Kano’s examplary choice

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

Of the six states that INEC declared had inconclusive elections, Kano seems to be getting the most attention, nationwide. This is not only because there was a brazen attempt to tamper with the election results, at the collation centre, by no less a person than the state’s deputy governor, but also because reaction from ordinary citizens of the state showed a clear wish to break from the past. Commentators from within and outside the state have been trying to decode the meaning of Kano choice, especially in the light of their overwhelming support for President Buhari on one hand and their apparent rejection of governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on the other. Personally, I am of the opinion that the so-called inconclusive elections in Kano are less a vote for the opposition PDP and more of a referendum against the incumbent APC governor. Kano people just can’t forget those bribe taking videos as if they never happened nor can they forget the fact that Dr Ganduje did all in his power to stop legislative investigation into it.

Below is an eloquently-argued view on the Kano elections, as put forward by an erudite academic who is an indigene of the state.


Kano chooses to be different for a purpose, a conscious one, that, though consistent with the famed Kano (radical) politics, marks a turning point in Nigeria’s political history. There is no better time than now, when a significant portion of Nigeria seems to be redefining its existence on primordial basis. Ethnic, religious and sectarian sentiments, personal and egoistic interests, base and bestial emotions, whims and caprices, all engulf and completely adulterate their superior power of rationality and sense of reasoning. Left with this, undoubtedly shallow minds, people resort to recidivist tendencies, opting for an unwholesome political future that drags us to the precipice.

They return people to the positions they’ve already used or are going to use to destroy their future, or people who have been proven to be conscious and willing collaborators in converting the people’s collective commonwealth into their personal estate.


That is where Kano people see difference as a reliable partner, a cherished option and a treasured attribute, and therefore found no reason to hesitate to differ.

While Kano people overwhelmingly accepted PMB of APC by giving him the biggest of all endorsements in the country, they rejected Governor Ganduje of the same APC, and declared Abba Yusuf of PDP as their preferance, even though INEC declared the process “inconclusive”.

What is the difference?

PMB was perceived as the apostle of anticorruption, an epitome of integrity, who no living creature has ever empirically proved has association with any shady deals in high places. On the other hand, Governor Ganduje as Kwankwaso’s deputy was seen as an able partner and was associated with all the achievements of that administration.

As a Governor, he is seen by many, at least in relative terms, as a performer, whose achievements are greater than those of many of his counterparts in Nigeria.

However, Governor Ganduje has been associated with an alleged corruption case, whose investigation and outcome have been shrouded in secrecy.

It is clear that, for Kano people, the coefficient is not the party, APC, nor the personalities in their individual capacities. So neither their love for or charisma of Kwankwaso, nor Abba’s association with him, and of course not the party, the PDP, to which the latter belong, could influence their decision to make a difference. It is simply to follow, with consistency, the logic of principle, that association with evil anywhere is association with evil everywhere.

In simple terms, Kano people have found a common denominator: integrity, in both APC and PDP to accept and they accepted. For them, given this common denominator, parties are inconsequential. They voted consciously for APC because of PMB, and not vice versa. So was the situation for PDP and Abba. They voted for Abba irrespective of his stigmatized party.

Amidst the confusion, the choking chauvinistic politics, ethnic and religious jingoism, and nerve-breaking irrationalities we have found ourselves, this is examplary, and as token as it may be, it is the best around. We cannot afford to let it go. It is not a loss to APC, because it is a huge gain to Nigeria. Indeed, not in the distant past, APC, or is it PMB, had an opportunity to have internally, even if secretly, averted what they may now consider a loss to the party, but it was ignored. The quagmire (or what else would you call it?) that is the political situation in Kano now is the product of this poor foresight.

With this choice, another, optimistically better, opportunity presents itself. *PMB and APC must allow justice to prevail and it must be seen to be done.* Kano people may not expect reciprocal gesture from PMB on a one-to-one basis for the massive goodwill and support they gave him, but they don’t expect him either, through action or inaction, to support the forces that are bent on quashing their collective will anyhow. The repercussions would be far-flung in both space and time. The growing support and sympathies for the *”Kano Principle”* have gone far beyond individuals, parties and beyond the spatial expanse of Nigeria.

One of the dire and immediate consequences of this situation, is crippling of the most powerful (the anti corruption fight) of the three legs on which the APC administration walks. We may all love to hate this but it is bound to be inevitable, if it is not prevented. And the cost can be unbearable for all.

Lukman Diso, Prof of Library & Information Science. BUK


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