Re-Examing Kwankwaso-Ganduje Feud Towards 2019
By Comfort Woye Yakubu
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, to say that the frosty
relationship between the political camps of the former Governor of
Kano State now Senator, representing Kano Central Senatorial district
in the Senate, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and the Governor of the
State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje may soon get to open confrontation for
political space in the state is like belaboring the point happenings
in the state .
The latest of such happenings was the one that occurred when Senator
Kwankwanso apparently at the instruction of Governor Ganduje was
prevented from visiting the state by the Police on a somewhat flimsy
excuse that the Governor and other APC chieftains in the state were
carrying out political rallies ahead of the state’s local government
Addressing newsmen in Kano, the State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu
Yusuf, cautioned Kwankwaso that he could face the wrath of the law if
violence erupts during his visit and this act further escalated the
It would be recalled that the ugly development was raised on the floor
of the Senate for debate recently through a point of order raised by
Senator Hamman Isa Misau ( APC Bauchi Central), who urged the Senate
to condemn in its entirety, the action of Ganduje led Kano state
government against Kwankwaso.
Though the two other senators from Kano state I.e, Kabiru Gaya ( APC
Kano Central) and Jibrin Barau ( APC Kano North) tried to dissuade the
senate from condemning the action but the very matured submission made
by Kwankwaso himself that as a leader, he would not want to say
anything on the matter, made the senate to eventually condemned the
unfair treatment meted to him and his supporters and even went ahead
to order the Inspector General of Police to provide required security
for Kwankwaso any other time he wants to visit Kano.
” The Senate President , Bukola Saraki in his remarks said : ” What
was done to Senator Kwankwanso few days back either by the Kano state
government or the State Police Command from visiting his constituents
is unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy .
” The Senate Committee on Police Affairs should as a matter of urgency
summon the Inspector General of Police and impress it on him that all
political players in the state and by extension, in the polity
generally, should be protected against undue harassment from anybody
to avoid resort to self-help through full scale thuggery which will
not be in the interest of anybody “.
It is instructive at this juncture, to trace the genesis of the crisis
between Kwankwaso and Ganduje but before that, it is relevant to
remind us that the relationship between the duo started as that of a
benefactor and a political son with Kwankwaso being the benefactor and
Ganduje the political son .
Both Men worked together politically for over two decades, precisely
when Kwankwaso was governor of Kano state between 1999 and 2003,
Ganduje was his deputy. Even when Kwankwaso couldn’t make it straight
away for a second term as governor of the state in 2003 general
elections and was appointed Minister of Defense by the then
President, Olusegun Obasanjo he took Ganduje along as his special
adviser political matters and to cap it all, when he got elected as
governor of Kano state in 2011, he made Ganduje his deputy again and
above all, when leaving office in 2015, he ensured that Ganduje
succeeded him as Governor.
But barely five months after the 2015 general elections, things began
to fall apart, and their relationship turned sour, making people to
start accusing Ganduje of betraying his ‘god father’, and biting the
fingers that fed him particularly the kwankwasiyya movement, a
pressure group established by kwankwaso.
In the words of Alhaji Sharu Garba Gwammaja, chairman of Hannun Karba,
a sub-group within the Kwankwasiyya movement ,Governor Ganduje
deviated from the ideology of Kwanwasiyya and should stop wearing
their red cap symbol.
On the other side of the divide, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, speaking to
news men , gave reasons for the cold ‘war’ with his predecessor, Rabiu
Musa Kwankwaso alleging that the immediate past governor of the state
left N300 billion liabilities before he vacated office in May 2015 the
debt the current governor said affected him in the area of carrying
He added that another reason the former governor was at war with him
was because he removed the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress,
APC, in the state, Doguwa, for anti-party activity and the national
headquarters accepted our position that it has followed due process,
but Kwankwaso was adamant, insisting on Doguwa while the chairman
recognized by the APC was Abbas.”
Though efforts are being made within the APC family in Kano and
Nigeria generally, to broker peace between the duo so as not to affect
the party’s performance in the general election that is just about a
year to come but pundits in the polity are doubting success of such
According to them, the fight is all about power, while Kwankwanso is
aiming for the Presidency in the general election, Ganduje is
blackmailing him with such an ambition by showing his support for
President Buhari second term every minute of the day, a position he
believes, would easily earn him second term in office as governor
without Kwankwaso’ s support .
Little wonder that the governor was among the seven governors led by
Governor El Rufai of Kaduna state who endorsed Buhari for second term
last month in the heat of the Benue Killings.
Whatever dimension the cold war assumes as elections approach, what
can surely not be taken from Kwankwaso is his grassroots appeal in the
state and beyond.
He is known to be a political gladiator with so much supporters. It is
because of the followership he commands that the APC was able to get
the huge votes it got during the last presidential elections in the
It is on record that when Senator Rabiu kwankwaso was Governor, he
left an indelible mark behind in Kano state, because of the massive
infrastructural development he embarked on and the manner with which
he handled welfare of the people. This earned him the followership
of many, making him a trailblazer as far as kano politics is
Even the current Governor attested to this fact, so much so that
during the 50th anniversary of the state last year, Governor Ganduje,
despite differences could not but admit that kwankwaso left an
indelible mark in kano, in his words, Kwankwaso was the second best
governor after Rimi because in his first coming he introduced various
projects and linkage road networks.
He described Kwankwaso as being dogged in his beliefs and always stood
his ground on issues of strong conviction. He has no doubt, paid his
dues in Nigeria politics going by his impressive and impactful
participation over the years.
In 1992, he was elected member of house of representatives
representing Madobi Federal Constituency and in 1995, he was one of
the delegates from kano state that attended the constitutional
Comfort Woye Yakubu
Prince and Princess Estate