Supremacy battle for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and allocation of political offices in Kano State are the key reasons behind the rift between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Ripples can report.
Investigations revealed that Ganduje has been desperate to seize control of the party structures and other organs of government from Kwankwaso, who governed the state from 1999-2003 and 2011-2015.
Ganduje, who served as his deputy on both terms as well as Special Assistant on Political Matters to Kwankwaso when he was Minister of Defence under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, according to his aides has been bidding for time to break the strong grips of his former boss from the state.
The former governor, who represents Kano Central in the Upper Chamber, has a cult-like followership in Kano, which became evident during the recent condolence visit to Ganduje over the death of the latter’s mother.
Many supporters of the governor were stunned that Kwankwaso’s visit to Kano, the first since he left office last May, attracted such a buzz and grounded the state.
They were said to have impressed it on the governor to cut Kwankwaso to size immediately for him to be able to govern the state without distractions.
This, it was gathered, is why the governor turned down nominees from Kwankwaso’s camp for consideration as commissioners and also dismantled some structures of the former governor.
Parts of the key decisions of Kwankwaso reversed by Ganduje are the revocation of plots allocated in front of the Kofar Mata Stadium believed to have been given to his cronies and stoppage of projects started by the former governor.
Many of his supporters given government jobs and contracts have also been shoved aside in a move to hurt the support base of the Senator.
Many of Kwankwaso’s former appointees and aides have been complaining of being shut out of the current administration, which they claimed they worked to install.
But long before the rift became public knowledge, it was learnt that Ganduje had been embittered by the reluctance of Kwankwaso to hand him the governorship ticket in the run-off to the 2015 general elections.
The former governor, contrary to public impression that he backed his ex-deputy, was working towards scuttling his emergence until key party chieftains prevailed on him at the last minutes.
Ganduje, who was said to have been privy to the plot, simply kept quiet, bidding for time to get back once in power.
His first move was to work for the emergency of a Speaker favourable to him immediately after he was installed.
This, it was learnt, was to foreclose the possibility of an impeachment plot considering the massive influence of Kwankwaso in the Assembly.
Speaker Kabiru Rurum was said to have tacitly mobilised other House members in favour of the governor, a move that culminated into the abandonment of the red cap symbol of Kwankwaso some weeks back.
With the Assembly secured, the governor moved to the party where Kwankwaso had installed a loyalist, Alhaji Umar Doguwa, as chairman.
Doguwa, who initially condemned the Senator’s visit to Kano, later recanted when his co-loyalists in Kwankwaso’s camp reached out to him.
He has since been suspended with the Organising Secretary, Sanusi Suraju Kwankwaso, in a move by Ganduje to go for the broke.
His Special Adviser on Political Matters, Alhaji Abdullahi Sanusi, has been installed as the interim chairman ostensibly to show the governor will not brood any opposition over control of the party.
Sources close to the Senator said his aides have been told to lie low in the meantime while they return to the drawing board to restrategise.
The governor, on his part, is said to be prepared for the worst, knowing the battle strategies of his former boss.
The battle is certainly going to be long-drawn considering that both adversaries know each other inside out, a development that is sending cold shivers down spines of the ruling APC even at the national secretariat in Abuja.
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