along with members of the campaign train to deviate from the tradition of seeing only key personalities and expand to all Nigerians by meeting with small and big time market traders, youth,women groups and associations, traditional rulers, christian and Muslim groups, Civil servants etc separately to take their contributions on the best ways to move Nigeria forward in their individual and collective perspectives before finally meeting the mammoth crowd that awaited him.
The visit also afforded the presidential candidate to open his various campaign offices at many levels an indication that he will surely be the people’s president.
These are some of the many interesting innovations and initiatives Matawalle is injecting into politics starting from his zone which is also giving people confidence and feeling of belonging that one is expected to join the winning team without coaxing or being intimidated but by choice and believe that better days are ahead under this transparent movement, under Matawalle’s coordination, the North West is already striving and thriving for the APC.
In its recent small outing, when it paved the way for Tinubu’s visit to Kaduna State penultimate week, the town lost its sleep because of the organisational ability of the zonal coordinator with the support of his other colleagues in the northwest.
In selecting the arrow head for the Tinubu presidential campaign for the zone, the party, presidency and the candidate zeroed in on Matawalle.
His choice to lead the crusade was deliberate for many reasons. Among his colleagues in the northwest, Matawalle is no doubt the youngest. In prosecuting its campaign in the zone, the leadership must have realised that the party needs someone with the vigour, abrasiveness and dexterity of youth to lead the crusade in the zone.
The leadership also, no doubt, saw Matawalle as a rallying figure, who enjoys the immense goodwill of his other colleagues from the zone, and could easily bank on their support to properly prosecute the campaign in favour of their party and its presidential candidate.
In the Saturday Kano outing, his other colleagues were on ground and provided the much needed support for the success of the visit.
Another reason why Matawalle was picked to lead the movement may also be due his organisational and mobilisational ability which had come handy in other party activities in the past.
There’s no doubt that the leadership has made a good choice in its move to consolidate its hold on the northwest ahead of the forthcoming elections.
The zone no doubt, is the APC’s strongest base, which has given it the highest number of votes since 2015, especially at the presidential level.
And with the high level sensitisation and education among its populace and electorate on electoral matters, the zone will continue to be the beautiful bride sought after by every presidential candidate in the country.
The Kano votes alone, which are second only to those of Lagos, send shivers down the spine of many, each election year.
In 2015, Kano boasted of 5.4 million voters, which reduced slightly to about 4.9 million in 2019.
But the recent estimate of registered voters in the country has shown that Kano has scaled up in the number of its registered voters with a whopping 6.02 million.
This is the figure along with others from Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states that Matawalle will moblise for the APC and Tinubu in the next election.
There’s no doubt that APC will continue to hold the ace especially as the 2023 presidential election is concerned with Matawalle as the point man.
Already APC is the ruling party in all the states with the zone except Sokoto. But with Matawalle, the table will turn in favour of APC in Sokoto also.
Idris is the APC Publicity Secretary of Zamfara State