The political rivalry between former governors of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and Rabiu Kwankwaso, has taken a new turn as they clashed over the recent demolition of some structures in the state by the current governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf.
Ganduje and Kwankwaso, who were both at the State House in Abuja on Friday to see President Bola Tinubu, expressed their anger and frustration over the issue to journalists after their separate meetings with the president.
Ganduje, who accused Kwankwaso of being behind the demolition of property in the state, said he would have slapped him if they had met at the Villa. He said he came to report Kwankwaso to President Tinubu over the alleged indiscriminate demolition of property in Kano.
He described the action of Governor Abba Yusuf as “illegal,” saying that the demolition exercise was under Kwankwaso’s prompting. He lamented that a shopping complex around the new Daula Hotel developed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement and approved by his administration was demolished without any investigation or notice.
He said he had briefed the president adequately on the demolition exercise that even affected some supporters of Kwankwaso. He also said he had petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, with video evidence of the looting and vandalisation that trailed the demolition.
He said some human rights organizations were working on assessing the level of damage caused by the demolition. He also said one of the developers who was affected had sued the government demanding over N10 billion.
Kwankwaso, on his part, denied being behind the demolition exercise. He said he was not aware of any property belonging to him that was demolished by the government. He said he was at the Villa to discuss national issues with President Tinubu and not to talk about Kano politics.
He said Ganduje was only trying to divert attention from his failure as a governor and his involvement in corruption scandals. He said Ganduje should focus on delivering good governance to the people of Kano instead of blaming him for his woes.
He also said he had no problem with Governor Abba Yusuf, whom he described as his political son. He said Yusuf was only trying to restore sanity and order in Kano by demolishing illegal structures that were encroaching on public lands and facilities.
He said some of the properties that were demolished were illegally erected by Ganduje on state-owned lands such as schools, hospitals, graveyards, green areas and along the city wall of Kano. He said Yusuf had given a marching order to security agencies to take over all public properties sold by Ganduje’s administration.
He also said Yusuf had announced that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry would be set up soon to ensure that all perpetrators and those that aided and abetted them are brought to justice.
President Tinubu, who met with both Ganduje and Kwankwaso separately, was said to have appealed for calm and urged them to resolve their differences amicably. He also advised them to work together for the peace and progress of Kano and Nigeria at large.