How They Played Into The Hands Of The APC In KANO
The last has not been heard of the Appeal Court ruling which upturned the electoral victory of the sitting governor of Kano State Abba Yusuf of the NNPP and declared the governorship candidate of the APC, Nasir Ganuwa winner of the Kano governorship election. The NNPP camp in Kano is understandably rocked by the Appeal court ruling. Some supporters of the governor and the NNPP trooped out in large number to protest the ruling. Thousands were also on hand to welcome him back to Kano after returning from Abuja where the court ruling took place. And from the look of took of things, Kano could boil any moment after the Supreme Court ruling which is expected to come soon.
Not many saw the removal of the Kano governor. His victory at the polls was something that gave his mentor and leader, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso great joy, considering that he had supported his anointed candidate, Abba Yusuf, and got him victory over his arch rival, Ganduje’s anointed candidate, Nsir Ganuwa. But little did they know then that their joy of victory was going to be short lived by the court.
According to City People findings, the former Kano State Governor and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Umar Gnaduje, knew all along that they were going to gtet the party back into power in the state. He revealed the mistakes made by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso in the run up to the March 18 governorship election which the APC used to nail them at the Tribunal and Appeal Court.
During the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Yusuf winner but the APC rejected the result and headed for the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which voided 165,663 votes for Yusuf on the grounds that the ballot papers were not signed or stamped by INEC.
Yusuf’s votes were then reduced to 853,939 while those of the candidate of the APC, Nasir Ganuwa, stood at 890,705, with the tribunal declaring that Ganuwa was the authentic winner of the election.
Not satisfied with the verdict, Yusuf and the NNPP challenged the ruling at the Appeal Court but at its seating last Friday, the appellate court upheld the ruling of the tribunal, holding that Yusuf was not a member of NNPP at the time he contested.
Reacting to the Appeal Court judgement during an interaction with party supporters in Kano on Saturday, an obviously elated Ganduje said the APC knew the mistakes Yusuf, Kwankwaso and NNPP made and waited till the right time to use them against the Governor.
Ganduje noted that Yusuf who was a member of the PDP had defected to the NNPP alongside his political godfather, Kwankwaso in 2022 without taking note of the fact that INEC had closed acceptance of nomination forms when they joined the NNPP.
“They were in PDP and when the crisis heated up and they were punched repeatedly, they left the party and started groping for a platform,” Ganduje said, noting that Kwankwaso and his allies were so desperate that they did not notice the INEC lacuna.
“Unfortunately, they ran into a political party symbolizing fruits. They were given tickets because their leader was daydreaming; their leader was ambitious to be the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but he was frightened,” he continued.
“And because they desperately wanted a governor in Kano State, the party gave them a ticket to contest. But they made a serious blunder because when they joined the party, INEC had closed submission of nomination forms. “But they were blind and uneducated. They went into the ring without making careful observation of this. “They did not know that we laid in wait. We took the file, submitted it to Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gwuna and told him to hold it tight.
“When we filed a petition at the Kano governorship election tribunal, we told the court that they were not fielded by the party. “We told the court that when INEC closed accepting names of candidates, they did not join the party,” Ganduje said.
The former Kano State Governor has urged Abba Yusuf, to head to the Supreme Court if he is not satisfied with the Appeal court ruling. And, two Saturdays ago, Abba Yusuf accepted the challenge of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, to contest his sack by the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court.
This came after Ganduje opened up on what his party used to nail Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and his party, the New Nigeria’s Peoples Party (NNPP). But, most importantly, Abba Yusuf’s mentor and god father, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices led by Justice Moore A. Adumein, held that Governor Yusuf was not a valid candidate in the gubernatorial election held in the state on March 18. Shortly after the verdict, a boastful Ganduje had dared Yusuf to go to the Supreme Court, expressing optimism that the APC would trounce the NNPP again at the Supreme Court.
Ganduje, who applauded the appellate court for dispensing justice, said he was sure that the NNPP would still want to try their luck in the apex court, but assured them of another round of defeat.
“Probably they will go to the Supreme Court which is part of democracy. There is nothing wrong for them to go to the Supreme Court. We too, are ready to meet them in the Supreme Court. And Inshallah, we will win in the Supreme Court as well.” Yusuf and his party, the NNPP rejected the Appeal Court judgment and declared their resolve to take the case to the Supreme Court to retain his seat.
Yusuf announced this in a post on his X page.
He wrote: “After careful study and rigorous stakeholders’ engagement, my team and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), have decided to approach the Supreme Court on the miscarriage of justice, delivered by the Appeal Court, yesterday in Abuja.
“We are optimistic that the Supreme Court will by the grace of Allahu SWT, set aside these miscarriages of justice by the Tribunal and the Appeal Court, and reaffirm our mandate, as given by the good people of Kano State.
“Furthermore, I call on the good people of the Kano State to continue to go about their legitimate businesses, as we have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the security of their lives and property as a cardinal responsibility. Meanwhile, the founder of NNPP, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has described the sack of Yusuf as a rude shock. “I do know that it is only the NNPP and its members that can determine who is a member of the party or not.” “Our hope is alive ahead of the Supreme Court judgment in due time.”