Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s name has appeared among top contenders for the 2019 governorship race in Kano state despite facing serious allegations of collecting bribes in hard currency from an unnamed contractor as shown in a series of leaked video clips.
The governor, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is among the top in the list of 23 candidates vying for the coveted seat followed by his opponent, Abba Kabir Yusuf, a son-in-law to Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, who was anointed to fly the flag of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
The INEC had said last month that it had received Ganduje’s credentials as the Kano governorship candidate of the APC along with those of his running mate Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna.
However, a second opponent of the governor, Salihu Sagir Takai who was just a few days ago chosen as a consensus candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), was excluded from the list. Takai recently defected to PRP from the PDP after he lost the party’s primaries to Yusuf.
Explaining the absence of Takai’s name from the gubernatorial election list, the spokesman of INEC in Kano, Muhammad Lawal Garba, said the issue concerning Takai should not come up now, because PRP has a candidate, you can only talk about Takai, after the legally permitted substitution period elapses.
Garba cautioned that the names of candidates were been sorted out adding that, it is premature to speculate on the exclusion of any particular candidate.
Also, the name and credentials of former Kano state governor and minister of education mallam Ibrahim Shekarau were pasted at the commission, confirming the choice of the former governor as the APC candidate for the Kano central zone.
According to the list of candidates released by INEC in Kano on Saturday, four women namely Safiya Salisu Abdul, National Unity Party, (NUP) Fatima Isa, Restoration Party of Nigeria,(RPN), Amina Garba, and Halima Ahmed, Alliance for Democracy,(AD) are also struggling to unseat Ganduje in 2019.
Some of the parties whose candidates made the INEC list for the 2019 governorship election in Kano state include Alliance for Democracy (AD) Young Peoples Party,(YPP), Kowa Party, (KP), National Unity Party, (NUP), Green Party of Nigeria,(GPN) and Restoration Party of Nigeria(RPN).