Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has described his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, as the best civilian governor the state has had since the late Abubakar Rimi.
Mr. Ganduje was Mr. Kwankwaso’s deputy until he succeeded him in 2015, but both men have since been on different sides of a deep fissure in their party, the All Progressives Congress, in the state.
Speaking at an event on Monday as part of the 50th anniversary of the state, Mr. Ganduje, however, made a rare positive appraisal of his predecessor in public, since the outset of the conflict between both men.
He praised Mr. Rimi, who was governor under the defunct People’s Redemption Party between 1979 and 1983, for laying the foundation for the development of the state by executing several projects under four years.
He listed the key achievements of the Second Republic governor as creation of the state-owned City Television, also known as CTV, and newspaper, The Triumph; Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, KNARDA; Kano Agricultural Supply Company, KASCO, the State Rural Electricity Company; and many other projects he said still impact lives in the state.
He said Mr. Rimi executed many development projects, especially a series of agricultural programmes and electrification of towns and villages, despite a low revenue base of the state which also included the present Jigawa State at the time.
Mr. Rimi stepped down for Dawakin Tofa in 1983 to seek reelection on the ticket of the defunct Nigerian People’s Party but lost the bid to Sabo Bakin Zuwo who ran on the ticket of the PRP.
In the still-born Third Republic between 1992 and 1993, Kabiru Gaya, who is now a senator on the platform of the APC, was the elected governor of the state on the ticket of the defunct National Republican Convention.
“Why I choose Kwankwaso as my second best governor after Rimi is because of the fact that no matter what, in his first coming he introduced various projects and linkage road networks”.
He recalled that Mr. Kwankwaso in his first term between 1999 and 2003 faced many challenges arising from the pressure by Islamic leaders for the implementation of Sharia laws in Kano.
“There were a lots of conspiracy against Kwankwaso at that time. Many people wanted him out of power despite the fact that he was trying his best to change Kano and he had to go.”
Mr. Ganduje said Mr. Kwankawaso was dogged in his beliefs and stood his ground untill he staged a comeback in 2011, adding, “and when he came back he did his best, that is why he remains my best governor”.
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