Former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, says poverty remains the biggest challenge Nigeria faces because of the Federal Government’s inability to check leakages.
He said this on Tuesday during a visit to Abia State Governor, Ifeanyi Ikpeazu, at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital.
Kwankwaso who is a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, added that the opportunity given to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to lead the nation has not been handled properly.
“We were thinking that Peoples Democratic Party is bad but now, we realise it is better than the All Progressive Congress,” he said.
“This is because the opportunity given to them to govern is not being handled well, we worked assiduously in 2014-2015 for APC but now, we are seeing the difference.
“The leaders lack the capacity to do certain things, that is why the country is facing insecurity and unemployment.
“Poverty is the biggest challenge in the country so we must ensure the leadership checks the leakages,” he said.
“In any case, the 2019 elections will not be won by cheap campaign ground antics but actual votes from the Nigerian electorate who are wise and know who is working in their interest,” it said.
“Never again will we return governance of our dear country to the hands of those that selfishly have held us back for years.”
The APC was reacting to allegations that it was responsible for the inability of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential contestant to secure the Eagles Square for his declaration.
Contrary to the claims, it explained that the managers of the Abuja International Conference Centre and Eagles Square had said they would not allow campaigns in the facility on Wednesday, to avoid disruption of workflow at the Federal Secretariat, the main hub of civil servants in Abuja.
“The allegation is unnecessary and misplaced. We should not be dragged into a private transaction involving entities we have no business with,” the ruling party stressed.
The statement comes hours after former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, declared his intention to run for the presidency in the 2019 elections on the PDP platform while addressing a crowd of supporters somewhere in Abuja.
The inability of the presidential aspirant to use the Eagle Square for his declaration has sparked criticism in some quarters.
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, also condemned the development in a tweet, saying the Eagle Square belongs to all Nigerians.
He said, “The refusal to allow Senator Kwankwaso’s campaign to utilise Eagle Square for his declaration, despite an earlier approval, sends a wrong message about our democracy, particularly the tolerance level in our politics.”
The former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has formally declared his intention to run for the presidency in the 2019 general elections.
Senator Kwankwaso declared his intention to contest for the poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while addressing a crowd of supporters on Wednesday in Abuja.
He accused the present administration of not living up to expectations of the people, stressing that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has failed in its campaign promises.
“Today I declare that I am going to vie for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. I stand on my honour to offer a paradigm shift in leadership,” he said.
“There is no gainsaying that all is not well with the polity. It is also clear that the same mindset that created and escalated the problems cannot be used in resolving the ongoing crisis in our nationhood and national development”, the lawmaker added.
Senator Kwankwaso also called on Nigerians to vote for change which he said the PDP would bring in 2019, noting that his intention was to offer positive changes to the nation.
“To live is to witness changes because change is an inseparable part of living,” he said, adding, “Come May 2019, the narrative of helplessness, buck-passing, division, poverty, insecurity, and hopelessness must change to turn to a new dawn of confidence in building a one well-restructured Nigeria.”
He promised to provide an equal Nigeria where people from different tribes would be seen as one, as well as to increase education among the youths.
The presidential aspirant said, “We will provide a leadership where everybody is free and equal; where Nigerians see themselves as Nigerians first, and as Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw, Ibibio, Fulani, etc second; where citizens are self-assured and self-assertive; where they are confident and competent; where they want to do what is right no matter whose ox is gored.”
“I want to lead a Nigeria where people are educated and exposed beyond the confines of their tribe, religion, linguistic group or place of birth,” he added.
“Of course, there is a disagreement,” he acknowledged. “it is an issue of style in governance, I think that is the major issue.”
“you know when somebody is in government, he would expect his predecessor to do exactly as he is doing, but you know even identical twins cannot behave the same way. So, it is a problem between a predecessor and an incoming governor; that kind of problem is always there.”
Governor Ganduje explained further that there is no way such dispute could be avoided, saying it was normal in a democracy.
He, however, noted that the disagreement would be over and that it was being done in a civilised way, although were some verbal accusations between him and the senator.
Before his emergence as governor in 2015, Ganduje was a two-term deputy to former governor Kwankwaso, serving from 1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2015 respectively.
Secret Behind The Success
He also disclosed his plan to seek re-election in the next governorship poll in the state, although he has yet to officially declare his intention to run for a second term.
The governor explained that one of the reasons for his decision was as a result of the pressure from his supporters that he should run for a second term.
According to him, this is because of the success of his administration and the progress in the state as he has been able to carry the people along.
“I have been saying our government will be a government of continuity. I have taken some projects of the previous administration, I’m completing those projects.
“The hydro-electricity production using our two dams, we are on it and we are about to complete one of them; the longest flyover in Kano which was left about 30 per cent will be completed within this year; even the university building, the permanent site which was left, we are working hard to complete it,” Ganduje said.
He noted that it only requires somebody with the knowledge of what it takes in terms of development and who is willing to complete what has been left behind to succeed as governor of the state.
The Lagos State Chapter of the Kwankwasiyya Movement has criticised the decision of the Police in Kano State to halt the proposed visit by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso to Kano on Tuesday, January 30th.
The group, in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Mr Ladipo Johnson on Sunday said Kwankwaso only wanted to visit his senatorial district including friends and family. He wondered why he should be denied the right to pay such a visit.
“The reason which was given by the state Police Commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf, that Kwankwaso’s visit would cause chaos is spurious and tainted with political colouration.
“We members of the Kwankwasiyya Movement in Lagos State hereby condemn in strong terms the decision of the Kano State Police Command restricting and halting the proposed visit of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to Kano on Tuesday,” the group said.
Mr Johnson then claimed that if the security of a sitting Senator of Nigeria cannot be guaranteed, “who is then safe in this country.”
“We find it unacceptable the reason which was given by the police leadership in Kano because Senator Kwankwaso is a law-abiding citizen and remains a hero in Kano where he was a governor and left a legacy of service to the people.
“We demand a letter from the Kano Police command clearing Senator Kwankwaso to visit his home state,” he said.
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwankwasiyya movement, in Kano State has announced that nothing will stop Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso from visiting Kano State.
The Police Commissioner in Kano State, Rabi’u Yusuf, on Friday after a press conference earlier advised former Kano State Governor, Kwankwaso, not to visit the state for a planned political rally asking him to suspend the visit based on the grounds of maintaining ‘peace and security.’
An APC group called Kwankwasiyya movement in response to this told journalists at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat on Saturday, January 27, that Kwankwaso will visit the state despite the advice by the Police Commissioner. They added that should anything happen to Kwankwaso, the Police Commissioner, Yusuf should be held responsible.
Addressing a news conference in reaction to the advice by the Police Commissioner in Kano, leader of the Kwankwasiyya Movement, Rabi’u Bichi claimed that the Nigerian Police in Kano has been compromised.
Kwankwaso is scheduled to visit Kano State on Tuesday, January 30, amidst preparations for the local government elections in the state.
The advice by the Police Commissioner asking him to suspend his visit was said to be based on intelligence reports that some miscreants planned to hijack the rally and use it to unleash mayhem in the society.
Kwankwaso and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the state were set to hold parallel political rallies on January 30.
The two separate events are centred on the February 10 local government election in the state and the 2019 general election.
The police said Kwankwaso only sent a letter to the command on January 25 which was dated January 16, 2018.
The command said based on intelligence report, it believed that Kwankwaso’s visit clashes with some other activities of the other faction of the APC and that the rally by the Kwankwaso group could be hijacked by “miscreants”.
He advised Kwankwaso to consider postponing his trip “until the tension generated by the planned visit is doused.”
The Senate has withdrawn a bill seeking to establish a Grazing Management Agency which would ensure the creation of grazing areas across the country.
The bill which was sponsored by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso was withdrawn along with two other similar bills sponsored by Senators Barnabas Gemade and Chukwuka Utazi.
While Senator Gemade’s bill seeks to establish a National Ranches Commission for Regulation, Preservation and Control of Ranches, Senator Utazi’s bill is seeking to control keeping and movement of cattle in Nigeria.
However, the bills were withdrawn as lawmakers noted that they all had different objectives and could not be merged.
Also, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, pointed out that the Senate lacks the power to legislate on livestock and grazing matters which the bills are intended to address
“The issues at stake here are neither in the exclusive list nor in the concurrent list. I believe therefore that it is a residual matter. It is for states to decide how to deal with it.
“I believe the matter here concerns everybody, given the level of carnage and the conflicts going on in different states. So, I feel the concern of my colleagues but unfortunately we do not have powers to legislate on matters relating to livestock in this Assembly. It is a matter reserved for the states.
“So, I believe that the bills for Senators Kwankwaso, Gemade and Utazi are beyond the reach of this National Assembly and should be accordingly withdrawn so that the states under the constitution should be able to deal with the matters which the constitution has prescribed for them.
“I will like to see somebody to show me anywhere in the exclusive list or concurrent list that has given us powers to legislate on this matter because they are not in existence,” he said.
The Kano State Police Command has suspended a Kano State empowerment programme and Kwanjwasiyya widow and divorcee mass wedding schedule to hold on August 20.
Police spokesman in Kano, Magaji Majia, told Channels Television that in view of the sour relationship between Kwankwaso-led APC faction and supporters of Governor Ganduje, the two events could not be allowed to hold on the same day and in the same venue almost the same time.
“The two factions are already paying a democratic lip service to each other, therefore the Police Commissioner Rabi’u Yusuf directed that the two events be suspended indefinitely”.
Vice President Yemi Osibajo is scheduled to attend the suspended Kano Government Youth Empowerment Programme while the former Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso was to attend the Kwanjwasiyya mass wedding.
When contacted, the State Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, said Ganduje administration had no problem with any Union coming to assist the Government but claimed that they were not aware about the Kwanjwasiyya mass wedding programme.
“I’m surprised to hear that the Commissioner of Police has suspended our programme because no one told us that Kwanjwasiyya foundation will be holding a mass wedding at the same day and at the same venue – Sani Abacha Stadium – but since the police have decided to stop us, we have no choice but to obey the law,” he told Channels Television.
However, all attempt to speak with the leadership of the Kwanjwasiyya Foundation on the recent development was not successful but sources close to Kwanjwasiyya told Channels Television that their leadership would release a statement of reaction in due course.
With 2019 around the corner, political situations in the politically advanced Kano State are already becoming more tense.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has appealed to residents to ensure prompt payment of tax in order to achieve a timely completion of the ongoing projects in the state.
The Governor stated this during a working visit to Tiga independent power project site.
Mr Ganduje said that his government is determined to complete all ongoing projects provided that residents exercise their civic duty to the government.
Chairman of Skipper Nigeria Limited, Mr Gitendra Sakhdim, told the Governor that the electro-mechanical installation of the draft tube and other necessary equipment will commence very soon but identified port clearance of some equipment as a major setback.
According to Gitendra, about 11 containers of major components were still at the port because the duty concession had expired.
In 2012, the administration of the former governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, initiated the construction of independent power plants using Tiga and Chalawa water treatment plants.
The construction was stopped towards the end of Kwankwaso’s tenure and was reinvigorated by the current Ganduje administration.
So far, the power house has reached 70% completion as the government intensified efforts to pay contractors on site.
In a related development, Governor Ganduje, while inspecting the construction of Rano-Rurum-Tiga road, appealed to the contractors to ensure speedy completion of the project as promised.
Governor Ganduje disclosed that all outstanding monies have already been paid to the contractors in questions.
Contractors on site assured the Governor that the project would be handed over to the state ministry of works as agreed on the stipulated time.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has appealed to residents to ensure prompt payment of tax in other to achieve a timely completion of the ongoing projects in the state.
The Governor stated this during a working visit to Tiga Independent Power Project site.
Mr. Ganduje said his Government is determined to complete all ongoing projects provided that residents exercise their civic duty to the Government.
Chairman, Skipper Nigeria Limited Mr. Gitendra Sakhdim told the Governor that the electro-mechanical installation of the draft tube and other necessary equipment will commence soon but identified port clearance of some equipment as a major setback.
According to Gitendra, About 11 containers of major components are still at the port because the duty concession has expired.
In 2012, the Administration of former governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, initiated the construction of independent power plants using Tiga and Chalawa water treatment plants.
The Construction was stopped towards the end of Kwankwaso’s tenure and was reinvigorated by the current administration.
So far, the power house has reached 70% completion as government intensifies efforts to pay contractors on site.
In a related development, Governor Ganduje while inspecting the Construction of Rano-Rurum-Tiga Road, appealed the contractors to ensure speedy completion of the project as promised.
Governor Ganduje Disclosed that all outstanding payments have already been maid to the contractors.
Meanwhile, contractors on site assured the Governor that the project will be handed over to the state Ministry of Works as agreed on the stipulated time.
Former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso might be suspended over allegations of misconduct and political conspiracy to tarnish the image of Governor Ganduje during Kwankwaso’s recent visit to Kano.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State, North West Nigeria said at a joint press conference by the party’s leadership that it would take drastic measures concerning the allegation.
Party Chairman, Umar Doguwa, said that Senator Kwankwaso had violated the party’s rules and regulations by allegedly hiring thugs to mock the current Governor, party leaders and members of the State Executive Council during a condolence visit to Ganduje village, the home town of Governor Ganduje who recently lost his mother.
According to the party’s leadership, Senator Kwankwaso’s alleged conduct during the visit is unacceptable and would not go unpunished. They said that a committee has been set up to determine the appropriate punishment for the senator.
On March 7, Senator Kwankwaso was on a condolence visit to Governor Ganduje who recently lost his mother.
His visit reportedly attracted a large number of mostly the Kwankwasiyya sect followers who were said to have been dissatisfied with the leadership of Governor Ganduje.
There were also reports that the situation could have degenerated into a major political face off but this was averted.
The leadership of the APC in Kano insisted that the unity of the party is non-negotiable and must be protected by all card-carrying members of the party.