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Politics Updated: May 25, 2024

Despite federal might, Kwankwaso, Yusuf weaken Ganduje’s structure

By TIMOTHY TIMILEHIN ENIETAN-MATTHEWS
May 25, 2024
APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje
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These are not the best times for the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdulahi Ganduje as he continues to fight battles on different frontiers.

The battles faced by the former Kano State Governor are such that are capable of diminishing his standing in the politics of the state and the nation at large.

Ganduje’s political battles, ironically, are championed by his former boss, political ally and friend, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in concert with Abba Yusuf, the current governor of Kano State.

Trouble started for Ganduje when Kwankwaso's candidate in the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, defeated Gawuna, the candidate of the APC. Since the election defeat, Ganduje has been at the receiving end, with Yusuf undoing virtually everything Ganduje did during his eight year rule as governor.

It became glaring from the early days of the Yusuf administration that Ganduje may be in for a hard time, as structures built by him were pulled down, land allocations revoked to the chagrin of Ganduje, who has been fighting tooth and nail in resistance.

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As if that was not enough, the new administration in the state instituted investigation into his tenure, culminating in charges against the former governor over alleged bribe taking when he was in government.

Aside the charges of bribery, the state government also instituted a judicial commission of inquiry on public properties and assets to probe the previous administration led by Ganduje.

Governor Yusuf had earlier inaugurated two judicial commissions of inquiry (JCI) to investigate instances of misappropriation of public properties and assets, political violence, and missing persons between 2015 and 2023.

While the state government was busy torchlighting the administration of Ganduje, an Internal revolt came up within the APC against the his continued chairmanship of the party. This started with the suspension of Ganduje by his ward in Kano.

The plot to remove Ganduje from office has thickened in the past one month.

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It reached a crescendo last Thursday when scores of demonstrators stormed the APC secretariat in Abuja to demand his resignation and have the seat of the party leadership, previously occupied by Abdullahi Adamu, returned to the North Central Zone.

The protesters hinged their request on the recent suspension of Ganduje by a faction of his ward executive and the bribery allegation levelled against him by the Kano State government.

Though there was a spirited effort to ward off the internal revolt, however, there are still indications that all is not well yet with Ganduje’s grip on the leadership of the party.

What many people, however, believe is that the masterstroke that has the potential to erase Ganduje’s legacy and permanently weaken his political influence in the state, was the sacking of the five emirs by the Yusuf administration.

It will be recalled that Ganduje, as governor, backed by a law passed by the Kano State House of Assembly, created four new Emirates in Kano and deposed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

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In what many see as a both playback and payback, the Yusuf administration, on Thursday, also backed a repeal of the former law, sacked the five emirs in the state and returned Kano to a single emirate. He also sacked the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, with a 48 hours order to vacate the palace.

The collapse of the emirates and the sacking of the emirs, may have concluded the decimation of whatever leftover influence the APC National Chairman has left in the state.

Commenting on Ganduje’s travails and the weakning of his structures and base in Kano politics, the immediate past National Vice Chairman (North-west) of the APC, Salihu Lukman, on Tuesday, said things could have been averted if Ganduje had a firm grip on his political structure in the state.

Lukman further explained that the reason the Kano government and supporters of the New Nigeria Peoples Party succeeded in inflicting political damages on Ganduje was because he left the state with his trusted allies after he emerged as the national chairman of the party.

He insisted that his travail could have been averted if the former Kano governor had not taken the APC leadership as a jamboree by departing the state with many of his trusted loyalists.

He said: “Beyond all that is also the fact that once Dr. Ganduje emerged as the National Chairman of APC, virtually all the APC leaders in Kano State relocated to Abuja. Part of why the Kano State Government was able to inflict the kind of huge political damage on Dr Ganduje is because of the absence of virtually all APC leaders in Kano.

“The reality is that since the emergence of Dr. Ganduje as National Chairman, for about nine months, he has not visited Kano State more than twice. With such reality, and operating as an opposition party, it begs the question about whether he is at all interested in getting APC to win back Kano State.

“If President Asiwaju Tinubu with all his busy schedules could find time to go back to Lagos State on more than five occasions, it is certainly scandalous that Dr. Ganduje will use his position as the APC National Chairman as an excuse for political truancy. Being a political truant could only produce electoral failure back in his home state,” he advised.

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