In 1999, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso became governor of Kano State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His deputy was Abdullahi Ganduje, a man who contested against him in the PDP primary but was later selected as running mate. Four years later, the two men were kicked out of office by the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and its candidate Ibrahim Shekarau.
In the intervening eight years from 2003 to 2011, Kwankwaso and Ganduje worked together in several roles including in the federal cabinet of Olusegun Obasanjo where Kwankwaso served as defence minister with Ganduje as his special adviser.
Then in 2011, Kwankwaso and Ganduje were elected as governor and deputy governor of Kano once again, becoming the first and only governorship team to successfully return to office after losing an election.
In between 2011 and 2015, Kwankwaso defected from the PDP to the APC and as usual Ganduje was right there with him.
By the time of the 2015 general election, Ganduje was endorsed by Kwankwaso to succeed him as governor. He was the only deputy to be so endorsed by his boss in the country. He won the election while Kwankwaso became senator.
Within months however, the relationship between the two men broke down.
Now, the incumbent has threatened to probe the administration of his predecessor, the same government in which he was a crucial part of and whose achievements he told the people of Kano that he desired to continue.
Speaking through the state Commissioner for Information and Culture, Alhaji Muhammad Garba, the government said Ex-Gov. Kwankwaso’s penchant for peddling unsubstantiated allegations may force them to probe him.
“This deliberate distortion of facts and spreading of falsehood is capable of provoking the government to drop its non-confrontational stance and institute commission of inquiry to probe the previous administration particularly on illegal land deals, education and infrastructure,” the commissioner said.
The government was reacting to a 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Kwankwasiyya movement, loyal to the former governor, asking Governor Ganduje to drop his red cap or face a lawsuit.
The commissioner described the ultimatum as “the most laughable, pathetic, clear indication of their ignorance of the law and history of political struggle in Kano.”
“They should have known that red cap was introduced by the late Aminu Kano and popularised by him, his followers and disciples for which Governor Ganduje was among.
“He was also at the forefront of its re-introduction during the second tenure of Kwankwaso in 2011. Who then could better claim the red cap doctrine?”
The statement noted that “this unfortunate behaviour lacking in any tint of civility, decency and responsible politicking that has become the hallmark of top echelons of the Kwankwasiyya movement is, to say the least, laughable, pathetic, pitiful and desperate attempt to misguide the public and bring the administration of Ganduje and his personality to disrepute.”