|Birth||21 October 1956, Madobi, Nigeria|
|Politics||Peoples Democratic Party|
Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, FNIQS is a Nigerian Muslim politician who was the Governor of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2015. He was elected to the Senate in 2015, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, representing the Kano central senatorial district.. After he lost his re-election in 2003, he was appointed the first civilian Minister of Defence of the Fourth Republic from 2003 to 2007.
Kwankwaso enjoys widespread support in Kano, he has been viewed as a charismatic populist.. In 2011, he was re-elected governor of the state and went on to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014. In 2015, Kwankwaso unsuccessfully contested the presidential primaries nomination under the opposition All Progressive Congress, but lost to Muhammad Buhari. He later returned to People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
Childhood and education
Kwankwaso was born on the 21st of October, 1956 in Kwankwaso village located in the Madobi, Kano. He attended Kwankwaso Primary School, Gwarzo Boarding Senior Primary School, Wudil Craft School and Kano Technical College before proceeding to Kaduna Polytechnic where he did both his National Diploma, and Higher National Diploma.
He also attended postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom from 1982 to 1983 at the Middlesex Polytechnic; and Loughborough University of Technology where he received a master’s degree in water engineering in1985. Kwankwaso was an active student leader during his school days and was an elected official of the Kano State Students Association.
Kwankwaso started work in 1975, at the Kano State Water Resources and Engineering Construction Agency (WRECA). He served in the civil service for 17 years in various capacities and rose through the ranks as the principal engineer.
In 1992, Kwankwaso was elected as a member of House of Representatives representing Madobi Federal Constituency. His subsequent election as deputy speaker in the House brought him to the limelight of national politics. He belonged to the People’s Front faction of the SDP led by General Shehu Yar’adua which consisted of his former boss Senator Magaji Abdullahi mni, Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Babagana Kingibe, Tony Anenih, Lamidi Adedibu amongst others.
During the 1995 Constitutional Conference, Kwankwaso was elected as one of the delegates from Kano, as a member of the People’s Democratic Movement led by Yar’adua. Kwankwaso joined the PDP in 1998 under the platform of People’s Democratic Movement in Kano led by Mallam Musa Gwadabe, Senator Hamisu Musa and Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila. He defected to the People’s Democratic Party on July 24, 2018.
Governor of Kano (1999–2003)
Kwankwaso was elected as the executive governor of the northern Nigerian state of Kano between 1999 and 2003, under the flag of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He contested the PDP’s primaries in 1999 against Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Engr.Mukthari Zimit, Alhaji Kabiru Rabiu. The Santsi/P.S.P. were behind the candidature of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje but they lost to Kwankwaso in the primaries. The committee that conducted the primaries included Tony Momoh as Chairman other members were Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila and Senator Bala Tafidan Yauri.
He lost re-election to Malam Ibrahim Shekarau whom he removed from the highest civil service position of permanent secretary to a lecturer in a higher institution (College of Arts and Science, Kano). His tenure as the governor of Kano State was very eventful because of several other groups who were opposed to his high-handed governorship and his attempt at supporting president Obasanjo, who hails from a different tribal group. His party the PDP also became split between his supporters and those who opposed him.
Minister of Defence (2003–2007)
Kwankwaso was subsequently appointed as the Minister of Defence in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet in 2003. In 2007, he was appointed as the Presidential Special Envoy to Somalia and Darfur by the Obasanjo administration after losing the bid from his party to contest the 2007 general governorship election. He continued to use his influence at the federal level to undermine his opponents especially the Kano State Government.
Kwankwaso resigned his ministerial position to contest the election in 2007 but he lost because he had been indicted by a Government White Paper. The deputy gubernatorial candidate of the party Alhaji Ahmed Garba Bichi replaced him as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in the 2007 elections while Engr. Abubakar Jibrin Mohammed contested for the deputy gubernatorial post.
Governor of Kano (2011–2015)
Kwankwaso was reelected for a second term as Kano state Governor on 26 April 2011 and sworn in on 29 May 2011. Rabiu won with a difference of sixty three thousand plus votes, his party won three quarters of the house of assembly seats, by winning 30 out of the total 40 seats in the state. During his time as the governor, he sponsored over 7000 students to study abroad across different discipline and level from undergraduates and postgraduate. On 26 November he was among five PDP governors who defected to the new opposition party APC, and formed a PDP splinter group in August known as the G-7. In 2015, Kwankwaso contested the APC presidential primaries but lost to Muhammadu Buhari.
Unable to secure the presidential nomination, Kwankwaso contested the senatorial seat for Kano Central Senatorial District and won. He was elected on 2 March 2015.
In October 2018, Kwankwaso contested the presidential primaries of the PDP. He lost to Atiku Abubakar, and later campaigned heavily for his candidate Abba Yusuf Kabir to emerge governor of Kano. The election was declared inconclusive in favour of incumbent Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. Kwankwaso later refused to seek re-election as senator, being replaced by Ibrahim Shekarau.
2004 Kano indictment
On the 9th of March 2004, the chief judge of Kano state swore in the six-member commission of inquiry which was headed by Hon. Justice Ahmed Badamasi as chairman to inquire the activities of Kwankwaso. The commission commenced sitting on March 19, 2004 and made its report available and for the government to issue the white paper by November 2004, when he was indicted.
2015 EFCC investigation
On the 2nd of July 2015, justice Mohammed Yahaya of the Kano High Court had restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) from arresting or restraining Kwankwaso in its investigation for alleged misappropriation of N10 billion pension funds while serving as Kano State governor.
But two weeks later on the 16th of July 2015, the same judge in the Kano High Court voided his earlier order and granted the EFCC a judgement to enable the commission to investigate, arrest and prosecute Kwankwaso. Justice Muhammed Yahaya also fined N50,000 against Kwankwaso for “time-wasting.”
Justice Yahaya Muhammed also directed the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to investigate counsel to Kwankwaso, Barrister Okechuwku Nwaeze, for alleged misrepresentation and overzealousness in the suit.
Schorlarship Programme During his Tenure
The governor of the state sponsored more than 2600 students with humble background to 14 countries around the world to pursue postgraduate studies and hundreds of undergraduate students.
Schorlarship Programme 2019
The Kwankwasiyya Development Foundation has sponsored 242 graduates to India for masters’ degrees in 2019, just as the foundation is determined to sponsor a total of 370 graduates in 2020.