Maryam Musa and Ibrahim Muhammad examine the strengths and weakness of top contenders in the forthcoming governorship race in Kano state
Kano State Deputy Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has declared his ambition to contest the highly coveted position in Kano; and if all goes well, Ganduje adjudged the most loyal would in 2015, succeed the father of the Kwankwasiya movement, Dr.Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso Malam Ibrahim Shekarau’s PDP as anticipated fail to win Kano in 2015. Mr. Ganduje has been with Governor Kwankwaso since he was first elected governor of the state in 1999 to 2003. He returned to power with Kwankwaso after their election in 2011.He is generally seen amongst those in Mr. Kwankwaso’s mind to succeed him.
But the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Engr. Rabiu Suleiman Bichi is also being speculated to be eyeing the top job in Kano Government House and is perceived to be closer to the incumbent governor than his deputy. But the complaints against the SSG, Bichi whom many regard as overbearing, unfriendly and conceited may go against him as the popular candidate that can deny the PDP the chance to win back the state in 2015.
In all, according to political pundits, Mr Kwankwaso has a hard choice to make if he really wants the many projects he initiated to continue and most importantly to sustain and maintain the Kwankwasiya revolution he started.
But an outspoken PDP youth leader in Kano, Jafar Jafar told DESERT HERALD magazine that the PDP will welcome the choice of the current SSG as the gubernatorial candidate of the APC because according to him the SSG is one of the most corrupt public officials in the current government of Kwankwaso. He said some members of the public are only ignorant of what the Kwankwaso government is receiving from the federal government and said those of them that are privy to what the government and the local governments are getting as statutory allocation know very well that the projects that are currently on ground or those completed are not commensurate with the billions of naira allocation the government in the last three years plus.
Jafar said the technicalities the Kano government is using to convince the public will not stand the test of time, as any serious scrutiny of its finances and spending will reveal so much on the wanton corruption he is accusing the government of.
But DESERT HERALD magazine findings and analysis with other states of the federation reveal that the Kano government has indeed done very well in almost all the sectors of the state’s economy despite the allegations of corruption against some of its officials.
But Mr Ganduje too may have a lot of challenges from those within his party. However, some are accusing the SSG for the imagined resistance to his ambition. Shortly after his media interaction with journalists last week where he declared his intention to contest the governorship election in 2015 some political youth groups believed to be working for one of the officials in Kano government that has governorship ambition challenged Ganduje’s declaration, saying he is an old timer in politics and that he will not be energetic and committed to continue from where Mr. Kwankwaso will stop and obviously referring to the SSG, Bichi or other gladiators like the governor’s in-law and incumbent Commissioner of Works , Abba Kabir Yusuf who is also being speculated to be interested in the governor’s job.
Apparent sponsors of the youths against Ganduje said the state need a young and dynamic governor in 2015 and somebody reliable that will continue the Kwankwasiya projects. The message as politically as it was indicates the division and conflict of interest Governor Kwankwaso may contend with within his own ranks and that any choice of a candidate that did not favour the wish of the majority within the APC and in Kano will affect the chances of his party to retain the coveted position of the governor in 2015; and that they may likely suffer what the defunct Kano ANPP suffered in the hands of the then PDP’s candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as a result of conflict of interest and wrong choice of a popular and credible candidate.
But pundits averred that no matter how it goes in the present Kano where anti PDP sentiment is growing by the day and coupled with Mr. Kwankwaso’s record breaking performance notwithstanding the allegations of corruption by the state PDP, it will be easier for the head of a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than Malam Ibrahim Shekarau’s party, the PDP, to win any elective position in the state in 2015. Events of the next few months will determine the strength and chances of both parties in the state.
While the Kano PDP is hoping to take maximum advantage of the impending crisis of who will succeed Mr. Kwankwaso in the APC and to possibly break through its ranks with attractive offers, it remains to be seen if the APC in Kano which is so far under the grip of Mr. Kwankwaso can put its house in order and avoid possible polarization.