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Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

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Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the 66-year-old politician vying to be Nigeria’s subsequent president, is never seen with out his crimson cap. It’s a image of his ambition and his achievements – he’s a former defence minister, former senator and served two-terms as governor of Kano, one among Nigeria’s most populous states.

The hats are additionally worn by his supporters in Kano who’re a part of his Kwankwasiyya motion, which interprets from Hausa because the “Purple Cap Revolution”.

This loyal political fan membership has even adopted him as he has switched events – particularly his transfer in 2013 from the then-governing Peoples Democratic Get together to the All Progressives Congress, the present ruling celebration.

Over his profession he was been with 5 events, and is now presidential candidate for the New Nigeria Individuals’s Get together (NNPP), little recognized nationally till he joined final yr.

Analysts say he has little probability of successful the election outright, given his energy base is essentially within the north, however might trigger a severe political upset by taking northern votes from Bola Tinubu of the APC and Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s contender.

To win a presidential election a candidate should present they’ve nationwide help by gaining 25% of votes in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states, in addition to having essentially the most votes.

Political analyst Chisom Ugbariwould advised the BBC that Mr Kwankwaso would wish to make inroads within the south to attain this.

At one stage a merger had been urged with the one other main candidate, Peter Obi of the Labour Get together, who hails from the south-east. Some stated such an alliance stood an opportunity of wrestling energy from the APC.

However in a BBC interview Mr Kwankwaso categorically dominated this out, saying the Labour Get together candidate lacked his political pedigree: “You’ll be able to’t evaluate him to me who’ve been in politics for a few years.”

Strides in schooling

Nonetheless, Ibrahim Sharada, a Kwankasiyya member of NNPP, thinks his candidate’s fame and affect “stretches past northern Nigeria”.

And there’s no doubt that he is without doubt one of the 4 main candidates and may it go to a second spherical, he might change into a king-maker given his loyal following in Kano, the place he first grew to become governor in 1999.

This was the yr that marked the top of navy rule – and he was not donning the well-known crimson cap then.

That got here greater than a decade later. In truth he misplaced his gubernatorial re-election bid in 2003, which is when then-President Olusegun Obasanjo made him defence minister.

Supporters of Rabiu Kwankwaso, wearing red hats, on a cattle campaign cart in Kano state, Nigeria

Supporters of Rabiu Kwankwaso put on crimson hats

He served on this position till 2007 at a time of relative peace in Nigeria. Considered one of his most important manifesto pledges to fight the present state of insecurity the nation faces – a Islamist militancy within the north, kidnappings, cattle-farmer conflicts and a separatist rebel within the south-east – is to spice up the military’s head rely to 1 million by recruiting 750,000 further personnel.

After his time in authorities, he returned to state politics, which is when he shaped the Kwankwasiyya motion, taking inspiration from the late famend anti-colonial freedom agitator Malam Aminu Kano, who grew to become an eminent politician and social reformer in northern Nigeria after independence.

Wearing crimson cap and a flowing white kaftan, he was well-known for stating the inequalities of what was a reasonably feudal society within the area – combating for extra equality, together with the rights of ladies.

Kwankwasiyya, Mr Kwankwaso stated, embodied these beliefs – and the motion attracted a younger following which favored to decorate like their mentor.

Propelled to a second time period as governor, Mr Kwankwaso stated he delivered on these beliefs particularly although his instructional reforms, making schooling free in any respect ranges to this present day.

Nonetheless, it is just obtainable those who come from Kano and college students want an “indigene certificates” to qualify.

Government school students in Kano, Nigeria - 2019

Mr Kwankwaso launched free main, secondary and tertiary schooling in Kano

“He declared free schooling on assumption of workplace and was one of many first governors throughout Nigeria to introduce the college feeding programme for indigent pupils,” Kano journalist Yinusa Ahmad advised the BBC.

“Lots of of scholars additionally received overseas scholarships and now most of them kind essentially the most loyal base of his Kwankwasiyya motion.”

Throughout his time as governor, he says Kano constructed many faculties and invested in lecturers, although the UN says the state nonetheless has one of many highest numbers of out-of-school youngsters in Nigeria.

Training has clearly been essential to Mr Kwankwaso, who’s comfortable spoken and charismatic.

The previous governor thrived in school and went on to school, qualifying as a water engineer – gaining levels within the UK and India.

He return to labored in that sector, primarily for Kano’s water and engineering company, earlier than getting into the political fray.

Pension allegations

Like many Nigerian politicians, Mr Kwankwaso has confronted corruption allegations.

In 2021, two years after finishing a time period as senator, he was questioned by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) over the alleged diversion of pension funds whereas he was governor.

He denies the allegations, saying they’re politically motivated, and the case has gone no additional.

A roof with Kwankwasiyya emblazoned on it in Kano

Buildings constructed throughout Mr Kwankwaso’s second time period as governor are emblazoned with the identify of his Kwankwasiyya motion

Mr Kwankwaso, who’s married with six youngsters, exudes political confidence.

This was most not too long ago demonstrated when he dismissed the necessity for an alliance to win the presidency. He’s a person who likes to make his personal mark – and it’s one thing that may nonetheless be seen throughout Kano metropolis.

All of the buildings constructed throughout his time as governor have “Kwankwasiyya” marked in enormous capped letters throughout the roof. He needs no-one to neglect him.

Nigeria election graphic

Nigeria election graphic

Nigeria election graphic

Nigeria election graphic

By Maggi

"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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