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Ganduje: I Would Have Slapped Kwankwaso If We Had Met At Aso Rock

Kwankwaso claims Tinubu is shocked by Ganduje’s atrocities as governor and hinted at serving under Tinubu’s government.

Abdullahi Ganduje

Former Governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Friday traded words over the recent demolition of buildings and structures in Kano by the new Governor  of the state,

Abba Yusuf.

The duo, who were at the State House, Abuja, to see President Bola Tinubu, spoke separately to newsmen after their closed-door session with the President. 

First to speak with reporters was the immediate past governor of Kano State, Ganduje, who said he would have slapped his predecessor,  Kwankwaso, if they had met after both men arrived the State House separately to see President  Tinubu.

Ganduje, who had been asked whether he saw Kwankwaso in the president’s office replied: “I know he is in the building but we have not met. Maybe I could have slapped him.”

He said he came to report Kwankwaso to President Tinubu over the alleged indiscriminate demolition of property in Kano.

Ganduje described the action of Governor Abba Yusuf as “illegal,” saying that the demolition exercise was under Kwankwaso’s prompting.

He lamented the fact that the shopping complex around the new  Daula Hotel developed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement and approved by the state’s executive, was demolished on the directive of Kwankwaso, without any investigation, without any notice, by the current administration in the state.

According to him: “We appointed a technical committee right from the beginning. They submitted a report to the Executive Council. The executive council approved for the PPP project. The PPP project is 90% executed, but now without any investigation, without any notice, this new government  under the directive of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso demolished the building. The issue is in a court of law”.

Ganduje said the demolition exercise was done without carrying out any investigation or giving due notice in line with the provisions of Land Use Act.

The former governor said he spoke at length on the issue while reporting the matter to the president and had petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, with video evidence of the looting and vandalisation that trailed the demolition.

Ganduje said he had briefed the president adequately on the demolition exercise that even affected the supporters of Kwankwaso whom he accused of ordering the action.

He said the governor who he described as a “stooge” of Kwankwaso was no longer happy because of the condemnation that greeted the move.

Asked to give figures to properties lost to the demolition exercise, he said some human rights organizations were working on the level of damage.

Ganduje, however, said one of the developers who was affected had sued government demanding over N10 billion.

Also speaking with reporters after his separate meeting with the President, Kwankwaso dismissed his successor’s claim, accusing him of appropriating government property for himself and family members.

According to him, his party had pledged to demolish such structures during the electioneering campaigns ahead of the March, 2023 governorship poll.

Kwankwaso disclosed that he and Ganduje, were summoned by President  Tinubu over the ongoing demolition in the State.

He claimed that most of the buildings demolished were illegally acquired by the Ganduje administration and that President Tinubu was shocked when he briefed him on the true picture of what led to the present demolition. 

Asked if he was satisfied with the president’s intervention, the former Defence Minister said: “The President was shocked. Are you not shocked that somebody will sell University? Are you not shocked that he  demolished the only university? Daula Hotel, for those of you who are in Kano, you know the old Daula, demolished  to zero and that is a faculty under the university of science and technology. He demolished that one. Are you not shocked? 

“The President was shocked. He didn’t know. He even  mentioned that he talked to somebody to go and find out for him. But when I told him, I said you are a Muslim, very soon you are going for Sallah. How can you go under that circumstance and pray in that place? And even the Triumph place he is talking about, you are  journalists. You should be angry because that’s your constituency, he demolished completely and put shops everywhere.”

According to Kwankwaso, his party under Governor Abba Yusuf, was only fulfilling the campaign promises to demolish such structures.

“You see the governor is doing what we campaigned with. I wanted to be president, I campaigned also. And I went to Kano and told them that these places, schools, in fact most of our schools in Kano were being encroached. And it is our policy to make sure that they encroached are returned to them. We will not allow anybody either local government chairman, or Governor to go sell.”

The  leader of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) revealed that the issue of a ministerial post for him in the Tinubu administration came up during his discussion with the president. 

He agreed that he was open to work with the president to move the nation forward, adding that discussion on the issue was ongoing.

While noting that himself and the president had come a long way, Kwankwaso affirmed that he would not join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as Tinubu was only looking at a government of national unity.

Asked whether the issue of a ministerial appointment for him was discussed, he said: “The issue came up but we are still discussing. We will see how it comes to fruition. We will be very happy to see how we can move the country forward.”

Deji Elumoye in Abuja