By Braimoh Musa
As politicking season is gearing up against the 2023 scheduled general election, many aspirants from different political party directly or indirectly are already indicating interest at Kano’s number one seat in the upcoming general election under their various platform in the state. As at last count on Thursday evening over twenty aspirants are making necessary move towards occupying Kano Government House come May, 29th 2023.
Most of the political parties are getting set for the primary elections so as to produce party flag-bearers.
Solacebase reports that according to the INEC schedule for the 2023 general elections, “Conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from them commence from Monday, April 4, 2022 to Friday, June 3, 2022.’’
Here are some of the aspirants
Senator Barau Jibrin Maliya
Senator Barau Jibrin is a serving senator from Kano North Senatorial district who is said to be one of the strongest aspirants in All Progressive Congress before his fallout with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
The two-term Senator and former member of the House of Representatives, is an accountant by profession.
He is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations and former Chairman of Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND in the 8th Senate.
He is seen as one of the top aspirants with experience and resources to battle for the hot seat in 2023. Barau had also declared for Kano state number one seat.
However, Senator Barau has now taken side with Malam Ibrahim Shekarau’s faction in the ongoing power tussle between Governor Ganduje’s faction and that of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau’s faction, tagged the G-7.
Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna
Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna is a former Chairman of Nassarawa Local Government Area and served as Commissioner for Agriculture between 2013-2015 and 2015-2018 when he was appointed as Deputy Governor of Kano by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje following the resignation of the then deputy Governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar.
Gawuna is said to have been patiently eyeing the seat with caution, and it is believed that the patient deputy governor played very vital role in the return of Ganduje in the 2019 general election. However, people regard Gawuna as the most deserving aspirant to inherit the number one seat in the state.
But, political analysts in the state believe that the Deputy Governor stands a slim chance of clinching the APC ticket for the fact that he is not among the governor’s favorites, however, the deputy governor had recently resigned as Commissioner for Agriculture due to the ultimatum issued by the governor for political appointees wishing to contest in 2023 general election to resign in line with the Electoral Act, 2022 as amended.
Murtala Sule Garo
Murtala Sule Garo, Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, who resigned over the weekend due to his political aspiration. Garo, is well known to most people across the length and breadth of the state for his silent moves to the Government House owing to the fact that he enjoys the support of majority of local government chairmen across the 44 local government areas of the state.
The young politician, ”Galadima Garo”, is said to be one of the few most powerful commissioners and it is believed that Garo will effectively utilize the cordial relations he has with the 44 local governments Chairmen to ease his aspiration bids in the state APC.
He was former Organising Secretary of Peoples’ Democratic Party in 2007. Also he was the first Organising Secretary of All Progressive Congress during the Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso administration.
Murtala Garo was appointed Special Adviser, Inter Party Affairs in 2011 and was elected Chairman, Kabo Local Government in 2014.
The grassroot politician was also elected ALGON Chairman for Kano State.
Also, he is said to be the anointed aspirant of the governor’s wife, Hajia Hafsat Ganduje popularly called ‘’ Gwoggo’’, who is seen as a political game changer in the state and very powerful.
Kabiru Alhassan Rurum
A political gladiator with an interesting grassroots history, a former Councillor of Ward ‘F’ Ikosi/Ketu/Mile12/Maidan/Agiliti/Awode Elede of Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State, rose from a floor member in the Kano state House of assembly to become the Speaker.
It was under his house leadership that the assembly recommended the removal of the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Kabiru was first elected as member of Kano State House of Assembly to represent Rano constituency in 2011 at the General Election were he won the election and become the Majority Leader in the State House of Assembly.
Kabiru, the ”Turakin Rano,” became the Speaker of Kano State House of Assembly after winning his second election in 2015.
He resigned from the speaker of the House due to a bribery allegation against him.
He later made a come back to become the Deputy Speaker. But 30 July 2018 , with the help of 26 out of the 40 members of the State House of Assembly impeached Yusuf Abdullahi Ata, based on the claim that he cannot run the affairs of the House.
According to onlookers of the state political trend, Rurum’s loyalty to Governor Ganduje may earn him the ticker but with serious rejection from party members.
Barrister Inuwa Waya
He recently resigned from his public post with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Waya has publicly declared his intention to contest in the race for the number one seat in Kano.
Waya is a lawyer of many years standing. He began his public service career with the Kano State Ministry of Justice as state counsel in 1989. On August 26, 1991, Waya left the Kano State government to join the legal unit of the NNPC.
In August 2015, he was appointed Managing Director of Hyson Nigeria Limited and the President of Carlson Bermuda Limited, the offshore arm of the NNPC crude oil joint venture company.
In March 2016, Waya was appointed Managing Director of NNPC Trading. During his tenure, he successfully spearheaded the reform, transformation and consolidation into one entity the NNPC multiple joint venture trading companies, comprising at that time, all the NNPC Crude Oil Trading Companies, (Napoil Limited, Carlson Bermuda Limited, Duke Oil Panama and its service companies in the United Kingdom, Nigeria and United Arab Emirate (UAE), Hyson Nigeria Limited and Nigermed.
He retired as Group General Manager in charge of shipping at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Inuwa , not seen as a grass-root politician, though much of a technocrat is said to have the ear of governor Ganduje. Also, many said his wealth is a major factor that may work in his favour and already making in road politically across the state.
Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya
Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya is a former governor of Kano State, in the aborted 3rd Republic under the military dispensation of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, between 1991 and 1993. He is serving as Senator for four consecutive terms.
Gaya, an Architect , is the Senate Chairman on INEC.
However, many politicians in Kano believe that Gaya is not very serious about his ambition to become the governor of the state, but a ploy to retain his seat at the red chamber.
Abdul Salam Abdulkarim Zaura
Abdulsalam Abdulkarim Zaura popularly known as AA Zaura is not new in Kano politics as he has aspired for the seat under Green Party of Nigeria (GPN). AA Zaura defected to APC with the ambition of succeeding Governor Ganduje in 2023.
Zaura has been moving around in convoy as if he is the governor and that has generated a lot of serious discussion among politicians and the public.
According to sources, Zaura has been spending fortune in financing the state APC in Kano . He is a successful businessman and also a close ally of APC leader , Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Barrister Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado
The suspended chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission is another aspirant eyeing the number one seat in Kano state. He was one of the powerful men in Governor Ganduje’s administration before they fell apart. After their failed romance with the state government, Muhuyi’s posters began to flood the streets of the ancient city of Kano.
However, Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado recently defected to PDP a move described by political analyst in the state as an indicator that his quest to succeed Ganduje is real and serious.
He is an activist and anti- corruption crusader, a pedigree that earned him respect among the people.
Engineer Mu’azu Magaji Dan Darauniya
This is another controversial political figure in Kano state political setting. He was sacked as Commissioner for Works in 2020 over his social media comment on late Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and later appointed Chairman , Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Natural Gas Pipeline, for Kano team. He was again sacked from his position by his boss the governor of Kano state.
Magaji was introduced into Kano state politics by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso in 2018 and ever since the engineer has been involved in one controversy or the other.
A popular critic of governor Abdullahi Ganduje on the social media, was recently arraigned at a magistrate court over deformation of Ganduje.
After series of controversies between Dansarauniya and his former Boss Ganduje, Engineer Magaji recently defected to PDP and also picked gubernatorial form from the party
Abba Kabir Yusuf
Abba Kabir Yusuf was the PDP candidate in 2029 gubernatorial election and his popularity still lingers in the state political system. However, no official statement from him that he will still run in 2023, Abba Gida-Gida as he is popularly known is seen as the candidate to look for should he decide to run again.
He served as a commissioner for works during the Kwankwaso’s administration and he became popular when he clinched the governorship ticket in 2019. Gida-Gida as he was fondly referred to has recently dumped PDP for New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), following his political god-father, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
Alhaji Usman Alhaji
Is the Secretary to Kano State Government and has also declared interest to run the race for governorship of the state in 2023 under APC, it was reported that the SSG had also contested in the 2019 electoral processes in the state.
It was reported that Alhaji Usman Alhaji , the Wazirin Gaya ,announced his intention at a reception organised by a group under the APC in Kano, Patriotic Volunteers for Good Governance.
‘’I intend to build on the good work of Governor Ganduje so that my administration will consolidate just like what is happening in Lagos, Kaduna and Borno States,’’ Usman Alhaji said.
However, on Wednesday evening, he announced dropping the interest to contest for the number one seat in Kano come 2023.
Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada
The House of Representatives member , representing Kano Municipal Federal Constituency. Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada, has also declared his intention to contest for the Kano State governorship in the 2023 general elections.
Sharada is a strong member of the APC G-7 in Kano that has been at loggerhead with the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje faction of the party
Sharada, a journalist by profession and training made his declaration at a mega empowerment programme held for the 44 local government areas of the state in company of the G-7 leader, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau and other loyalists of the group.
He is the House Committee Chairman, National Security and Intelligence. Prior to his election as a federal lawmaker, he was a personal assistant on Broadcast Media to President Muhammadu Buhari.
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Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi
An activist and a mathematics lecturer at Bayero University, Kano. A former ASUU Chairman was an aide to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu before his appointment as Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund,(TETFUND). A former strong supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari who established a group to propagate political gains of the Buhari administration, ‘’ One to tell ten’’. He was later removed as TETFUND boss. Baffa , since 2019 has pitched tent with former Kano state governor Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
However, sources close to Bichi revealed that, he has already joined NNPP and he is gearing for Ganduje’s seat in 2023.
He was Kano State Commissioner for Water Resources, who recently resigned his political position. Though a card carrying member of PDP, he is also the son of a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali.
He served an APC led administration in Kano state and sources close to the young politician revealed that, Wali will soon pick governorship form of the PDP to vie for Governorship in 2023.
Dr. Yunusa Adamu Dangwani
He is a Russian trained Medical Doctor.
He was a former ally of Kano state former governor Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and a strong Kwankwasiyya member. He served Kwankwaso as a Chief of Staff during the second term of the Kwankwasiyya leader and later served as Commissioner for Water Resources till the end of the administration in 2015.
However, Dr Dangwani did not follow Kwankwaso to his new political party, NNPP. Sources in the state PDP revealed that Dr Dangwani had since declared his ambition to contest for the state governorship in 2023 as he had obtained the form to contest under the PDP.
Mohammed Abacha, the eldest son of late Head of State, General Sani Abacha has also declared his interest to contest for the number one seat in Kano state in the upcoming 2023 general election.
Muhammed Abacha , a Lawyer, had in previous elections contested the seat under different political party platforms, in 2011, 2015 and 2019. However, the irony remains that this time around Abacha decided to pitch his tent with PDP a political party that is seen as the party that humiliated his family for over a decade.
Muhammed Abacha has already picked his PDP aspiration form and arrangement to participate in the primaries has since begun.
Engineer Bashir Ishaq Bashir
Engineer Bashir Ishaq Bashir is another aspirant willing to take over from Governor Ganduje. A member of APC faction of the G-7, Bashir has declared his interest for the seat of Kano state Governor.
He contested in 2011, 2015 and 2019 under different political parties.
Pharmacist Ghali Sule
Ghali Sule, governorship aspirant under the platform of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in Kano.
Sule, who is a pharmacist, said he resigned voluntarily as a Director from the state civil service after serving for 31 years to pursue his ambition.
“I really need to bring change, so I realized that the best option for me is to resign and join politics because you can correct wrongdoing if you have political power,” he said.
Yusuf Bello Dambatta
He is a close ally of Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and also among those that decided not to follow Kwankwaso to his new found political party.
Yusuf, who is currently undergoing a Doctorate degree at the Nottingham Business school, Nottingham Trend University,
He worked at the office of the economic adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo and then National Poverty Eradication Pogramme, thereafter deployed to Federal Ministry of Finance where he served as Technical Assistant to the Minister of Finance in 2007 to 2011.
He was appointed Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget in June 2011 by Gov. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso up till May 2014 when Yusuf Bello was later deployed to Ministry of Land and Physical Planning, a position he held up to the end of the tenure of Gov. Kwankwaso’s administration in May 2015. He served as overseeing Commissioner for Finance between June 2011 to Dec 2011.
Sources close to Yusuf revealed that he had already picked PDP aspiration form to contest for governorship in Kano state.
Kabiru Muhammed Gwangwazo
Kabiru Muhammed Gwangwazo is a re-known Journalist who has held a lot of influential positions both in the Media and the political sphere. He was at a time a state party Chairman of PRP, Managing Director of Triumph Publishing Company among others.
He had also aspired for Kano state gubernatorial seat under the plat form of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Recently Kabiru Gwangwazo has shown interest to replace governor Ganduje in 2023 under PRP.
Ibrahim Al-Amin Little
Muhammad Al Amin Little, a veteran governorship aspirant has joined the lists of those wanting to replace governor Ganduje and he had bought the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Intent Form to run in the familiar turf come 2023 general election.
Al Amin Little, a soccer star who cut his teeth in youth football in Kano and environs in the late ’70s lost the 2003 ANPP ticket to Malam Ibrahim Shekarau , contested on the platform of PRP the same year and lost.
Little who until lately had been in and out of PDP and APC between 2011 to date.
Sheikh Ibrahim Khaleel
Ibrahim Khaleel is a re-known Islamic scholar and Kano state Chairman of Council of Ulama recently dumped APC in the state.
After dumping APC , the cleric , Shiekh Khaleel later moved to ADC and sources said he has being telling those close to him of his intention to contest the governorship race in 2023.
Sheikh Khaleel had contested several times under different political parties.