The governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, has expressed disaffection over a recent meeting between a former governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso and President-elect Bola Tinubu.
The governor made the lamentation in a leaked audio, verified by insiders as the voices of Mr Ganduje and that of a former ‘placeholder’ vice presidential candidate of APC, Ibrahim Masari.
Recall that Mr Tinubu recently met with the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, in the 2023 general election as part of the former’s plan to form a “unity government”.
It was gathered that the president-elect, during the meeting extended a hand of fellowship to Mr Kwankwaso and expressed his desire to work with him.
Although sources said the leaders will hold subsequent meetings to finalise the deal, it was gathered that Mr Kwankwaso was offered a ministerial slot by the incoming president.
But in the leaked audio clip, Mr Ganduje was heard lamenting to Mr Masari that the president-elect was unfair to him for inviting Mr Kwankwaso to a meeting in Paris.
In the audio, Mr Masari was heard pacifying Mr Ganduje and urging him not to be angry over the development.
He asked the governor to remain calm until he visits Mr Tinubu on Thursday.
“There is noise all over Kano [over the Paris meeting],” Mr Ganduje said at the beginning of the conversation.
But Mr Masari, who is a close ally of Mr Tinubu, said he had earlier hinted to him [Ganduje] of the possibility of the meeting.
“I told you about it but you asked me to dismiss it,” Mr Masari said.
“Even if it was true as you hinted, was there anything I could have done to prevent him? Nothing,” Mr Ganduje responded.
“You should have at least confronted him to confirm for yourself,” said Mr Masari.
“If he [Tinubu] now sees Kwankwaso as an alternative to us because we lost election, there is no problem about that,” Mr Ganduje said in emotion-laden voice.
But Mr Masari asked the governor to perish the thoughts and be calm, adding that he cautioned Mr Tinubu about the implications of the meeting without notifying Ganduje.
“I share your pains. Even your enemy knows that he was not fair to you, but please remain calm until you come [to Abuja],” Mr Masari consoled Mr Ganduje.
“He should have at least invited us for the meeting even if it was for symbolic purposes. And we even lost Kano because of him, the governor lamented. And one thing he [Tinubu] failed to understand is that power belongs to God. And these are very wrong calculations”, he said.
Responding, the former placeholder VP candidate said Mr Tinubu was sending the wrong signal that would prevent people from trusting him.
Mr Ganduje cited an example of how Kwankwaso fell apart with former president Goodluck Jonathan over corruption allegations.
“I spoke with Mr President earlier and I lamented to him about the issue. He (Tinubu) told me that it was SLS [Sanusi Lamido Sanusi] who arranged the meeting through [Gilbert] Chagoury (a Franco-Lebanese business tycoon and ally of Mr Tinubu). And I asked whether you were informed before the meeting, he (Tinubu) said no. I will adequately brief you when we meet, you know phone calls are not safe. Just keep exhibiting your maturity by keeping mum,” Mr Masari said.
The governor however said he received a security report that the meeting was part of a plan to scuttle the APC governorship case at the election petition tribunal, which Mr Masari concurred.
He, however, said it was not within the powers of Mr Tinubu to scuttle the election case.
“Yes, that game plan is there, but it is not within his purview, but your Excellency I’m pleading with you to be calm until you come around. Let’s not discuss this issue on the phone. You know how unsafe our conversation could be.
“Anytime you come around, we will have our usual meeting and present our resolutions to him,” Mr Masari added.
When contacted to react to the audio clip, the spokesman for the governor, Abba Anwar, said he was driving and promised to call back later.
“I’m currently driving, and as you can hear, I’m in a noisy area, so please give me a little time to call you back,” Mr Anwar said.
He, however, didn’t call back after over two hours. He also didn’t respond to subsequent calls.