- Protect your votes with pestles – PDP
- We will rig and nothing will happen – APC chair
In Kano, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are trading tackles even as 2023 is years away.
The next gubernatorial elections in Kano State may still be over two years away.
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But the two major political parties in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have started a new war of words thereby heating up the polity.
In what came across as a direct jab at the Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso-led group of the PDP in the state, the interim Chairman of the APC in the state, Abdullahi Abbas, reportedly said that the time for a free and fair election in the state had passed, and that they would rig elections and nothing would happen.
Abbas was speaking on Tuesday at the inauguration ceremony of the APC caretaker committees of the party from the 44 local government areas of the state.
Daily Trust reports that in 2019, the PDP was leading in the governorship election in Kano before it was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A supplementary election held in disputed areas was controversially won by the APC, which secured a second term for Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje.
Recall that the said rerun at Gama Ward of Nassarawa LGA was widely condemned for alleged vote buying, harassment and other irregularities.
Sen. Kwankwaso, a former governor of the state, earlier warned the ruling party in the state not to take the PDP for granted and plan a repeat of the Kano inconclusive governorship election of 2019, noting that his party, PDP, and his Kwankwasiyya supporters would not allow a repeat of that.
While addressing an audience in a video posted on Kwankwasiyya Reporters, a page dedicated to propagating his political events and speeches, Kwankwaso in Hausa language, said: “Now they are power drunk because they are enjoying the seat of power.
“Theyare not thinking of leaving power because for them 2023 is indefinite.
“In their thinking, all these sins they are committing, they will collaborate with INEC, security officials and other leaders in 2023 to repeat the inconclusive election they orchestrated in Kano in 2019.
“2023 will come in different colours; it is going to be a do-or die-affair and we are going to be ready.
“In 2023, I am calling on women to take up their pestles and wooden cooking spoons and hold them close (to protect their votes).”
Kwankwaso then described Ganduje as “appointed governor from the villa.”
This is coming barely a week after the PDP, during the swearing in of its new executives in the state, said it would never allow the inconclusive style of the governorship election in the state to repeat itself in 2023.
The controversy started over what PDP described as indiscriminate allocation of government lands to private individuals, as well as selling some important state property such as Daula Hotel, Triumph Publishing Company, and most recently, the Kano Zoo.
Kwankwaso accused the governor of turning Kano into his personal property by carving out lands and making himself the de facto Commissioner for Land in the state, and promised that PDP would reverse all his (Ganduje) “unpopular policies” whenever they had the chance.
We’ll rig elections and nothing will happen – Kano APC chair
Despite all the warnings from the PDP, the APC chairman in the state has insisted that they (the ruling party) would rig elections come 2023 and nothing would happen.
Speaking at the Tuesday event, Abbas said, “I want to remind the former Governor, Kwankwaso, that yes, we agree we are selling government lands, but, during his tenure, it was houses that he sold, not lands.
“All the houses belonging to the state were sold during his tenure. And I want him (Kwankwaso), his gubernatorial candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf, or his Deputy, Aminu Abdussalam, to boldly tell us that the houses they are now living in were not initially state property which they sold to themselves at meagre prices.
“They are just lying, we were part of them during the administration and we know everything they did. What is land? You that allocated houses to yourselves?
“And regarding elections, he said it would henceforth be do or die, let’s all die together. May Allah spare our lives to see the time; let’s see who will not come out.”
He further said, “I am not happy with the way residents of Kano City handled the issue in the last election. Whosoever knows that he cannot tackle Kwankwasiyya members should just go and not waste our time.
“Thenext election will be do or die; no mercy. The only thing they deserve is to be attacked. We will never allow villagers to come and repeat what they did to us.
“To our party loyalists, don’t condone Kwankwaso and his supporters.
“If they abuse you over the radio or physically, don’t be merciful to them.”
He boasted that, “Let me tell you that we will rig the 2023 elections and nothing will be done. We will replicate what we did in Gama Ward come 2023 and nothing would be done.
“This is our time. This is our government.”
My criticism over sale of govt property primitive, vague – Ganduje
On his part, Gov. Ganduje said the selling of the state’s property was done for the overall development of the state.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, on Tuesday, Ganduje described his critics over the issue as “primitive and [those] who cannot see beyond their noses.”
The governor was said to have made the comment on Tuesday during an inspection tour to the multi-billion naira Kano Economic City (KEC) at Dangwauro area on Zaria Road, a few kilometres away from the metropolitan city.
Ganduje said, “On the Triumph Newspaper building popularly known as Gidan Sa’adu Zungur, for those critics who don’t even understand the practice of modern journalism that does not require such a big building for the production of newspapers, we are turning the building into modern Foreign Exchange market.
“It is the sheer ignorance of modern technology in media practice.
People should be reminded that Triumph Newspaper Company was forced to stop any production by the past administration.
“And the company was closed for many years before we came to power.
“Who then is to blame between those who killed the company and those who understand the relevance and importance of the company and brought it back?
“Daula Hotel has become obsolete, if I can use that concept, and does not in any way depict modern day hotel business.
“What we are doing now is to modernise the place and put it to good use.
“That is why we wonder when these people say such property is being taken away from the public to personal use.”
On the popular Shahuci Motor Park site also sold by the state government, the governor argued that the building which was started by the past administration and subsequently abandoned had become a “criminals’ hideout” which necessitated making the place “livelier by selling it.”
Daily Trust reports that Gov. Ganduje, who was Kwankwaso’s deputy for eight years and his immediate successor in 2015, has been at loggerheads with his predecessor over issues, popular among which are auctioning of state property, the dethronement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as Kano emir and the removal of Kwankwasiyya inscription on government projects in the state.