A chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Kano State, Abdulmumin Jibrin said his party taught Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC) “a political lesson of his life” in the just-concluded 2023 general elections.
Jibrin, who is also a member-elect to represent Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency in the 10th National Assembly, said he left the APC in the buildup to the elections because the governor “pushed” him and others away from the ruling party.
“We have always had been that affinity and that long-time relationship with the national leader of the NNPP (Rabiu Kwankwaso) who actually headhunted me into politics,” Jibrin said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday.
“On the other hand, we weren’t wanted in the APC, the governor doesn’t want a lot of us in the APC. So, he practically ensured that he pushed us away. Of course, we went back, got ourselves together and taught him a political lesson of his life.”
The battle for the political control of Kano State in Nigeria’s North-West geopolitical zone between the APC and the NNPP was settled last month with the declaration of NNPP’s Yusuf Kabir as the governor-elect.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 20 declared Kabir the winner of the keenly contested March 18 poll. Kabir scored 1,019,602 votes to defeat his closest contender, Nasir Gawuna of the APC who polled 890,705 votes.
The two main contestants were backed by political gladiators in the state which boasts of high numerical and voter strength. Kabir was backed by former Kano governor and NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso who has a “cult-like” following in Kano with his socio-political and religious movement known as the Kwankwasiyya.
On the other hand, Gawuna was endorsed by the incumbent governor and APC powerbroker, Abdullahi Ganduje whose two-term of eight years ends on May 29, 2023.
For years, Ganduje and Kwankwaso have remained arch-political rivals over the control of Nigeria’s unarguably most populated state with a commensurate number of voters, the highest nationwide.
In the February 25 presidential poll, Kwankwaso won in 38 of the 44 local government areas in Kano with a total of 997,279 votes while APC’s Bola Tinubu won in the remaining six local governments with 517,341 votes. He, however, came a distant fourth in the poll won by Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State.
Interestingly, Ganduje was Kwankwaso’s deputy when the latter was governor from 2011 May to May 2015 before they fell apart after the 2015 elections which saw the emergence of Ganduje as governor. Before then, Kwankwaso was also Kano’s governor from 1999 to 2003.