•Abdullahi Ganduje, APC National Chairman.
The fructiferous in Ganduje’s ‘Likimo’ politics
By Andrew Agbese
There’s this clip, recently in circulation of former governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, receiving defectors from Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s guy NNPP, to his party, the APC, showing Ganduje happily recieving the red Kwankwasiya cap from erstwhile NNPP members to signify a literal severance from the party that once threatened to send Ganduje to early retirement in politics.
The ‘decapitation’ ceremony took place after the tribunal ruling sacking Abba Gida Gida as governor of the state and the rebound of Ganduje to national politics.
Tucked at the corner of his mouth, as the APC national chairman was gleefully performing the rites, was the usual mischievous smile on his face accentuated by the trademark snarling of his lips to rub it in.
Prior to the sacking of Gida Gida by the tribunal, Ganduje and his former boss, Kwankwaso, had betrayed their emotions when they publicly expressed contempt for each other with Ganduje swearing that he could have slapped the latter while Kwankwaso riposted that Ganduje does not even have the temerity to look him in the eyes.
With the dismissal of the appeal by Gida Gida yesterday, Ganduje has put a lie to the claim by his former boss that he cannot look him in the eye because the judgment at the appeal court is worse than a slap in the face of Kwankwaso.
The past three months has see Ganduje’s political profile rise with his success in the replacement of Maryam Shetty as minister with his candidate; his election as APC national chairman after the sacking of Abdullahi Adamu and now the affirmation by the appeal court of the ruling on Gida Gida by Kano state election petition tribunal.
Hence, one can say without fear of contradiction, that Ganduje has in recent times earned more laurels in politics than his former boss whose political fortunes unfortunately seem to be dimming.
Many things seemed to have worked in favour of Ganduje but his meek disposition could be said to be a major one.
Unlike Kwankwaso, Ganduje is hardly the puffy type. He has this avuncular disposition that makes him appear innocuous and unsophisticated but which he uses to disarm his opponents.
Perhaps Kwankwaso is a student of literature, who took the advice
of Julius Caesar seriously. The late Roman ruler was quoted to have said he would rather have men around him that are fat, sleek-headed and such as sleep at nights rather than those that wear mean and hungry look, like Cassius.
Ganduje is the complete opposite of Cassius whom Caesar described as reading too much; a great observer; loves no plays, hears no music and seldom smiles.
Ganduje, though wears a smile and cheery look has proven that he has enough granite in him to crush every rock that stands in his way.
Kwankwaso once bragged that he is an equivalent of a professor in politics but Ganduje is showing him, like students in karate schools are often taught, that a student is actually the master of his teacher because whereas the teacher may expose all his styles to the student, the student is not obliged to share his independently acquired skills with the teacher.
Ganduje has a quality that he obviously did not inherit from Kwankwaso which he uses as his joker, which, for want of a better name, I will call the Likimo strategy.
Likimo is Hausa for what we used to describe in our secondary school days as ‘playing possum.’
By way of definition, this is a strategy where a fighter pretends to be asleep when his opponent is kicking, bragging and performing all kinds of acrobatic displays to scare.
Hence, a Likimo strategist would rather pretend to be lifeless until the opponent assumes he is dead and comes near before he delivers the uppercut.
To be sure, Ganduje never called his style of politics Likimo, he only used it as a defence when he was accused of constantly dozing off at public functions where he offered that though his posture may look like that of a man sleeping, but he was actually pretending to be doing so while being wide awake and keeping an eye on going-ons around him.
The underlying theme of the strategy it is that in politics it is better to be underestimated than to be assumed strong.
If that is is the reason Ganduje usually employs the Likimo strategy in his politics,then he has succeed because he has completely disarmed his opponents while pretending to be asleep and striking fatal blows at them when they least expect.
Gida Gida, who has the option of two options to pick from also did not help matters as, rather than imbibe the Likimo strategy, chose to take after his boss, Kwankwaso’s, style of politics where the approach favours open displays of brawn and muscles before a fight.
The demolition he did in Kano when he became governor were too early and unnecessary, worse still, his body language which was wrongly or rightful interpreted as aimed at returning the former emir to his throne are what can be described as ‘unforced errors.’
The Likimo strategy appears more fruitful for now.