Following rising tension in Kano over recent demolition of buildings by the State Government believed to be politically motivated, President Bola Tinubu on Friday summoned two feuding former governors of the State Rabiu Kwakwaso and Abdullahi Ganduje to Aso Rock.
The President held separate meetings with the two former governors at the Presidential Villa on Friday evening after which they separately addressed State House correspondents in Abuja.
Ganduje described the demolitions carried out by Governor Abba Yusuf as “illegal”, because they were executed without due process and breached the law, even as he called the Governor a stooge, action the script of Kwankwaso.
Ganduje said the demolition exercise was done without carrying out any investigation or giving due notice in line with the provisions of Land Use Act.
Yusuf had in his inauguration speech on May 29, gave a marching order to security agencies in Kano to immediately repossess all public properties believed to have been sold by the Ganduje administration.
He alleged that they were illegally acquired and built by the Ganduje’s administration.
Some structures demolished in the recent fiasco include Haji camp, Daula Hotel and shopping complexes around the Eid Prayer Ground in Kano, structures Ganduje said were products of Public-Private Partnerships.
The former Governor said he came to brief the President about the security situation in Kano State, especially “the looting and vandalization that is going on in Kano. And we don’t want it to result into religious or tribal conflict. Thousands of traders have been rendered without any business”, he said.
Ganduje who served as Kwankwaso’s deputy from 1999 – 2003 and 2011 – 2015, blamed his former boss for directing the new administration under Yusuf to carry out what he termed a vengeful campaign against the previous administration.
He lamented the fact that the shopping complex around the new Daula Hotel developed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, approved by the state’s executive, was demolished on the directive of Kwankwaso, without any investigation, without any notice, by the Yusuf administration.
“We appointed a technical committee right from the beginning. They submitted a report to the Executive Council. The executive council approved for the PPP project. The PPP project is 90% executed, but now without any investigation, without any notice, this new government under the directive of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso demolished the building. The issue is in a court of law.”
Yusuf had said the demolition exercise was part of the fulfillment of his campaign promise to “restore” the urban development masterplan of the city.
He had also insisted that the exercise was not a vendetta against the past administration of Ganduje and that many more demolitions would follow.
But Ganduje said he spoke at length on the issue while reporting the matter to the president and had petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba with video evidence of the looting and vandalisation that trailed the demolition.
He said he had briefed the president adequately on the demolition exercise that even affected the supporters of Kwankwaso whom he accused of ordering the action.
He said the governor who he described as a “stooge” of Kwankwaso was no longer happy because of the condemnation that greeted the move.
Kwankwaso, on the other hand in an interview with state house correspondents claimed that most of the buildings demolished were illegally acquired by the Ganduje administration.
He stated that his party had pledged to demolish such structures during their campaign.
Regarding speculations of accepting a ministerial position from the Tinubu administration, Kwankwaso revealed that talks were ongoing about the possibility.
However, he dismissed rumors of defecting to the ruling party, emphasizing that Tinubu was more focused on a government of national unity.