On Sunday, 16 July, national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu visited Kano. His primary mission was to commiserate with the state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on the death of elder statesman, Dr. Yusuf Maitama Sule (Dan Massanin Kano) and also on the death of the governor’s younger sister. The former governor of Lagos state also visited elder statesman and respected politician, Malam Yusuf Ali who recently lost his son.
In his remarks at the residence of Malam Yusuf Ali, Tinubu who has been following the landmark achievements of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, spoke glowingly on the governor’s performance, and at the end, endorsed him for a second term in 2019.
In the words of Tinubu, “Our brother, Ganduje, Your Excellency, you are saying eight years, some people are saying twelve years; but if you put coma in any line of the constitution, that is an amendment. So, I endorse eight years. We will work for it with all our body and soul. You are a great man–and you are a very very loyal man. One thing that we must note in His Excellency, Governor Ganduje, is this–he is one of the most straightforward, dependable individual. When you agree on something, or in the words of Donald Trump, ‘do a deal with him,’ you can go to sleep because you will be the one to break that accord, not him. Ganduje, I want to say thank you. You are so humble, so dependable. You are a friend that is completely flexible. You have the understanding of family and friendship. So, if you say eight years, yes; before you add the other four years, I say watch–that other four years, maybe, as a governor, maybe, as a president. So, we will wait; let us amortize the eight years first.”
Tinubu’s comments about Ganduje came straight from his heart. He spoke very frankly and he relayed to his audience that he was not pretending at all. Tinubu is a respected politician who is known for his frankness on issues. He is not someone that could be bought over. He is a man of integrity who addresses issues with maturity. He has a good sense of judgment. So, one cannot say that Tinubu spoke from both sides of his mouth.
Tinubu’s comment on Ganduje’s sterling leadership qualities, immediately spread like wild fire. It was all over the social media. Millions of Ganduje supporters in Kano, and across the country, showed their happiness that their able and dependable governor got such accolades from one of the most respected politicians in Africa—Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
However, it is not a surprise that some few disgruntled elements would get ruffled by Tinubu’s compliments and endorsement of Governor Ganduje’s second term bid, of which the Kano electorate have already assured him, going by the way and manner he is handling the affairs of the state. We were, indeed, waiting for reactions and it came on a story published in online portal, Premium Times on Tuesday, July 18, titled ‘Kwankwaso’s associate replies Tinubu: Ganduje will lose in 2019.’
In that story, Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu, former Commissioner for State Affairs in the last administration of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, did what he knows how to do best—spreading lies. He could not hide his emotions and he showcased to his readers how much he hated Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. He presented how bad the Kwankwassiyya people are feeling over the way Ganduje has been giving democracy dividends to the people. He also told the world how jittery they are, particularly, on the praises showered on Ganduje by Tinubu who is one of the pillars of our great party, the APC.
According to Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu, Ganduje cannot go for second term in 2019 because the Kwankwassiyya people have decided otherwise! Ganduje cannot make it in 2019 because he failed to carry on with the Kwankwassiyya ideology—an ideology of debt and deception. We are not blind followers! Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu believes Ganduje cannot make it in 2019 because he refused to become a victim of godfatherism at the detriment of the good people of Kano state—this is laughable because Governor Ganduje remains an astute administrator and patriotic leader who will not compromise the people’s mandate.
Again, I want to remind Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu that power belongs to Almighty God and He gives it to whoever he wishes. I personally don’t believe any mortal has the authority to give power, it is the exclusive right of God to hand over power to whoever he wishes. In 1999, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso became the Governor of Kano state through the will of God. He tried the second term in 2003, but could not make it, because it was not the will of God that he continued. In 2011, Senator Kwankwaso tried again and was lucky because God made it so. Today, he is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the will of God. So, in this light, Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu does not have the right to determine whether Governor Ganduje will return to power in 2019 or not. What God has written, He has written, Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu can not rewrite it.
For discernable minds, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been doing a great job even in the face of harsh economic situation created by the immediate past administration of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who left over N300 billion debts, with various abandoned projects of which over 90 percent has already been completed by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration. Just recently, the Ganduje administration paid over N4 billion of backlog of debts of scholarships awarded by Kwankwaso’s administration in private schools at both local and foreign institutions. Kwankwaso failed to settle those bills, not because the money was not there but because he decided to use public funds to execute his failed presidential ambition in 2015.
Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu also raised the issue of tuition fees and free feeding. I want to remind him that the free feeding programme failed towards the end of Kwankwaso’s administration when he collected Local Government funds to build five kilometer roads in each of the 44 local government areas, a project that was marred by fraud. More so, Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu spends most of his time in Abuja serving the needs of his master. I wonder how an Abuja resident can evaluate water situation in Kano. Residents of Kano have not complained of shortage of water supply because there is portable water in Kano and the people are happy for it.
Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu also made his readers to believe that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is unpopular in Kano. This is the latest joke of the year! He asked his readers to go to Sabon Gari, Singer and Kantin Kwari markets to test Ganduje’s popularity! And these are markets which are currently going through serious reforms by the Ganduje administration, particularly, the Kwari textile market where multi-billion Naira structures and infrastructure are currently being constructed. However, we can leave the test of Ganduje’s popularity to working journalists and editors of various media organization who recently visited Kano and moved round with His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. They can attest how people trooped out in their thousands to hail Governor Ganduje. They can attest the numerous projects they visited in all sectors, including provision of infrastructure and social amenities, massive construction of roads, revolution in agriculture, women and youth empowerement, reforms in the health sector, commerce and industry, as well as general overhaul of the economy and attraction of both local and foreign investors. Kano residents would always raise their two hands indicating four plus four, a sign of Ganduje’s second term endorsement by the people who have not failed in appreciating his good work in Kano.
So, we advise Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu to spend his time and energy on serious issues. It is not honourable for him to dwell in spreading lies and falsehood on the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who is performing creditably in Kano. He is the people’s governor, he has won the heart of the people and there is nothing detractors like Comrade Abdulsalam Aminu and his pay master can do about it. They can only rant!
Mr Garba is Kano state Commissioner for Information and Culture