Nigeria election 2023: Who’s Rabiu Kwankwaso?
Nigeria election 2023: Who’s Rabiu Kwankwaso?
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the 66-year-old politician vying to be Nigeria’s subsequent president, isn’t 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 in all 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 Occasion to the All Progressives Congress, the present ruling get together.
Over his profession he was been with 5 events, and is now presidential candidate for the New Nigeria Folks’s Occasion (NNPP), little recognized nationally till he joined final 12 months.
Analysts say he has little probability of profitable the election outright, given his energy base is basically within the north, however may trigger a critical 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 probably the most votes.
Political analyst Chisom Ugbariwould informed the BBC that Mr Kwankwaso would wish to make inroads within the south to realize this.
At one stage a merger had been steered with the one other main candidate, Peter Obi of the Labour Occasion, who hails from the south-east. Some mentioned 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 Occasion candidate lacked his political pedigree: “You may’t evaluate him to me who’ve been in politics for a few years.”
Strides in training
Nonetheless, Ibrahim Sharada, a Kwankasiyya and member of the NNPP, thinks his candidate’s fame and affect “stretches past northern Nigeria”.
And there’s no doubt that he is among the 4 main candidates and may it go to a second spherical, he may turn out to be a king-maker given his loyal following in Kano, the place he first turned governor in 1999.
This was the 12 months that marked the top of army rule – and he was not donning the well-known crimson cap then.
That got here greater than a decade later. In reality he misplaced his gubernatorial re-election bid in 2003, which is when then-President Olusegun Obasanjo made him defence minister.
He served on this position till 2007 at a time of relative peace in Nigeria. Certainly one of his fundamental 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 rise up within the south-east – is to spice up the military’s head depend to 1 million by recruiting 750,000 further personnel.
After his time in authorities, he returned to state politics, which is when he fashioned the Kwankwasiyya motion, taking inspiration from the late famend anti-colonial freedom agitator Malam Aminu Kano, who turned an eminent politician and social reformer in northern Nigeria after independence.
Wearing crimson cap and a flowing whereas kaftan, he was well-known for mentioning the inequalities of what was a reasonably feudal society within the area – preventing for extra equality, together with the rights of ladies.
Kwankwasiyya, Mr Kwankwaso mentioned, 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 mentioned he delivered on these beliefs particularly although his academic reforms, making training free in any respect ranges to today.
Nonetheless, it’s only obtainable those who come from Kano and college students want an “indigene certificates” to qualify.
“He declared free training 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 informed the BBC.
“A whole lot of scholars additionally bought international scholarships and now most of them type probably the most loyal base of his Kwankwasiyya motion.”
Throughout his time as governor, he says Kano constructed many faculties and invested in academics, although the UN says the state nonetheless has one of many highest numbers of out-of-school kids in Nigeria.
Training has clearly been essential to Mr Kwankwaso, who’s mushy spoken however exudes a whole lot of confidence and charisma.
He thrived at college and went on to college, 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 coming into the political fray.
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.
Mr Kwankwaso, who’s married with six kids, 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 desires no-one to neglect him.
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