✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Nigeria 2023 Elections: Gubernatorial Results (Source:INEC)

Kano 2023: Can Abba Gida-Gida’s NNPP remove APC from power?

As the 2023 general elections approaches, Kano politics is taking a new shape with political weights in the state scheming to be......

As the 2023 general elections approaches, Kano politics is taking a new shape with political weights in the state scheming to be relevant during the election season.

In line with such political maneuvering, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2019 election in Kano, Abba Kabir Yusuf, popularly known as Abba Gida-Gida, his running mate in the election Aminu Abdussalam Gwarzo, among other Kwankwasiyya bigwigs, defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

A few days later, Abba Gida-Gida’s political godfather and the leader of Kwankwasiyya, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso joined the party.

Pundits had foreseen this as internal strife over Kano PDP dominance involving Kwankwaso and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali’s factions.

‘Injustice forced us out of PDP’

Justifying their defection Abba Gida-Gida said they discovered that the PDP was not different from the All Progressives Party (APC) which they dumped in 2018 because of injustice.

Abba said, “We thought the PDP will show love to the people of Kano State who came out massively in the year 2019 and voted the party. But what it is doing in return is going against leaders. We discovered that whoever has the masses at heart, the party doesn’t like that person.”

Abba added the decision was in response to followers of kwankwasiyya movement in the state and beyond who had been calling on its leadership to leave for a platform that would save the masses from the present political uncertainty in the state and the country in general.

‘The making of Abba’

There was alleged discomfort even within the Kwankwasiyya circle when Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a former two-time governor of Kano State, ‘singlehandedly’ gave the PDP governorship ticket to his son in-law, Abba Kabir Yusuf, an ‘obscure’ politician then.

Many considered the decision as nepotistic, describing it as ‘complete recipe for failure’ since Abba Gida-Gida, who was the state’s commissioner for works under Kwankwaso, could not match the incumbent, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s experience and popularity.

But things began to beat imagination, as Abba Gida-Gida led in the preliminary election, held on March 9, with about 26,000 votes after he polled 1,014,474 votes, while the incumbent, Governor Ganduje, polled 987,819 votes.

Two weeks later, Governor Ganduje eclipsed the fortune of his main challenger in the supplementary election held in 28 out of the 44 local government areas in the state, by scoring 45,876 votes to Abba’s 10,239.

The Independent National Commission had declared the governorship election inconclusive, as ‘the number of the cancelled votes was higher than the difference in votes scored between the two leading candidates’.

Can NNPP match APC, PDP?

The NNPP deputy chairman in Nassarawa LGA, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Bullet, said NNPP had advantage over PDP and APC in the 2023 elections claiming that the two dominant political parties had derailed the economy of the country and disappointed the masses.

He had said, “The membership of both the ruling APC and PDP is getting slimmer by the day. They have derailed the economy of this country and chaos is everywhere.

“The APC under Buhari has sincerely failed in its promises. Fuel queues have refused to go away and the price hiked.

“The masses are desperately looking for a way out of the present quagmire and the NNPP under the leadership of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is out to provide this remedy.”

Bullet said the choice of Abba Kabir Yusuf as our flag bearer was right, saying Kwankwaso has the credibility to even float a political party and succeed.

He added, “Abba is an experience public servant; he has the strength to carry out the responsibility, he is at the rightful age to the state as had been in government and knows how government works.”

‘We’re prepared for them’

Ahmed Aruwa, the spokesperson for Kano APC, said the political party would produce a consensus governorship candidate in the 2023 that will be acceptable to all.

“If you look at the scenario in Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is doing very well in APC. And one thing that will help us defeat these people that are making noise is that the APC is in harmony.

“We went into convention a week ago and produced a consensus candidate. By joining an irrelevant political party, Kwankwaso is disqualifying himself from the race. If you recall, despite being one of the most loved, former governor Abubakar Rimi tried it, but failed.

“People are not familiar with NNPP. They are just making noise. We have prepared well for them. We will produce a ggovernorship candidate that will be accepted to everybody.”

‘Trial of smaller parties, independent candidates’

Dr Sa’idu Ahmad Dukawa of the Department of Political Science, Bayero University Kano, said historically small political parties and independent candidates usually make it, especially at the local level, but rare at the national level.

Dukawa said, “Looking at history, small parties and independent candidates do make it especially at local levels, but it is very rare and under extreme circumstances.

“The chances of the NNPP and similar parties at the national level is very slim unless and until there is a measure of small parties. But at local levels it is possible for parties such as NNPP to make impact especially especially given the charisma of the leader of Kwankwasiyya, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

“Even at that, there is the need for a serious coalition if not a merger before a small party can make it at the governorship level, otherwise the chances of the PDP and the APC will be much higher than any other small party.

“But one positive thing about politics, Kano in particular, is that people seem to be disenchanted with the ruling party. Therefore both the PDP and other parties stand a chance. But PDP may have an edge over all the political parties if it has a strong candidate.”

However, a political analyst, Muhammad Bashir Salisu, said considering the happenings in the country, the 2023 elections will not be about platforms, but rather candidates.

He argued that if what happened in the 2019 governorship election were to repeat itself, the chances of NNPP to win the election is very high.

Basheer said, “Of course Kwankwasiiyya as a political ideology has its own weaknesses, but no politician can match the popularity of Senator Kwankwaso. The people of Kano State vote for candidates, not political parties

“We saw the example of this when Muhammadu Buhari single-handedly formed a political party. Malam Ibrahim Shekarau did something similar.”