The Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, has come under fire on social media following a viral picture showing him stepping on a poster with the face of his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, at a public event in Kano.
Both men were longtime political allies but turned adversaries after Mr Ganduje became governor.
The picture captured the governor stepping on a poster with the face of Mr Kwankwaso during an event on Democracy Day where some defectors were welcomed into the All Progressives Congress.
Many Facebook users pounded the governor over the action, including his former Commissioner for Work, Mu’az Magaji.
Mr Ganduje had sacked Mr Magaji over controversial comments he made on the death of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari.
Reacting to the picture, Mr Magaji said the governor’s action was unbecoming and disgraceful, adding that Mr Kwankwaso remains Mr Ganduje’s boss despite their current statuses.
“Whoever advised this as an act of political opposition, or more appropriately, a demonstration of conquest, vanquish or authority, doesn’t know politics enough and how it spins…..this act am sorry to say Sir, is petty and not right coming from an elder and our leader like yourself. ..
“Your Excellency, no matter what happens Kwankwaso was a former Governor, Minister of the Federal Republic and a former deputy speaker of the National Assembly and was a Distinguished Senator of the Federation….and today a major (confused) political actor in the Federation from Kano State,” Mr Magaji posted on Facebook.
“Sir, Kwankwaso also through divine timing and design happened to be your former boss as Governor when you were his deputy Governor and S.A. as Minister.
“This act is sending wrong message and sadly will come back to haunt us as a party and Government. Just imagine how I will feel if I see this happening to HE AU Ganduje after he leaves office? For the record, we fought SLS for his disrespect for the position, age and status of HE AU Ganduje in Kano,” the former commissioner said
“I will urge HE to pls take the moral position of an elder and leader. Having won the bitter war between him and RMK, got all he wanted in his life, most of which was with RMK, and as Allah wished it the coveted prize of Governorship was despite and irrespective of RMK….that to me was the greatest win,” Mr Magaji wrote
Also commenting on Facebook, Ibrahim Garba-Maryam, a Kano based development activist, accused Mr Ganduje of diverting public attention from critical development issues.
“Kwankwaso is not our problem in Kano. He owes nothing to us except his political ideology. Sir, our problem in Kano is political kleptomania and deficiency in infrastructure, including political lies, for instance, free and compulsory education being aborted by selfishness,” Mr Garba-Maryam posted on Facebook.
Another Facebook user, Haruna Abubakar-Bebeji, said: “May God not let us betray whoever helps us in life, no matter how little.”
However, for Sageerr Tarda-Ungogo, “if Kwankwaso could call Mr Ganduje a mad man and you didn’t hold him to his word, now you have no reason to criticise Ganduje for stepping on Kwankwaso’s picture.
“We are together with Ganduje 100% and Kano belongs to him. By age, Ganduje is above Kwankwaso and he is a governor, no reason whatsoever to call him a mad man,” Mr Tarda-Ungogo wrote.
The new media aide to the governor, Abubakar Ibrahim, saw nothing wrong in Mr Ganduje’s action.
However, following the backlash on social media, the commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, said the viral picture was unintentional.
In a statement, the commissioner said that no matter the political misunderstanding and differences, it has never been the character of Governor Ganduje to engage in any disrespectful act or belittling any political leader.
Explaining what actually happened, Mr Garba said: “During the event, which was organised as part of activities marking this year’s Democracy Day, two former gubernatorial candidates and many members of the Kwankwasiyya defected to the APC.
“When Governor Ganduje was called to the podium, the former Kwankwasiyya members lined up on the way to applaud and pay their allegiance to the governor.
“Some of the members who abandoned the Kwankwasiyya movement at the event, parenthetically, were down playing pictures of the former governor, one of which, dropped on the red carpet as Governor Ganduje walked his way to the podium, and unknowingly stepped on it.”
The commissioner said Mr Ganduje is peace loving and tolerant, adding that the governor habours no grudges against Mr Kwankwaso.
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