Governor Umar Ganduje and ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso will again on Saturday do a rematch of the 2019 governorship election as they both seek to install their lackey as governor of Kano State.
Governor Ganduje is backing his deputy, Nasir Gawuna, while Kwankwaso has once again nominated his son-in-law, Abba Yusuf. This election looks like a rematch of the 2019 race between Ganduje and Yusuf.
In 2019, at the first round, Yusuf, who contested under the PDP, polled 1,014,474 votes to Ganduje’s 987,819 votes, leaving a difference of 26,655 votes. However, after the supplementary election, Ganduje won by scoring 45,876 votes to Mr Yusuf’s 10,239.
In this election, Kwankwaso and his followers used the presidential and National Assembly elections to tell the entire country that Kano State belongs to them, as the NNPP cleared two senatorial seats, 17 House of Reps seats and won the presidential election in the state by landslide.
However, many are of the opinion that the Presidential election and governorship election are different.
Kano politics is often divided along the three senatorial districts, Central, North and South Senatorial districts.
Kwankwaso is strong in the Central Senatorial district which has the highest number of voters, while Ganduje controls Kano North senatorial zone; Kano South is the battleground.
In the past couple of days, to balance the battle in Kano Central, Ganduje and the APC have been courting former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau.
One other factor that will make the battle in Kano Central interesting is that Gawuna is also from the Central. He once served as Chairman of Nasarawa Local government. However, the results of the elections on February 25 show that NNPP is taking over.
“People actually don’t have an issue with Guwuna. He is a grassroots politician. First as Nasarawa Local government Chairman and to his position as Commissioner before he was appointed to replace deputy governor Hafeez who resigned. But the problem is Ganduje, people are transferring the problem they have with Ganduje to Gawuna,” Mudathir Yaro, a resident of Tudun Murtala area, told YaraNG.
The legal travails of Alhassan Doguwa, who is facing a murder trial, may affect the ruling party in Kano South. Doguwa, the majority leader in the House of Representatives has been a major face in Doguwa and Tundunwada local government areas for some time.
In addition, Kabir Gaya, the Kano South Senator also lost to Kawu Sumaila of the NNPP. His defeat could also be a big blow to the ruling party in Kano South.
In Kano North, the combined strength of Ganduje and Senator Barau Jibrin should deliver the senatorial zone to APC.
The biting effect of the Naira redesign may also affect the ruling party in this election. Despite the verdict of the court, Nigerians are still grappling with the scarcity of Naira notes.
It would be recalled that Governor Ganduje was very vocal in condemning the policy. He even in a speech attacked President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, President Buhari had in a message appealed to Kano people to vote for APC in the coming election.
In the next one hour, it will be clear if President Buhari’s message is having the needed impact on Kano electorates.