Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has been re-elected for a second term. Many challenges will confront his administration. Correspondent Kola Adeyemi examines the issues and how the governor should tackle them.
The Kano State governorship poll was an epic battle between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his challenger, Abba Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Yusuf is also the anointed god-son and son-in-law to former Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso.
The PDP and its candidate have resolved to challenge Ganduje’s victory at the Kano State Election Petition Tribunal. Ganduje, has maintained that the PDP and its candidate have no case at the tribunal, describing his victory as the wish of God and the people who, he said, massively voted for him.
Ganduje who penetrated the ranks of the PDP before and during the elections. He has also promised to run an all-inclusive government, designed to carry everybody along. With the defection of PDP chieftains into APC, shortly before the general elections, pundits continue to ponder on how Ganduje will be able to handle the crowd of defectors, and their diverse interests.
Last week, a PDP chieftain, Yahaya Umar Bagobiri, led notable leaders and stakeholders of the party on solidarity visit to Ganduje. They revealed how and why they assiduously worked for Ganduje’s victory, even as they remained in PDP. They pledged to continue to support the governor for a successful second tenure.
According to Bagobiri, what they did by supporting Ganduje was not anti-party activity. He said: “We did it in the open and also through the media. That our people should support Governor Ganduje in his second term bid, and we all did it. What we did was simply efforts in strengthening democratic structures and principle of free and fair choice.”
Bagobiri said Ganduje’s victory was ordained by God, pointing out that, “with this victory, Your Excellency, we can say Allah saved us, Kano and its people from that tyranny. This is what we have been yearning for, Your Excellency. That was why we came in block and supported your candidature, which yields fruits at the end of the day.”
He added: “We hope the next four years would be more fruitful to the state. We believe Governor Ganduje has all the capacity to take the state to the Next Level.” Bogobiri said that their visit to Ganduje was approved by PDP leaders such as former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo and Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa.
A PDP leader, Bello Gambo Bichi, said original PDP members, who never defected to any political party in the past, from the entire 44 Local Government Areas, strongly supported Ganduje. He said: “All of our leadership across the 44 Local Government Areas are with you Sir. All our women leaders and youth leaders were with us when we supported your candidature. We are all hoping to continue supporting your government alongside its policies and programmes.”
Ganduje thanked them for the visit and assured that, he would run an all-inclusive government, as a show of appreciation and respect for the harmonious working relationship between him and the original PDP members in the state.
Ganduje pointed out that, “the candidature of the said PDP gubernatorial candidate who contested in the last guber poll, was unfairly imposed on other PDP members. What unfair treatment is as painful as this one?” He also expressed surprised that Kwankwaso did not concede defeat and wondered why the former governor should hold the view that the election was not free, fair and credible.
Ganduje said: “The election was freely, fairly and credibly conducted. You know this man (Kwankwaso) is not familiar with anything free, fair and credible. That is why whenever there is any free, fair and credible treatment; he sees that as unfair treatment. I know him more than anyone else. I am the Dictionary and Encyclopedia of knowing Kwankwaso”.
“During the gubernatorial poll, all peace-loving people in the state decided to see to the exit of Kwankwaso from partisan politics. That was why you deemed it necessary to join hands with us and finally stone the Devil. Kwankwaso should expect more, looking at how he super-imposed the gubernatorial candidature on others in the PDP. That was not within the ambit of free, fair and credible primary election. What moral justification does he (Kwankwaso) have in this kind of scenario. To even open mouth and cry for help against what he terms as injustice?”
In what looks like a move to assuage the fears of pundits who believe that Ganduje may abandon the defectors and those who worked for him while still in the PDP, he said, he will dissolve his cabinet immediately after May 29 inauguration. He hinted that he will collapse his current cabinet on May 29, with a view to ejecting fresh blood that will help consolidate on the modest achievements recorded in the past four years.
Read also: Ganduje mourns ex-Kano Gov.Hamza Abdullahi
To many, Ganduje is faced with the challenge of allocating political positions to numerous heavy-weights who lent their support to him before, during and after the election. Though some are of the view that sharing of positions may lead to controversy within the APC and other political shades that worked for his victory, the governor said he would carry everybody along. He also said he will pick the best ‘eleven’ that will only propel the state to the Next Level.
Pundits are of the opinion that Ganduje’s second tenure should ensure the spread of democratic dividends across the 44 Local Government Areas in terms of providing infrastructural development and ensuring revolution in agricultural, which could be enhanced through creation of access roads that can connect the rural areas to urban areas for easy movement of agricultural produce.
Another challenge is the five kilometer road project started and abandoned by the Kwankwaso’s administration. Though Ganduje has complained that the project was not duly planned, many residents has called on him to revive the project and ensure its completion in this tenure.
Another area begging for attention is the education sector. Many residents said they are still interested in the free-feeding programme for primary school pupils, as well as expansion of class rooms in both primary and secondary schools in the state.
With the zeal at which Ganduje is coming up, one can only expect that the next four years will re-write the history of the ancient commercial city of Kano in terms of socio-economic development. As Ganduje begins the second-term on May 29, all eyes are on him as he takes up the task of righting the wrongs to put Kano on the front-pew of emerging mega-cities in Africa.