By Oyewale Oyelola
Kano state without doubt is of great significance to Nigeria politically, economically and socially as one of the federating units in Nigeria and most populated state according to 2006 National Census report. Therefore, the governor of the state would definitely be relevant in national affairs and discourse for obvious reason.
However, an x-ray of incumbent Kano state governor activities and relationship with the president, other governors and other key stakeholders in Nigeria shows Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is making good marks in the national space.
Governor Ganduje, an alumni of University of Ibadan has been privileged to live as well as visit every part of this country, thereby having insight into happening, culture and attitude of other tribes or zones. Describing him as a detribalized Nigerian is not out of place because he has shown highly level of commitment to peace, stability and well being Nigerians in Kano and beyond.
To this end, the governor has being receiving ‘handshake’ across the Niger in recognition of his commitment to national development without jettisoning the common interest of Kano residents. Recently, the foremost traditional ruler in Yorubaland, Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi described Ganduje as a great performer, who achieved commendable feats as a governor. The Chairman Abia State and South East Council of Traditional Rulers, His Eminence, Eze Eberechi Dick in appreciation of his contributions to peace co-existence and unity of Nigeria conferred a chieftaincy title “Agunachemba 1 of Igbo land” on Ganduje last month. The governor during this year Kano Durbar Festival held in invited another first class traditional ruler from South West, Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Adewale AbdulRosheed Teju 1 to grace the occasion.
Furthermore, the kano state governor is a respected voice in national arena due to his integrity, sincerity and robust contributions to important issues. For instance, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) suspended their strike in Kano and two other states to Governor Ganduje’s intervention. The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) sees him as their friend while Nigeria Labour Congress believe his words and commitment to review of national minimum wage.
Besides, the septuagenarian has cordial relationship with other state governors across political lines because his colleagues appreciate the elderly he plays in Governors Forum meeting. He graciously consent to marriage proposal of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi’s son to marry his daughter, Fatima during the year. Governor Ganduje during 10th Tinubu Colloquium held in Lagos mingled freely with traditional rulers and other guests at the event. The governor is unique and his attitude/disposition attracts more friends to him.
Apart from that, the people’s governor is also having healthy relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President and other top officials in the cabinet. His impressive performance in Kano state endeared him to the president, as he sees Ganduje as someone who shares the vision of federal government under his watch.
Additionally, he is a loyal party as APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole recently commended Governor Ganduje for providing worthy leadership in the party. The governor who is the head of APC Campaign Council for Osun governorship election embarked on reconciliation of the aspirants that participated in primaries, even when other stakeholders were reluctant to embrace it.
Also, the governor deserves accolade for his maturity in handling current political dynamics in the state due to defection of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso to opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party. Governor Ganduje action was different from the usual practice in Nigeria political space as he accommodated of his former deputy, Prof Hafiz Abubakar till the last day in office despite his (Abubakar) core loyalty to Kwankwanso at the expense of the governor. The deputy governor attended state executive council the day he resigned his appointment to join PDP, as the governor resisted attempt by his supporters in Kano House of Assembly to impeach Prof Abubakar. Aside that, the state remain peaceful amidst political tension.
Hence, one can safely conclude that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje is the new face of national leader emerging in Nigeria due to his exhibition of nationalist traits.