By Bashir Abdullahi El-bash
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was at the United States of America, where he, along with other Nigerian governors, attended a special session at the United Nations General Assembly.
He was clearly unperturbed as he was confident, through his belief, in Allah Almighty, that the Kano Election Petition Tribunal would declare him winner of the March 2019 governorship election.
As he had hoped, Allah did not disappoint him. On October 2, 2019, Justice Halima Shamaki, chairman of the Tribunal dismissed the case, filed by Abba Kabir Yusuf, of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) challenging the elections.
It was a day of joy for Kano, a true victory for the people. And to demonstrate their appreciation for the victory, the people of Kano jubilated, celebrated, prayed and thanked Allah for affirming their choice—Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje.
Since the judgement was delivered, thousands of Kano people, from all nooks and crannies across the 44 local government areas of the state, waited impatiently for the return their beloved leader. They were itching to celeberate with him, show him love.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Governor Ganduje, who had also accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to South Africa on a State Visit, announced that he was on his way to Kano.
Within minutes, jubilant crowds began to troop into Kano city, from all parts of the state, some heading to Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), while others waited along road sides to welcome him.
When Governor Ganduje’s plane eventually touched down at MAKIA, the mammoth crowds became animated, “Jagoran Talakwa”, “Shugaba mai son ci gaban Jihar Kano”, “Allah bar mana kai Baba” “Aiki, Aiki, Aiki”, they chanted.
It took him over five hours from MAKIA to the Government House due to the massive crowds of supporters that welcomed him from Kofar Ruwa area through Gwammaja down to Goron Dutse.
From Goron Dutse to Tal’udu then Mandawari area through Kano Emir’s Palace down to State Road and the rally terminated at Government House roundabout, where Governor Ganduje addressed supporters and thanked them for the display of solidarity and commitment to the development of the state.
In his address he emphatically mentioned that his emerging as victorious at the Tribunal was not victory for him or his Deputy, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna alone, “It is a victory for humanity, democracy and progressives. And I am determined to work assiduously for the overall development of the state,” he said.
After thanking people for electing him during the 2019 gubernatorial election, that was contested by the PDP at the Tribunal, he also thanked all for their prayers and show of solidarity during the court case.
Ganduje said “I thank Kano people for their resolve to stand by me and my party, to elect me and my Deputy Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna for the second term in the last general election of 2019. This shows how satisfied you are with our style of leadership.”
He maintained that, when electorate elected him for the second time, that victory was certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and was re-certified by the Election Tribunal when the victory was challenged by the opposition PDP in the Tribunal.
“We were extremely happy when the opposition challenged our victory in the Tribunal. Do you know why? They helped in the re-announcement of our victory, by the Tribunal this time around. This is a good omen for our democracy,” he stated.
Challenging election results, according to him, is allowed in democracy, “…it even adds aroma to democracy and democratic development. They have every right to go to Tribunal. But what happened at the end of it all? he asked rhetorically.
“At the Tribunal, all issues raised by them were discussed, debated upon, analysed by legal luminaries and finally trashed away. For the simple reason that all their issued were baseless, not focused and haphazardly arranged,” he said.
Ganduje used the opportunity to remind people about his recent free and compulsory primary and secondary education, explaining that, education is the bedrock of any development, “…so we must all put hands together and face it squarely.”
“As far as we are concerned, we are zero-tolerant to Out-Of-School children. This is a task that must be done. We also have special treatment for people with special needs. My government loves all of you irrespective of your ethnic or religious inclination,” assured the governor.
Earlier, the state chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Prince Abdullahi Abbas, said “This is my most joyful day in my history in politics. We are here with our supporters telling Nigerians, including our opposition, that Kano people elected Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as our governor for the second term. And here we are, when Tribunal re-certifies the victory to us, the APC, with Governor at the helm of affairs.”
Abbas encouraged supporters that even at the Court of Appeal, the same judgement passed by the Tribunal would be maintained, even if it would take them to Supreme Court “…we are sure of beating them hands down. Because the mandate was given to us genuinely and democratically by the electorate,” he insisted.
“Today is historic. Just look at the time we took from the airport to Government House, over 6 hours. A distance of not more than 40 minutes. What this signifies is, the unrelenting support we have from our people. Ours is indeed people-oriented administration,” he declared.
WHAT GANDUJE’S VICTORY MEANS
Many people have wondered why the show of love for Governor Ganduje was so overwhelming after his return to Kano following his tribunal victory. The answer is simple—Ganduje is a passionate servant of Kano people and an epitome of development.
The evidence of Governor Ganduje’s giant developmental strides is there for all to see, his projects, programmes and policies, which are carefully designed to make positive impact on the lives of ordinary people are visible and verifiable!
Even as I write this, Governor Ganduje has just been honoured (yet again) by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum as the best performing governor in their Progressive Strides Report.
This was disclosed in a letter sent to the governor, dated 7 October, 2019 and signed by the Director-General of the Forum, Salihu Mohammad Lukman, captioned “Progressive Strides – Tracking Developmental Initiatives in APC States.”
The APC Governors’ Forum explained in the letter that the entries that led to emergence of the report, witnessed another improvement concerning developmental strides “…collated from the Forum States in 2019.”
“The information collated was readily available on public platforms and same reported to the Secretariat,” the letter stated.
Even though there was an all-round increase in the pattern of initiatives introduced by the APC states, the letter categorically stated that Kano state recorded the most initiative with 18 strides.
These strides, according to the APC Governors Forum “spread across empowerment, health care, education, security, transportation, welfare, power, agriculture, justice and sensitization.”
In terms of this development, Kano was trailed behind even by Lagos, which is seen as the hub of development in the country. Indeed, this is a victory for Kano people.
This only means that the monumental achievements of Governor Ganduje are being acknowledged across the country and the world at large every single day! So, Kanawa should get ready to receive more juicy rewards from Baba Ganduje’s Next Level administration. And I assure all of us that we won’t regret our choice.