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Ganduje Protests Tinubu, Kwankwaso’s Paris Meeting

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has protested the meeting between the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of…

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has protested the meeting between the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso, held in Paris on Monday, has continued to raise dust in Kano State, especially among leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The discontent was the subject of a leaked phone call between Ganduje and Ibrahim Masari, a former placeholder vice presidential candidate of the APC, where the governor was heard lamenting being treated unfairly by the president-elect in a meeting with Kwankwaso.

The conversation between Ganduje and Masari, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered, was held on Wednesday. But the audio of the phone conversation was leaked late Friday.

The governor had started the conversation by saying there was noise all over Kano over the meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso that was held in Paris, and Masari was heard saying he had earlier told Ganduje of the possibility of such action.

But Ganduje replied that although Masari had told him of the possibility of such meeting, there was nothing he could have done about it.

“But at that time, you could have spoken with him (Tinubu). You can (sic) call him and talk to him,” Masari said.

The governor was then heard saying, “What could I have told him? Now he (Tinubu) is seeing Kwankwaso as an alternative to us? No problem. Because we don’t have a government? And it is even because of him (Tinubu) that we lost the government.

“Even if he would see him (Kwankwaso), he ought to have called us too. Or don’t you understand, even if symbolically.”

In the audio, Masari, an ally of Tinubu, was heard pacifying Ganduje and urging him not to be angry over the development, adding that everyone knew that Tinubu was not fair to him. He told the governor to remain calm until he visits Tinubu on Thursday and until they meet in Abuja.

“And all these things are from God. The calculation he is doing is not even accurate. How did he end up with Jonathan?” Ganduje said.

President-elect sending wrong signal – Masari

Responding, Ibrahim Masari, the former placeholder vice presidential candidate said Tinubu was sending the wrong signal that would prevent people from trusting him.

“I spoke with Mr President (sic) earlier and lamented about the issue. He (Tinubu) told me that it was Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that arranged the meeting through one Chagoury. I asked whether you were informed before the meeting and he (Tinubu) said no. I will adequately brief you when we meet; you know phone calls are not safe. Just keep exhibiting your maturity by keeping mum,” Masari said.

Ganduje, however, said he received a security report that the meeting was part of a plan to scuttle the Kano State APC governorship case at the election petition tribunal, which Masari concurred but quickly added that it was not within the power of Tinubu to scuttle the election case.

“But Your Excellency, I am pleading with you to be calm until you come around. Let’s not discuss this issue on the phone. You know how unsafe our conversation could be. Anytime you come around, we will have our usual meeting and present our resolutions to him, if need be,” he added.

Ganduje thereafter asked when Tinubu would return to the country, to which Masari said he did not have clear details because when they earlier spoke, he expressed his anger and dissatisfaction to the president-elect.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the governor left Kano for Abuja late Friday evening and will hopefully be meeting Masari over the weekend before the former would meet with the president-elect.

Masari did not pick calls when he was contacted yesterday. Text messages sent to him were also not responded to.

Earlier in the week, a chieftain of the APC in Kano State, Danbiliki Kwamanda had issued a warning to the president-elect not to attempt to bring Kwankwaso into the party or to form part of his government.

This was coming after the report of Daily Trust that Tinubu had offered a ministerial slot to Kwankwaso and that the former had agreed in principle to work with the president-elect.

Asiwaju consulted Kano gov  – Abdulmumin

Reacting to the leaked audio, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who was at the meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso, said Governor Ganduje was being economical with the truth by saying the president-elect did not consult with him before meeting with Kwankwaso.

In a chat with Daily Trust on Sunday, Jibrin, a former director-general of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Management Council and a member-elect of the House of Representatives under the NNPP, said Ganduje told him that Tinubu earlier consulted him.

“I want to confirm to you that Governor Ganduje was consulted. He confirmed this to me. He told me in clear words that the president-elect invited him and told him that he was planning to meet with Kwankwaso and he had no objection to it.

“So, it is very unfair to the president-elect to be portrayed in bad light before the public by Governor Ganduje, who knows very well that Tinubu contacted him before that meeting because he confirmed that to me. I do not believe that Mr President will abandon people who supported him, but I believe that what is paramount to him is national unity and cohesion,” he said.

He added that it was worth noting that Kwankwaso and the president-elect have come a very long way since their days together at the National Assembly in 1992 to the time they came together to form the APC in 2014.

Leaked audio plot to cause disaffection – Kano govt

Kano State Government has described as mischievous, an “attempt by the social media and online publications in the country to lift a story from a purported phone conversation’ between  Ganduje and Masari, which involves his political relationship with Ahmed Tinubu.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs, Malam Muhammad Garba, in a statement issued on Saturday, noted that the publicity on the purported audio clip was the handiwork of paid agents trying to cause disaffection between the two political gladiators.

He explained that from all indications, some people who are not comfortable with the long cordiality Tinubu, Ganduje and Masari enjoy, are bent on exploiting the situation to their advantage.

Garba also maintained that the governor and the president-elect have since realised “this mischievous attempt  to cause disaffection between them, and would not allow this sound working relationship, which has been waxing stronger, particularly at this critical time to be destroyed by some self-centered individuals.”

The commissioner called on members of the APC and the general public to disregard such attempts and remain calm and loyal to the party to ensure the successful inauguration of the president-elect.

Why Asiwaju needs ex-Kano gov – Associate

An associate of the president-elect explained why Tinubu approached Kwankwaso, saying the former Lagos State governor needs to expand his base for national stability.

He told this paper that the alliance talks between Tinubu and Kwankwaso started before the general elections but that it was not sealed because of Ganduje.

“I am part of the moves to bring Kwankwaso into our fold. We started it before the election. Kwankwaso holds Kano and you cannot get the state through Ganduje.  Asiwaju’s political base is narrow if you look at the outcome of the election. So, he needs to expand it. He needs to approach all other contenders for national stability,” he said.

He insisted that the present arrangement was purely for national stability and good governance.

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