Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has explained why he could not deliver on his promise to ensure President Muhammadu Buhari gets five million votes in Kano State.
He also described those doubting the number of votes scored by Mr Buhari in last Saturday’s election in the state as unserious.
Mr Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 1,464,768 votes in Kano to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who polled 391,593 in the state.
There was cancellation of results in some polling units in 17 local government areas. But the state witnessed no violence during the elections, although some people died in a clash between supporters of the APC and PDP a week before the polls.
Mr Buhari was declared the overall winner of the election after he polled 15, 191,847, against the 11,262,978 votes polled by former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the PDP who finished as runner-up.
Reacting to doubt by some Nigerians over the votes scored by Mr Buhari in Kano, Mr Ganduje, who was in the Presidential Villa Wednesday to congratulate Mr Buhari on his re-election said, “first of all they are not serious people, they are people who are anti-democracy.
“If you have seen how the elections were conducted I think everybody will agree that INEC tried very well. Even though there was low turnout of voters because we were expecting to get much more than that, the election was fair and free.
“Those who say we couldn’t have got that much are ignorant of the politics of Kano.”
Mr Ganduje said the result of the presidential and the National Assembly elections has put the APC in good stead to win the March 9 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections. Mr Ganduje is seeking reelection in that poll.
The 5 million votes
Asked why he did not deliver on the five million votes he promised the president, the governor said, “Well, I told you it is because of the low turnout of voters. But I promise You next time…let’s look towards the governorship election.“
Although Mr Buhari scored his highest votes in the 2019 election in Kano, the votes was significantly lower than the about 1.9 million votes he scored in the state in 2015.
Mr Ganduje, who is enmeshed in a bribery scandal after being caught on tape receiving thousands of dollars from state contractors, also spoke on his chances in the governorship election
“My chances are very bright and you can see the beginning of it with the presidential election. We gave Mr President the highest number of votes, all the three senators are back, 24 House of Representatives members out of 24 have succeeded. What else are you expecting? That is the foundation. Another thing is that Mr President has done a lot of work in Nigeria and in Kano and as a government we have done a lot in Kano State.
“If there was negative reaction we would have seen it from the presidential election. That is why I say we are heading for a huge success in Kano both in the gubernatorial and state house of Assembly elections.”
Mr Ganduje said he was at the Presidential Villa to express his happiness and to also congratulate the president personally.
He said he also wanted to thank all Nigerians for voting Mr Buhari for a second term, and “for voting the most honest person because he laid the foundation for the development of a new Nigeria, and a man who loves Nigeria more than himself, a man who believes in free and fair elections.”
“We are forging ahead in terms of getting the right thing done in Nigeria. So, I am here to congratulate him personally before we come as a group from Kano to congratulate him,” he said.