November 26, (THEWILL) – The people of Kano State penultimate Friday received yet another cheering news that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had affirmed the election of Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna as the duly elected Executive Governor of the State.
The Appeal Court in its judgment upheld the verdict of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay which on September 20,2023, voided the election of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and declared Dr Gawuna as the duly elected Governor of the most populous state in Nigeria.
The lower court had declared 165,663 votes of Abba Yusuf, who contested under the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), invalid on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor’s votes were then reduced to 853,939, while those of Nasir Ganuwa, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, remained at 890,705.
Governor Abba Yusuf rejected the tribunal verdict, describing it as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice,” and therefore, appealed the judgment.
But in its ruling, the Appeal Court held that Yusuf was not eligible to contest the election because he was not a member of the NNPP.
The Appeal Court’s verdict affirming Dr Gawuna as the validly elected Governor of Kano State came less than one month after the Supreme Court affirmed President Bola Tinubu as the duly elected President of Nigeria.
APC supporters and indeed other Nigerians, were still celebrating the Apex Court’s judgement when another sweet victory came, i.e. Dr. Gawuna’s triumph at the Court of Appeal.
The Gawuna victory came after intense legal battles by APC’s lawyers led by Chief Akin Olujimi and persistent prayers by party supporters and lovers of good governance in the state as exhibited by His Excellency Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje when he served as the Governor of the state for eight eventful years.
Amid those prayers which were conducted for the success of Dr. Gawuna and the APC at the court, was a popular saying in Kano that: “Gawuna is Coming”, but which after the favourable Tribunal judgement, changed to:”Gawuna Has Come.”
Going by the two straight victories recorded at the court by Gawuna and the APC, it is hereby concluded that God has answered the prayers and kind wishes of the people of Kano State towards Gawuna’s triumphant entry to Government House as Executive Governor.
I recall that in one of my write-ups published before the governorship election which I captioned:”Gawuna: The Governor In Waiting”, I said among other things, and I quote: “Obviously the most qualified person to continue with and sustain the quality policies and programmes of the Abdullahi Ganduje Administration is, the Deputy Governor, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who has spent more than half of the seven years of the Government learning the ropes from Ganduje.
“Which explains why Gawuna had a smooth emergence as the APC Governorship candidate in the state for the 2023 general elections.
“In the primary election which was held in May, the Deputy Governor came out victorious, garnering 2,289 votes to beat the then Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada who placed a remote third with a paltry sum of 30 votes.
“While thanking Governor Ganduje for piloting the process that ensured his smooth election as the APC Governorship candidate, and other members of the ruling party for their support, Gawuna right there at the event pledged his continued loyalty to Ganduje, one hundred percent, and also undertook to continue with the good work the Governor had been doing.
“Then, to make the governorship ticket complete and solid,the state chapter of the APC under the leadership of Governor Ganduje, selected another good hand, Alhaji Murtala Sule Garo, as the running mate of Dr. Gawuna.
“The winning ticket is, therefore, manned by two illustrious persons whom have proved themselves both in the various public positions they have held so far, and in their respective private lives as well.
“Gawuna had served the people of the state meritoriously as Chairman of Nasarawa Local Government Area, Commissioner of Agriculture in a previous Administration and in the present Government, and as Deputy Governor in the same Administration, and still serving.
“In all the positions he has held and the current post he is occupying, Gawuna has been adjudged to have remained loyal to His Excellency and performed commendably, discharging his statutory functions to the best of his ability.
“In his private life, Gawuna is confirmed to have done well in his dealings and interactions with people, according them due respect with humility and extending generosity as well.
“The co-holder of the winning ticket, Garo, also possesses an impressive pedigree, having competently served as Chairman of Kabo Local Government Area and until recently, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. His accessibility, humility and generosity among other things,have, over the years, endeared him and the Ganduje Administration to the hearts of the people of the state.
“The impressive credentials of Gawuna and Garo have catapulted them to stand tall among other Governorship candidates in the state, thereby dwarfing the opponents till the election day when the APC flag nearers will coast to a resounding victory.
“That day, Dr Gawuna will In Sha Allah,be confirmed as the Successor of His Exellency,the Executive Governor of Kano State,Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.”
Now, the waiting is obviously coming to an end, as Gawuna has already come and is getting set to take over as the validly elected Executive Governor of Kano State, barring any further legal challenge, which no Kano resident would hope for.
***Yusuf was Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Information to the immediate-past Governor of Kano State*
About the Author
Abdullahi Yusuf is a seasoned journalist, communicator and was previously the Deputy Editor-In-Chief and Zonal Manager, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Jos, where he retired on December 15, 2021