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Abdullahi Ganduje

Abdullahi Ganduje




Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR, born on 25 December 1949, is a Nigerian politician who served as the governor of Kano State from 2015 to 2023. Before his tenure as governor, Ganduje twice served as the deputy governor of Kano State under Rabiu Kwankwaso, from 1999 to 2003 and from 2011 to 2015. He is a prominent member and the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ganduje was born into a Fulani family in Ganduje village, located in the Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State. He began his early education in a Qur'anic and Islamiyya school before attending Dawakin Tofa Primary School from 1956 to 1963. He completed his secondary education at Government College, Birnin Kudu, between 1964 and 1968.

He continued his education at the Advanced Teachers' College, Kano, from 1969 to 1972. Ganduje then attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education in 1975. He further obtained a master’s degree in applied educational psychology from Bayero University Kano in 1979. Ganduje returned to Ahmadu Bello University for a Master of Public Administration degree from 1984 to 1985 and later earned a doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Ibadan in 1993.

Ganduje's early political career began with the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) during the Second Nigerian Republic, where he served as Kano State Assistant Secretary from 1979 to 1980. He unsuccessfully contested for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1979. He held various governmental positions in the Federal Capital Development Authority between 1984 and 1994 and served as the Kano State Commissioner of Works, Housing, and Transport in 1994. In 1998, he joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and ran for the gubernatorial candidacy but lost to Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Nevertheless, he became Kwankwaso’s deputy governor and served as Commissioner for Local Government from 1999 to 2003.

From 2003 to 2007, Ganduje was the Special Adviser (Political) to the Minister of Defence and the executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Ndjamena. In 2014, he was chosen as the APC consensus candidate for the governorship of Kano State and subsequently won the 2015 election by a significant margin against the PDP candidate. During his first term, Ganduje had a notable falling out with his political mentor Kwankwaso and clashed with Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II over financial investigations. He won re-election in 2019 in a contentious election and went on to significantly alter the traditional domain of the Kano emirate by creating four new emirates and reducing Sanusi’s influence. This eventually led to the deposition and exile of Emir Sanusi in March 2020.

On 3 August 2023, Ganduje was appointed as the National Chairman of the APC. His political career has also been marred by controversy. In 2018, video clips surfaced showing Ganduje allegedly accepting bribes from contractors, which he denied, claiming they were doctored. This led to a legal battle with the publisher of the videos, Jaafar Jaafar. Additionally, Ganduje faced accusations of pressuring the Kano State House of Assembly to remove an anti-corruption official who was investigating him.

Dawakin Tofa

25 December 1949

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