Expressing his intense displeasure over the ongoing demolition activities conducted by the Governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf, Dr. Umar Ganduje, the immediate past governor of the state, stated on Friday that if he had come face-to-face with his predecessor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, would have resorted to physical aggression.
Ganduje served as the previous governor of Kano, while Kwankwaso was the Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) during the February 25 election. Over the years, the relationship between the two has deteriorated significantly.
After a closed-door meeting with President Bola Tinubu, Ganduje, visibly enraged, briefed State House correspondents, accusing Kwankwaso of being the mastermind behind the demolition of properties in the state.
In an agitated state, Ganduje expressed to journalists at the State House that if he had encountered Kwankwaso at the Villa, he would have resorted to physical aggression.
The former governor explained that his meeting with President Tinubu was primarily to inform him about the security situation in Kano State following the demolition activities carried out by Governor Yusuf’s administration.
When asked whether he had encountered Kwankwaso, who was also at the Villa with the president, Ganduje replied, “I know he is in the building, but we have not met. Perhaps I might have resorted to physical aggression if we had met.”
Ganduje criticized the demolition, stating that it was conducted without proper investigation or adequate notice following the provisions of the Land Use Act.
He stated that during his discussion with the president, he extensively addressed the issue and submitted a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, accompanied by video evidence of the looting and vandalism that followed the demolition.
Ganduje reported that he had adequately briefed the president about the demolition, which even affected supporters of Kwankwaso, whom he accused of orchestrating the action.
Regarding the extent of the damage caused by the demolition activities, Ganduje mentioned that human rights organizations were currently assessing the situation.
However, he did mention that one affected developer had filed a lawsuit against the government, seeking compensation amounting to over N10 billion.
The state government claimed that the demolition was part of their campaign promise to “restore” the urban development master plan of the city. Ganduje also asserted that the exercise was not a personal vendetta against the previous administration led by Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and that further demolitions would follow.