Fresh political feud erupts between Kwankwaso and Ganduje


Nasiru Yusuf

A fresh political feud was erupted between governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his former boss Rabiu Kwankwaso.

ALL IN ONE reports that the new crisis started on Sunday when Kwankwaso said Ganduje lost his reelection bid in 2019 but powerful forces imposed him on the state.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Kwankwaso described the alleged imposition on Kano residents as the “worst crime in a democracy”.

The former governor said many have realised their mistake and are ready for real change in the state in 2023.

“This country is fully aware that Ganduje lost the election in 2019 in Kano, but the powers that be ensured that they imposed him on the majority,” he said.

“They imposed the will of the minority on the majority which is the worst crime in a democracy. I think everybody is paying the price now. I think some of them are trying to correct their mistakes now after the maximum damage made to the state. It is very unfortunate that many people could not see what the masses were seeing.

“There were reasons he would not have been allowed to contest in 2019, but the powers that be at the time insisted that he should continue. The masses decided to do what the leaders couldn’t do. They still came out to use power at that time and those of us who believe in peace didn’t want to start a crisis in Kano.”

The former minister said there are many young people joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 polls.

“Instead of us being weak, they are the ones getting weaker. Every day, we have people, the masses crossing to our side. Many of them who were below 18 years of age during the last elections, but are now of age, are coming to register with us,” he said.

Kwankwaso said direct primary mode is more democratic but governors do not want it because their power will be curtailed.

“After practicing the indirect primary, I can easily compare and say the direct one is more democratic and better than the indirect,” he said.

“One thing that I believe is that the governors and other powerful people will never want to approve a direct primary because the power will get out of the government houses and land in the hands of the voters and members of the party.

“So, they will never want it.”

In a swift reaction, the Kano State government has dismissed a claim by the former governor that Ganduje did not win the 2019 gubernatorial election but imposed on the people by powerful forces.

The Commissioner for Information, Kano State, Muhammad Garba, in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Ganduje won election not imposed, KNSG dares Kwankwaso,’ refuted the claim, saying that Kwankwaso managed “a well-organised election rigging network, particularly in the metropolitan local governments, where youth, mostly without even voters’ card were engaged to perpetrate the act.”

According to Garba, “It was vividly clear that barely hours into the voting, most of the ballot boxes were said to have been stuffed, only for the Independent National Electoral Commission to discover that either card readers were not used or the voters are not captured in its data and therefore had to cancel the results from many centres and declared the election inconclusive.”

He noted that it was unfortunate that as a leader who was severally involved in the election process, Kwankwaso is still contesting the result of an election conducted by a statutory body and upheld by courts of law.

The commissioner said, recently, Kwankwaso was in the media cautioning his followers against unguarded utterances but ended up making incendiary rhetoric unbecoming a person of his calibre.

He said the interview Kwankwaso granted Sunday PUNCH in which he “attempted to rubbish the Ganduje administration” has done him more harm than good which completely negates the spirit of genuine peace and reconciliation he preached to his followers in the last few days to avoid derailing.

Garba stated that Kwankwaso should have thanked Ganduje for completing many of the projects he abandoned, saying that the people of Kano are paying the price for the unparalleled policy of continuity that saw the completion of many projects in the last six years in the state.

He enumerated the projects to include “Aminu Dantata Flyover, Yahaya Gusau Road and Prince Audu Underpass, Five-kilometre roads in Dawakin Tofa, Ungogo, Warawa, Rano and Tofa local governments; Mahmoud Salga Road, Jaba-Rimin Kebe Road, Independent Power Project at Tiga and Challawa Dams, among many others.”

On education, which was the centrepiece of the Kwankwaso administration, the commissioner noted that as far as education is concerned, the Ganduje administration has done more, including payment of burden of over N15bn backlog scholarships to needy students overseas left by the Kwankwaso administration.

He said that N3.5bn had been paid for students in Sudan; N4.5bn for Cyprus; N384m for those in France, while it is paying students in Egypt and India.

Garba said, in addition to implementing the Free and Compulsory Basic and Secondary Education, the Ganduje administration has carried out massive infrastructure development in all its tertiary institutions and accreditation of many courses they offer.

He, therefore, assured Nigerians that despite the agitation for reconciliation that is ongoing among party leaders, the Ganduje administration would accordingly react to any attempt to downplay “the achievements it has recorded and will not be distracted from carrying on with the responsibility for which it was elected into office.”

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