June 11, 2023

Aso Rock slapping threat: Kwankwaso steps up Ganduje attack

  • Calls Kano immediate past gov confused

By Dickson Omobola & Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, in the 2023 polls, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has said that the immediate past governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, was in a confused state when he threatened to slap him in a statement at Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Friday.

Ganduje, who was infuriated by the ongoing demolition of houses by Governor Abba Kabiir Yusuf of Kano State, had said he could have slapped his predecessor, Kwankwaso if he saw him at the Presidential Villa.

Yusuf had been elected in the 2023 general elections on the platform of the NNPP.

Fielding a question on whether he met Kwankwaso who was also around in the Villa and met with President Bola Tinubu, he said: “I know he is in the building but we have not met. Probably if we met, maybe I could have slapped him.”

Ganduje, who added that the demolition exercise was done without carrying out any investigation or giving due notice in line with the provisions of the Land Use Act, said he spoke at length on the issue while reporting the matter to the President.

But Kwankwaso, who met separately with Tinubu at the Villa, also told journalists that the President agreed with him that the demolition had to take place after giving reasons.

Stepping up his attack on Ganduje, Kwankwaso, during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service yesterday morning, said he met with Tinubu for about two hours at the Villa and was able to convince him on the alleged land deals and other alleged infractions of the Ganduje administration in Kano.

Kwankwaso said the President was “surprised with the revelations,” alleging that Ganduje had, among others, allocated lands at the Kano Race Course to his friends and family members

According to him, the Eid praying ground where Muslims converge to pray during Sallah was not spared by Ganduje, who had allegedly granted permission for shops to be built round the holy place.

Kwankwaso said: “I heard that he (Ganduje) said he would have slapped me, but I’m here. He was just confused. These are all my boys politically. They can’t even look at me straight on the face if we meet. He was in a confused state when he said that, these my political boys if they see me, they lower their gaze.”

Sunday Vanguard recalls that Yusuf, in separate statements issued to newsmen, penultimate Saturday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanusi Bature Dawakin-Tofa, had ordered the demolition of illegal structures erected within some identified public places and directed all land developers around Kano hajj camp to discontinue all construction works with immediate effect or face the consequences.

The statements read in part: “The structures erected in schools, mosques, play grounds, graveyards, markets and hospitals are to be demolished to ensure strict adherence on the urban planning, beautification and safety of people.

“These places are meant for public utilisation, it is therefore, disheartening to witness the incessant destruction and conversion of public places that are used to render social services by unpatriotic citizens. We shall bring an end to land grabbing and indiscriminate erection of illegal structures in the state.”

“I became restless because of the premonition I had that the camp is in bad condition and the visit I paid today attested to that and no right-thinking person could believe that this is a hajj camp to accommodate intending pilgrims.

“I am not happy with what is on the ground, the immediate past administration in the state had demolished 130 houses, and 65 toilets and sold the plots to their cronies and if not because of exigencies of time as uplifting of this year’s pilgrims is about to commence, we would have brought the place back to its normal position. It is on the view of the above that as the executive Governor of Kano state, I directed that all land developers at the hajj camp to stop immediately, otherwise recalcitrants would bear the consequences.”