By Adeleke Oyetola
On Saturday, March 3, history was made in Nigeria when Alhaji Idris Abiola Ajimobi, son of Oyo state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi tied the nuptial nut with Fatimah Ganduje, daughter of Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. The marriage was contracted in accordance with Islamic injunctions.
The well-attended marriage ceremony held at Kano Central Mosque was formalized by the revered Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi 11, before top Islamic scholars and clerics, traditional rulers and elder statesmen, from across Nigeria, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari was not only in attendance, but also stood for Idris, while the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and foremost Yoruba leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stood for Fatimah. Politicians of high repute, including governors and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also witnessed what the Nigerian media has dubbed “marriage of national unity.”
To discernable Nigerians, the marriage between Fatimah, a Hausa-Fulani and Idris, a core Yoruba man, is a good omen and a welcome development that will further cement national unity, socio-political cohesion and peaceful co-existence, in a country like Nigeria where ethnicity and cultural integration have become mistrustful.
Sad enough, on that same Saturday, as reported by an online news portal, Daily Nigeria, the immediate-past Governor of Kano state and a presidential hopeful, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who ordinarily should have been hosting dignitaries at the marriage ceremony elected to use a forum in Kaduna to “mock” the couple and bring the dignity of the Yoruba race and, indeed, the principles of national unity and one Nigeria to gross disrepute.
It is, indeed, unbelievable that Kwankwaso, a two-time Governor, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a presidential hopeful could display such level of ethnic juvenism to have described the marriage between Fatimah (her own daughter!) and Idris as a union of “non-virtuous people,” apparently because Idris is a Yoruba man—just as it is portrayed in statements credited to Senator Kwankwaso in the Daily Nigeria story of March 5 titled “Kwankwaso reacts to Ganduje daughter’s wedding, mocks couple as “zawarawa.”
Senator Kwankwaso, in his bid to deride Senator Ajimobi and, in fact, everybody interested in that symbolic and historic union of two innocent young Nigerians, also described dignitaries who attended the wedding Fatiha, including President Buhari and Senate President, Bukola Saraki as people who are “less busy!”
As a patriotic and responsible Nigerian, I have regard for Senator Kwankwaso, but I can not figure out why a leader like him with rising political credentials could share such unpatriotic sentiments with his supporters who he was addressing in preparation to his presidential ambition in 2019!
It is important to remind Senator Kwankwaso that Nigeria is a multi-ethnic country; and who ever aspires to rule Nigeria must hold the conscience of national unity very sacrosanct. It is unpatriotic of Senator Kwankwaso to play politics with a marriage ceremony which has been widely celebrated, even outside the shores of Nigeria. If Senator Kwankwaso does not like the Yoruba race, he should have better ways of expressing his feelings, rather than condemning two promising young Nigerians who have decided to stay together as husband and wife, forever, irrespective of ethnic background, which hitherto, has been a barrier to many marriages of this nature, which failed because of the sentiments and views of uninformed minds.
To say the fact, for the Yorubas, Senator Kwankwaso will surely have a price to pay for this. In as much as he has every right to aspire to become the president of Nigeria, I will kindly advise him not to bother wasting his time and resources to campaign in Yoruba land or any South-West state, because the Yorubas have seen how much he hate us; we have seen how much he can deride us; and we have seen how much he can rate our own as “non-virtuous.” Indeed, we have received the dividends of the Kwankwasiyya ideology; and we know how to throwback at it.
Oyetola wrote in from Abeokuta, Ogun state