As the 2023 presidential election draws near, Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the PDP, APC, LP, and NNPP respectively, compete for a substantial portion of Kano’s six million votes
The 2023 presidential election in Kano State will be unique due to the presence of multiple candidates with significant support in the region. Kano voters are currently considering their options among the top contenders from various political parties leading up to the election next month.
The presidential election in the state promises to be an engaging event as the candidates are working hard to gain the support of the public. Many of the candidates have demonstrated their abilities through their methods of connecting with the people. The top contenders for the four major political parties are Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Bola Tinubu of the APC, Peter Obi of the LP, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the NNPP.
The former vice president is well-known among the electorate in the state, but he lacks a sufficient number of supporters to ensure his acceptance. The stalwarts of the PDP, whom he is relying on, also do not have a large following in the state. Furthermore, the infighting within the PDP in the state between the Aminu Wali faction and the Shehu Wada Sagagi faction is not helping Atiku’s chances, as the followers of these groups are deeply divided. However, the defection of Senator Malam Ibrahim Shekarau from the APC to the PDP could potentially provide a boost for Atiku, as he brings with him a large number of followers that could potentially secure millions of votes for the PDP presidential candidate. Other politicians like the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar NaAbba and former Commissioner for Agriculture during the Kwankwaso-led administration, Hajia Baraka Sani will also be assets for Atiku as they are good mobilizers in the state.
Atiku’s campaign team in the state includes Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, Ibrahim Al-Amin Little, Dr. Inusa Adamu Dangwani, and Sadiq Aminu Wali, the state PDP governorship candidate who is currently involved in a court case with Muhammad Sani Abacha. Abacha is the PDP’s court-recognized governorship candidate, and the case is currently under appeal. These PDP leaders are expected to help Atiku secure votes in the state. However, the ongoing dispute between the court-sacked governorship candidate, Wali, and the court-recognized candidate, Abacha, may lead to protest votes against Atiku and negatively impact his ambition of becoming president. It is alleged that Atiku is supporting Wali against Abacha.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Bola Tinubu, a presidential candidate for the ruling party, is being supported by the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Ganduje is confident that Kano State will provide the most votes for Tinubu in the election. Tinubu has been visiting Kano regularly, as the state has a large number of votes up for grabs. The ruling party, APC, currently controls the state’s 44 local government areas and majority member of the state House of Assembly and National Assembly members. Ganduje has promised Tinubu that Kano will repeat its decision from the 1993 presidential election when the state supported a southern candidate instead of its own citizen. The governor has been making consultations with key party stakeholders to ensure Tinubu receives the majority of the votes in the state. Tinubu has also held meetings with business communities, religious leaders, politicians, and elders to gain support for his presidential aspirations.
Tinubu’s ambition to become president is supported by several top politicians in Kano State, including Umar Ibrahim El Yakub, General Lawal Jaafaru Isa, General Abdurrahman Dambazau, Senator Barau Jibrin, Senator Kabiru Gaya, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Alhaji Baffa Babba Dan Agundi, Alhaji Yusuf Ali, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, and Alhaji Musa Gwadabe. However, there are concerns that some APC leaders in the state may betray Tinubu. The Leader of the House of Representatives, Doguwa, has raised the alarm that the ruling party may lose the state due to a crisis in the state chapter of the party. He has accused the deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Martala Garo, of creating a political crisis and excluding members of the National Assembly from the political structure of the state. He has also alleged that Garo is working for Atiku and warned that the party may lose to the NNPP led by the former governor, Kwankwaso. These are potential threats to Tinubu’s ambition.
The presidential candidate for the Labour Party, Peter Obi, is not well-known among Kano voters as most people in the state are more familiar with Tinubu, Atiku, and Kwankwaso. This is due to the fact that he is a new name in the state’s politics. However, Obi is popular among the educated population, particularly the youth, and those living in the area called Sabon Gari, which is predominantly populated by non-indigenes. It is believed that the popularity of the party’s governorship candidate, Bashir I. Bashir, will help Obi secure a large number of votes in the state. The LP is not a strong party in the 44 local government areas of the state, but it is believed that the large number of non-indigenes in the state may favor Obi. Currently, campaign posters or billboards of Obi are not visible in the state capital. The top politicians campaigning for Obi in Kano are Bashir and Ahmed Raji, the state chairman of the party.
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is a well-known name among the entire citizens of the state because he served as the governor of the state for two terms and was also a senator for the Kano Central senatorial district. Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, is the leader of the popular Kwankwasiyya Movement whose symbol is redcap. The redcap crusaders loyal to Kwankwaso can be spotted in every nook and cranny of the state.
Kwankwaso, a grassroots politician, controls the major political class in the state and has a cult followership cut across the 44 local government areas.
The majority of his supporters consider him the Messiah of the common man.
He had contributed immeasurably to the progress of the state during his administration. Kwankwaso served as Kano governor on the PDP platform but later defected to the APC in the build-up to the 2015 general election. He joined the NNPP after falling out with his handpicked successor and current governor, Ganduje.
The next month’s elections will clearly show his strength in the political atmosphere of Kano. His teeming supporters have always vowed to massively vote for him to ensure that he defeats the other three contenders in the state.
Kwankwaso is being supported by thousands of youths and top politicians, including the NNPP governorship candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf; Senator Rafai Sani Hanga; Hon. Sulaiman Kawu Sumaila; a former Tinubu’s campaign director general, Hon. Abdulmimun Jibrin; Alhaji Ali Bukar Makoda, a former Chief of Staff to Ganduje; Hon. Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, former Speaker of the state House of Assembly; some members of the state House of Assembly and the National Assembly.
Some analysts, therefore, believe that with the uncertainty surrounding every election, Atiku, Tinubu, and Kwankwaso, will end up sharing the votes on a relatively equal basis, while Obi struggles to get the required 25 percent.
Others, however, argue that the battle would be fiercely contested between Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Source: ThisDay Live