For Kwankwaso And Ganduje, It’s War Without End


It is said that you cannot really tell a man’s true character until you give him money or power. For many the lure of power, influence and affluence are the only motivating factors for which they seek office. And once they get into that office they soon throw the entire state in turmoil. With Nigerian governors, the state can burn and the people can die of hunger, deprivation and lack, just to satisfy their egos.

In Kano, the war between Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his successor and former deputy governor, Abdullahi Ganduje would not end anytime soon. In fact, with the election of Kabir Yusuf, a protégée of the former as the governor of the state; you can almost say it would be a war without end for the people of Kano State.

The bitter rivalry between the three gladiators before, during and after the election took a melodramatic twist during the swearing-in when Governor Yusuf refused to sit on the official chair used by Ganduje as well as during the visits of both former governors to President Bola Tinubu, when Ganjude while speaking to reporters after seeing the president had threatened that he would have slapped Kwankwaso if they had met face-to-face at the Villa.

Yusuf, in inheriting his benefactor’s enemy, had vowed to review some of Ganduje’s policies and to probe the N241 billion debt inherited from his administration.

And in less than one month of being in office, Yusuf has reportedly demolished so-called illegal buildings in such record fashion that would easily interest the Guinness Book of World Records.

The governor in his campaign promises made pronouncements of commitment to restoring the glory of the state by reclaiming all encroached public land that was used to erect ‘illegal’ structures particularly those erected in schools, mosques, playgrounds, graveyards, markets, and hospitals.

If Gov Yusuf’s allegations are true, then one wonders why Ganduje would be so brazen as to not allow even the dead to rest in peace. He erected structures on their graves too.

In the early hours of Saturday, June 3, the governor started fulfilling his campaign promises at the Race Course playground popularly known as Filin Sukuwa, where a three-storey building, with no fewer than 90 shops, was demolished as part of the effort to reclaim the encroached land.

He continued with the demolition at the Hajj Camp and Daula Hotel. Yusuf, who, was in company of his Deputy, Aminu Abdulsalam Gwarzo; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Abdullahi Baffa Bichi, and other New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) stalwarts, supervised the demolition at the Hajj Camp and the former Daula Hotel, which was leased out under the public-private partnership for a shopping Mall and plaza.

Other places affected by the demolition include the famous Kantin Kwari and Kofar Wambai markets as well as other business areas in the city and the Eid praying ground where a number of shops erected around the place were also pulled down by the governor.

Before then, Yusuf had earlier ordered all land developers within the vicinity of the Kano Hajj Camp to halt all construction works immediately or face the consequences.

The governor, who gave the order during an unscheduled visit to assess the condition of the camp, accused Ganduje of demolishing 130 houses, and 65 toilets and selling the plots to his cronies.

Yusuf also revoked the alleged sale of Hasiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital by the Ganduje-led government.

Meanwhile, for the over 10,000 workers employed by Ganduje, last week’s Sallah was a bleak one as Governor Yusuf had ordered the State’s Accountant General to stop their salaries.

He had accused Ganduje of illegally employing over 10,000 workers when his administration was about to leave office.

If this allegation also is true, then Ganduje will have a lot of explanations to make on the wisdom in employing over 10,000 workers on the eve of his departure. Was it a deliberate attempt to frustrate the incoming administration after being in office for eight years?

There is no denying the fact that Ganduje overreached himself severally as governor but did it not matter to him that one day he will be leaving office?

Power, indeed, is transient and as they say, there are no permanent enemies or friends in politics but permanent interests. Today, Ganduje is an ordinary citizen and is almost also losing out in the APC power equation as Kwankwaso whose party NNPP has captured the state from APC, is now being courted by the party at the centre, while Ganduje might as well lose out completely.

In politics you never say never. As these gladiators continue to slug it out, the innocent and not so innocent people, investors et al, caught in the crossfire will be the ultimate losers. Because after it all these gladiators would before long settle their differences whenever their paths of political opportunism and selfishness cross again.

Granted that Ganduje’s recklessness was public knowledge as governor, but is this grand scale destruction undertaken by Yusuf the only way out? What now happens to those genuine investors who may rightly have invested money in the state and whose properties are now being destroyed? What booster of confidence would this give to future investors in the state? Who will want to invest in a state when they are not sure if that investment will survive the current administration?

Gov Yusuf should have taken time to investigate to determine those who are genuine investors and those that Gov Ganduje may have appropriated to himself. Those built with state resources should have been confiscated or sold to raise scarce resources for the state.

That way, the distraction that will be generated by these controversies could have been avoided. Already, some of the affected investors are already threatening litigation against his government.

One of the developers, according to reports, Lamash Property Limited, which entered into a Public Private Partnership with the state on the redevelopment of the Daula Hotel, is demanding N10 billion compensation following the demolition of the property.

Also, another developer, White Nig. Ltd, which also has a Public Private partnership arrangement with the Kano State government to develop the Hajj Camp in the state is also threatening litigation.

The Managing Director of the organisation Hassan Yusuf Baba, said, “The most unfortunate thing is that we were not notified. We only woke up to see on social media that all structures were demolished. This is a gross injustice, and we will not fold our arms to see it happening in our state. We have concluded all arrangements to go to court to seek redress.”

Another developer, Dan Asabe Abubakar, whose building was also pulled down at the Racecourse shopping complex that houses a gymnastics and a medical laboratory among other vital sections, lamented how he spent over N1.4bn on the project.

Ultimately, justified or otherwise Gov Yusuf risks being accused of high-handedness and executive recklessness, a trait which is all too common with our political office holders, especially state governors.

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