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Kano: Kwankwaso, Ganduje feud and the politics of 2019

The end seems not in sight on the political war between former Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso and his godson and incumbent, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje

By Hisham Habib, Kano

Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 the three major players in Kano politics have been Engineer Rabiu Kwankwaso who came after the transition to civil rule, his deputy then and later, incumbent governor Dr Abdullahi Ganduje who successfully succeeded him after they staged a comeback, and Malam Ibrahim Shekarau who rose to the helms after the 2003 ouster of Kwankwaso and whose anointed candidate Salihu Takai could not win twice.

The trio have been influential in the politics of the commercial state and may continue to impact in the coming days despite the persistent power tussle among them and the rivalry between especially, the followership they command is what heats the polity once in a while

When Governor Ganduje. took over the affairs of the state some “Kwankwasiyya” loyalists felt they were not rewarded for their  support in his election,  and went against the government while Ganduje ‘s supporters were keen on a split because they want a new political group free of the clutches of the Kano central Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, and immediate past governor of the state.

The feud became glaring with the death of. Ganduje s mother and uncanny developments  that followed   at the condolence visit by  former Governor Kwankwaso who Ganduje accused of inciting youth to use foul language on him. As a result of these  untidy developments,  the relationship kept turning sour and with the massive support. Kwankwaso has, Ganduje had been said to be in consultation with ex-G overnor Shekarau for a possible team up.

The. ruling party APC which was controlled by Kwankwaso through the chairman Umar Doguwa was seized by the governor s man Abdullahi Abbas who now runs the party despite the recognition of the Kwankwaso’s faction by the national secretariat.

Kwanlwaso avoided much talk until recently, when he reacted  to a search conducted in his brother s residence which was  aired on the BBC Hausa Service where  he lashed out at the party and made remarks that clearly showed his dissatisfaction with the ruling party in Nigeria and which many see as a herald to his possible defection in the future.

Despite reported reconciliation moves it seems the two sides are still at loggerheads and are bent on a political confrontation come 2019 when Ganduje may likely wish to recontest for the second term and when Kwankwaso will want to essert his political strength.

That will be when perhaps an alliance with Shekarau may  be an option for both sides, with the Ganduje camp. closer to the deal but as with the unpredictability  of politics the Kwankwaso camp may also wish to explore that.

Shekarau could wait to see the height of the fracas as his PDP led camp may wish to field a candidate to  face the incumbent governor eventhough his party s internal workings are not so clear but strong indications show that the former commissioner Salihu Takai  is favored.

The race for 2019 has began taking shape as the governor will soon dissolve the local councils which are usually strategic to winning elections in the past and there is every reason that Ganduje will want loyal people to take the councils as Kwankwaso did three years earlier.

By the end of 2017 perhaps all lines will have been drawn for the face up between who the Kwankwasiyya want as Kano governor and what Ganduje could do to stay ahead and certainly more intrigues will unfold.


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