Aminu Yassar is the Director General, Media and Communications to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State. He speaks on Ganduje’s chances in next year’s governorship election.
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How will you rate the chances of your principal, Dr. Ganduje ahead of the 2019 governorship contest in the state?
I think this question should not be coming at this time because if you look around you, you will see that the people of Kano State have every reason to vote for the APC and Governor Ganduje. Look at the type of value he has added to the state in the past four years. I think that there has been nothing like it before now. The governor has changed the face of the sector of education in the state. Classroom blocks have been added to almost all the schools in the state, new primary and secondary schools are springing up daily all across the state.
Look at the interventions in the health sector, the Gigunyo Hospital for instance, the Zoo Road Paediatrics Hospital which was named after Mallam Isyaku Rabiu, look at the over 300 health facilities that the governor has constructed and or upgraded in all the nooks and corners of Kano State. I am also pointing at his performance in the area of agriculture, where majority of the people are engaged and are working. There have been interventions and these have been very helpful to the farmers. Above all, come to the area of peace. In the past three years, the challenge of Boko Haram, kidnapping and cattle rustling have all been reduced to the barest minimum. The problem of intercommunal clashes between different communities in Kano, between the host and non – host communities, have subsided significantly. So I am saying that people would decide in his favour because he has changed their fortunes in the most extraordinary ways.
Many people believe that with the coming of Atiku, a Muslim, a Northerner and a Fulani man like Buhari, what seemed to be an advantage for Buhari and Ganduje team in Kano appeared to have been washed away. Would this count against him?
Well, look the position of the parties in Kano, especially the crisis in the PDP, the platform which the candidate of Atiku would contest against him, is in disarray. And I am not saying this just because I have to defend my boss. I am telling you the truth. In the history of Kano politics, there has never been an opposition to an incumbent governor that is this confused and scattered. Up to this moment, no one can tell you the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Kano State. Their house has fallen. And it is a pity. So, in my opinion, it is going to be a one way drive for Governor Ganduje of Kano State. I know that you will say or ask me what about the other parties? I guess that is what is ringing in your mind. But as you know, the other parties are not in existence in Kano. Be it PRP, SDP or APGA and the rest of them. They are on the pages of their fliers, they are hardly in existence. It is one thing to paint the walls of your building or your abandoned structure, it also possible you are just providing a platform for aggrieved aspirants to migrate to. That is what is happening to a few of them. But in all sincerity, these small parties are not a threat.
But what about the Kwankwasiyya Movement, will you also say that they are not in existence or are no threat?
Kwankwasiyya Movement is hardly in existence anymore.
No! No!! I beg to disagree.
(Cuts) You better wait for me to finish.
Kwankwasiyya is hardly in existence today. Maybe you can say that there was a Kwankwasiyya yesterday and somebody would listen to you. But today, tell it to the winds. Kwankwasiyya is no longer an issue. The crisis that engulfed the Movement in recent times is well documented. You certainly know that there has been crisis in the party because Senator Kwankwaso brought in his in-law through the back door to become the governorship candidate of the party against the wishes of a majority of his followers. That problem tore the Movement into pieces, with many of their key faces like the former Deputy Governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar resigning from the group and moving out of the party entirely to find shelter elsewhere. That is how bad it is for the Kwankwasiyya Movement.
Back to Atiku, there is the optimism that when Atiku finally arrives in Kano, many things that are bad today would fit into shape. Even some APC politicians who are original to Atiku structure would dump APC and defect to Atiku. Do you share this view?
Atiku has never been an issue in Kano politics. You may talk of maybe states like Adamawa, Taraba, and others, but sincerely speaking, and you can quote me, Atiku is not politically alive in Kano.
A few bigwigs have been moving to the PRP of late. One of them is the former PDP gubernatorial candidate, Mallam Sagir Takai, can an old good party like the PRP not turn out to oust your boss?
You see PRP is virtually a footnote in the politics of Kano, some kind of worn out memory. PRP used to be popular in the past no doubt. But those were in the days of the past. We must accept that things have changed. I don’t think that the party has the power to even produce a councillor in Kano State.
So you are saying that you are very sure that you guys are going to win the contest?
It is almost certain. There is 99.9 percent assurance that Governor Ganduje would be returned by the good people of Kano State as the next governor of the state, next year.