OPINION 2019: Governor Ganduje may not win except…



  • By Aliyu Mudi Sulaiman

The Kano State Government headed by Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in the last two years has witnessed a mixed reaction from the people on the performance of the governor as regards to capital projects and delivery.

While some are of the view that the governor is trying; others are not satisfied with his performance especially those from the Kwankwasiyya Movement. They look at Ganduje as someone who betrayed his former boss.

According to many of the supporters of the former governor now Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Ganduje has failed to build on the ideals, principles and legacies of the Kwankwasiyya Movement on which he was elected.

But the Gandujiyya supporters see the effort of the former governor to impose his ideals on their leader as unacceptable, and likened to one “eating his cake and having it”. They consider this an abomination.

While Governor Ganduje has been saying his relationship with his former boss was cordial, at the same time contradicting himself by some of his public statements and casting aspersions on his former boss leadership style.

However, one would ask; what could be the reason of the tussle between them? Some are of the view that it started right from the time Ganduje was imposed on Kwankwaso by the local government chairmen.

Initially, Ganduje was not the preferred candidate of the former Governor; rather, his commissioner of Finance, and his in-law, Dr. Mansur Kabir.

Secondly, the current governor was angry with the former governor over the huge debts and uncompleted projects left behind by Kwankwaso which has made governance very difficult for him, coupled with the recession in the country necessitated by the fall in price of crude oil in the international market and the looting of the national treasury by past public officials.

Thirdly is the issue of Senator Kwankwaso whom it was alleged mobilized thugs to condole Governor Ganduje over the death of his mother. The incident ended up with abuse. Both the governor and his supporters felt bad about the alleged action of Senator Kwankwaso and his supporters.

Another reason which triggered the impasse was the removal of Kwankwaso’s loyalists from the cabinet of the Governor Ganduje, such as the former Secretary to the State Government, Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi; the former Party Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Doguwa; and some Commissioners and heads of parastatals.

Also, the issue of deleting the name Kwankwasiyya on some public buildings and the attitude of Kwankwaso’s supporters towards that particular development and several other issues has fueled the crisis.

On the issue of developmental projects, some political analysts say Ganduje is not doing badly as he has been trying to complete the abandoned projects initiated by former Governor Kwankwaso’s administration.

The Governor has succeeded in completing some projects and most are ongoing especially the Murtala Muhammed flyover and the five kilometer roads project in the 44 local government areas of the state.

Another landmark achievement of the governor is the completion of two hospitals initiated by another former governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, which were abandoned for about ten years. These hospitals are strategically important to Kano people especially with the growing population.

On the other hand, some political analysts are of the view that Governor Ganduje shouldn’t have initiated any project especially in his first tenure looking at the number of uncompleted projects he inherited from the Kwankwaso administration, more so since both are members of the same political party.

In two years, Governor Ganduje has initiated and executed some projects such as the Panshera underpass and many road projects in the state. This means that like his predecessor, he is likely to abandon some projects as well.

But if he had concentrated on the abandoned projects left by Kwankwaso, he would have used that to campaign for the second term and then initiated his own projects in the second tenure which would be more beneficial to the state.

Despite these achievements, Governor Ganduje is facing serious opposition from within his party, the All Progress Congress (APC), especially the Kwankwasiyya faction that is bent on spoiling his re-election in 2019. Although, they are not in key executive positions, they control the political structure of the state.

The Kwankwasiyya Group represents five delegates from each of the 44 local governments of the state who are to choose the flag bearer of the party in the 2019 election. And the 44 local government chairmen appointed by Kwankwaso whose tenure is ending in May are also part of the delegates.

So, if Ganduje failed to dismantle the political structure of Kwankwaso and replace it with his own or reconcile with his former boss before the 2019 general election his chance of winning the second tenure is very slim.

In alliance with the Shekariyya faction, the Kwankwasiyya Group may give Gandujiyya Halacci serious fight if political interests are not been reconciled before the 2019 governorship election in Kano state. MA