The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has challenged his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, to launch his presidential campaign in Kano, saying he would be rejected by voters in the state come 2019.
Mr Ganduje said he believes Kano residents will not welcome Mr Kwankwaso, currently a senator, if he launches his presidential campaign in the state.
“We have all the rights to reject him at wish. We have already rejected him,” the governor said.
“We never considered him from day one as a presidential material. We shall continue to maintain our position about him. We know nobody but President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Messrs Kwankwaso and Ganduje were political allies with the latter serving as deputy governor when Mr Kwankwaso was the state governor. They have since parted ways with Mr Kwankwaso leaving their All Progressives Congress (APC) to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he is hoping to achieve his presidential ambition.
Mr Ganduje made his statements at an event to empower women held at the government house, Kano, on Sunday. At the event, 6,600 women drawn from the 44 local governments of the state were given the sum of N15,000 each.
“We, the great people of Kano, as he is aware, will use every democratic way possible to reject him (Kwankwaso) and show him an exit from political participation, even before the general election comes our way,” the governor said.
The governor, who is believed to have in the past, using security as an excuse, blocked a rally to welcome Mr Kwankwaso back to Kano, accused his predecessor of not showing concerns when unfortunate things happen in the state.
“We in Kano, we came across the demise of distinguished personalities, of which he chose not to come. And we had fire outbreaks in some of our markets, and this man did not care to come and sympathise with the victims,” he said.
“When some of the popular markets in Kano experienced fire disaster, we raised a special committee that was given the responsibility of finding the remote causes of such disaster as well as given the mandate to collect contributions so as to alleviate some of the sufferings of the victims.
“We included as a member of the committee, somebody, a staunch follower of Kwankwaso. But this man didn’t allow that person to participate in all the meetings of the committee. Neither did he send a penny as his contribution.
“Somebody will just wait somewhere telling his people that they should stay clear of anything about Kano. Is this how you want lead people? Where is the concern?”
“Because he knows that he is not welcome in Kano and he will be never be welcome. That was why he chooses to stay away from our dear state and go somewhere, other places, not Kano, and be launching his unorganised and unpopular campaign,” Mr Ganduje said.
The governor said he believes Kano residents will support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019. The president got his largest votes in 2015 from Kano.
“Kano is solely for Buhari come 2019, not any other person. That is why we said we are waiting for him to come to Kano and launch his campaign. We shall use all democratically accepted ways and say no.
On the empowerment programme, Mr Ganduje said, “We are doing this to help in uplifting your living standard. To also make you self-reliant. It is known to all of you that we have greater concern for you and your families.”
“This we are doing in compliance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s spirit of human development. We believe that any step taken by our dear president, deserves to be followed at any given time,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday, Mr Ganduje presented N10,000 cash to 378 persons. He said the money was donated by the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on broadcast media, Shaaban Sharada.
Mr Ganduje also presented the identity card of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to 1,000 beneficiaries of Shaaban Sharada health welfare at Koki quarters in Kano.
In his address, Mr Sharada said the gesture is to assist the poor residents of Kano with free medical services and also reduce maternal mortality.