Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Gawuna has given good account of himself- Ibrahim Siraj Adhama

By Dr Ibrahim Siraj Adhama

The governorship election in Kano has come and gone. The battle has finally been won and lost. No doubt it will go down as one of the most keenly contested guber election in our State in recent history. At the end of it, a winner has emerged in person of NNPP’s Abba Kabir Yusuf, alias Abba Gida-Gida. While congratulating him, his party and teeming supporters, it is our collective prayers that almighty Allah will give him the courage, wisdom, guidance and tenacity to lead Kano to greater heights.

Not unexpectedly, the March 18th election has left in its wake several talking points that will continue to dominate public discussion and intrigues that may take years to unravel. Its outcome will go a long way in shaping the future of Kano politics for a long time to come.

Questions will continue to be raised about the legality or otherwise of the returning officer’s result declaration when it appeared there were many registered voters affected by cancellations than margin of lead between the two candidates with the highest number of votes against the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act and INEC election guidelines.

Not a few people will be tempted to suggesting a spectre of legitimacy haunting governor-elect Abba’s declaration arising from that controversy until all doubts are justifiably cleared.

Read Also: Election Violence: SERAP asks INEC to probe governors, deputies

The purpose of this piece, however, is to x-ray the governorship contest vis-a-vis the heroic performance of His Excellency Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, candidate of the ruling APC, who despite not winning the big prize, has given a very good account of himself as a great and promising young leader and politician with immense rich and potential. All fair analysts will give it to him that he had fought a good fight.

It is safe to argue that no candidate of a ruling party has gone into election with many odds working against him as Gawuna in the just-concluded election.

From his living under the burdensome shadow of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to widespread disillusionment against his party, APC, across the levels, from Kwankwasiyya’s massive followership and unflinching determination to effect a change to highly biased and unfriendly media, Gawuna’s task of winning could not be more daunting.

Gawuna contested the election as Ganduje’s backed candidate and a possible successor. One needs to understand how unpopular Ganduje’s government has become to appreciate how much a liability that was.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Read Also: SOLACEBASE reporter nominated for 2023 Sigma Award in United States

Ganduje had been practically on a mission to cultivate as many enemies as possible for himself, his administration, his party, his family and everything associated with him. Ganduje had, for a better part of his administration, pressed the self-destruct button. His controversial land grab and conversion policy, his poor handling of education and students welfare, the falling standard of healthcare and poor state of hospitals in the State, his mismanagement of A Daidaita Sahu cyclists, his apparent lack of empathy towards such vulnerable groups as junior workers, pensioners and retirees, his failure to provide leadership towards resolving his party’s internal wranglings thereby causing the defection of key members to opposition parties, among other terrible blunders and unforced errors.

Governor Ganduje has made things a lot easier for the opposition NNPP. With Ganduje, you needed no enemy; he was his government’s number one detractor and his party’s foremost de-campaigner. His largely self-inflicted injury had worked to overshadow his modest achievements especially in the areas of peace and security, urban renewal, expansion of economic opportunities and general infrastructural development. Hardly people take note of these achievements.

Consequently, the opposition succeeded in making every declaration of support for Nasiru Gawuna as an endorsement of Ganduje’s litany of “atrocities”. Efforts to prove that the Deputy Governor might not himself be happy with Ganduje’s ways and will almost certainly correct those mistakes,   given the chance, were taken with a pinch of salt. Many who campaigned for him faced the daunting challenge of convincing other voters that he would act differently. It’s that difficult!

As the ruling party in control of the center, the APC did not help matters either. In a move that had the potential of jeopardizing the chances of the party’s candidates nationwide, the Federal Government announced a plan to redesign the country’s currency ostensibly to curb vote-buying and payment of ransom to bandits and kidnappers.

This policy, coming on the eve of general elections, fueled speculations within the ruling party itself that certain fifth columnists close to President Muhammadu Buhari were part of a plot to rock the ship of the APC considering how unprecedented cash crunch riled up already suffering Nigerian masses against the ruling party. Though APC has somehow managed to win the Presidential election and maintain control in most of the States, the damage done by this ill-advised policy to the party’s electoral fortune could just be imagined.

That His Excellency the Deputy Governor Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna was able to score nearly nine hundred thousand votes is no mean feat given these circumstances. For me, he should be grateful to Almighty Allah who made it possible for him to harvest this massive figure in spite of all attempts to rubbish him or undermine his chances using Ganduje’s failures.

This feat is majorly attributable to his ability to connect well with some key segments of the society who stood by him.

In appreciating Gawuna’s performance though, I pay little heed to reports of widespread vote-buying. This is due to the realization that both NNPP and APC were culprits; available evidence has shown that the two major parties had tried different tricks at voter-inducement. And as experts would say, vote-buying itself does not work on nothing and it mostly targets undecided voters.

Since his foray into politics 20 or so years ago, Gawuna has been rising and rising. The outcome of this election represents a temporary setback which does not in anyway signify his downfall as naysayers would want to believe. For careful observers of his trajectory in politics, it’s just a matter of time before he recovers and continues to rise higher and higher. Let his detractors know that the man is not going down anytime soon. With the highest number of votes obtained by an APC gubernatorial candidate anywhere in Nigeria, Gawuna looks set for something very great especially with an APC federal government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in place. No doubt Gawuna will be an invaluable asset in Jagaban’s cabinet going by experience. After serving for 20 years as Local Government chairman, commissioner and deputy governor, who knows if Allah is preparing him for national service? Only time will tell and our prayers are with him now and always!

Adhama writes from the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano and can be reached through

Comments are closed.