How Supreme Court ruling on governorship election averted chaos in states

Supreme Court

By Haruna Salami

The Supreme Court ruling on Friday January 12, 2024 affirming Abba Yusuf as the duly elected governor of Kano State has averted what could have been a major crisis in commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria.

Before the verdict of the apex court palpable tension pervaded the ancient city of Kano.

The apex court set aside the verdicts of the Court of Appeal and election petitions tribunal, which nullified the victory of Yusuf in the March 18, 2023 governorship poll.

The unanimous judgment of the five man oanel was delivered by Justice John Okoro.

Kano state governor, Abba Yusuf and his party, NNPP had filed an appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which had affirmed his sacking as earlier pronounced by the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

As the nation awaited the judgement of the Supreme Court over petitions in the governorship election in 8 states, anxiety was very high especially in Kano, Plateau and a few others.

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The political rivalry between the national leader of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his erstwhile deputy governor and current national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Umar Ganduje has raised the political temperature of Kano state to the high heavens.

Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano state is from the NNPP while Ganduje, the immediate past governor of the state and national chairman of APC has his favourite candidate, Nasir Gawuna who was roundly defeated by Abba Yusuf in the March 18, 2023 election.

The implications of Abba’s triumph at the Supreme Court are numerous for the political future of Ganduje, the national chairman of APC, Kano state and the nation at large.

For Ganduje, it is a sad end to his political relevance as the national chairman of the ruling party.

Although no one can say if it will cost him his plumb job, it definitely has whittled down his power and influence.

For Kano, the ancient city remains the greatest winner in the victory of Abba Yusuf. No matter the security measures put in place, if the ruling had gone the other way, the city would have been set ablaze by now.

On the day of the Supreme Court ruling, schools and markets were closed down in Kano in anticipation of the likely break out of violence after the judgement, but when it affirmed the victory id Abba Yusuf, the choice of the majority of Kano people, peace naturally was everywhere.

Right from the time of Malam Aminu Kano, the politics of the state has been on the progressive side with very high political awareness, which makes the day robbery, the kind attempted by the governorship tribunal and the Court of Appeal that removed Abba not to go “unpunished”.

The implication for national political alignment and realignment can be summed up in Abdul-Aziz Naibi Abubakar, a PDP chieftain’s prediction that “it’s over for Ganduje” as he said the Kano state governor, Abba Kabiru Yusuf and his godfather, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso will defect to the APC.

Abubakar is of the view that this move will harm the political prospects of the APC national chairman Umar Ganduje who failed to secure victory for his chosen candidate, Nasir Gawuna.

President Bola Tinubu, who installed Ganduje as the APC national chairman may not want to disgrace him out rightly, nut as the president strategises for his second term in 2027, the Kwankwaso team seems to be a greater political asset in terms of winning the millions of Kano votes.

Similarly, in Plateau state, the affirmation of Governor Caleb Muftwang, who was removed by the Court of Appeal, led to jubilation on the Plateau.

The full list of states won by the political parties after the Friday judgements of the Supreme Court shows that the ruling APC had three: Lagos, Ebonyi, Cross River; PDP three: Plateau, Bauchi Zamfara while NNPP had Kano and Labour Party (LP) has Abia state.

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