By Mustapha Usman
The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has revealed that the first civilian governor of the state, late Abubakar Rimi wanted him to become the state governor in 1999 but the aspiration was thwarted by some individuals within their former party, the PDP.
Mr Ganduje made the disclosure during the 7th Anniversary lecture for the late first civilian governor of Kano State at the Center for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Kano.
“In 1999, he wanted me to become the governor but some people hatched a plot (to ensure that I was schemed out) during our party primaries at Gabasawa. They later confessed to me that they were involved and asked for forgiveness,” the governor stated.
The governor, however, said he had pardoned them and carried on because of his conviction that one can only become governor at Allah’s preordained time.
Mr Ganduje said he become close to late Rimi because of his philosophy, pointing out that history would continue to remember him as a gentleman, a man of great vision and someone who had the ordinary man at heart.
“Rimi had shoes with rubber soles. If he stepped upon you, the impact was trouble-free, unlike a governor who had shoes with steel soles,” the governor said, making allusion to his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
He stated that late Rimi left several outstanding legacies in the old Kano state, while many of his administration’s projects and programmes, such as the adult education programme, the state agricultural supply company and public infrastructure had won international awards and became models in the country.
The Emir of Kano, who was represented by a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau, described late Rimi as a leader who never allowed his ego to prevail over truth.
He narrated experiences where as governor of Kano state, the late politician allowed superior arguments from his subordinates to take precedence over his personal opinions or even decisions of the state executive.
“Rimi is our mentor who listened to advice from his superiors and we tried to emulate him while we were in government”, the former minister of Education remarked.
The guest speaker and a political associate of late Rimi, Rabi’u Ringim, Musa Magami, his childhood friend and Sule Hamma, the secretary to the state government during his administration in the Second Republic, all paid glowing tribute to him.