Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has expressed his dissatisfaction regarding a recent meeting between former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that in a leaked audio recording, verified as the voices of Ganduje and former APC ‘placeholder’ vice presidential candidate Ibrahim Masari, the governor lamented the unfairness of Tinubu inviting Kwankwaso to a meeting in Paris.
The leaked audio comes in the wake of the recent meeting of the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for the 2023 general elections with Tinubu as part of his plan to form a “unity government.”
During the meeting, Tinubu offered cooperation to Kwankwaso, expressing his desire to work together.
Bellnewsonline.com learnt that subsequent meetings would be held to finalise the deal, with Kwankwaso being offered a ministerial position by the incoming president.
However, the leaked audio clip reveals Ganduje expressing his disappointment to Masari over Tinubu’s invitation to Kwankwaso without involving him.
“There is noise all over Kano [over the Paris meeting],” Mr Ganduje said at the beginning of the conversation.
Also in the audio, Masari, a close ally of Tinubu, attempted to soothe Ganduje, advising him to remain calm until he visits Tinubu on Thursday.
“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.
In the audio, Ganduje voiced his concern about the implications of Tinubu viewing Kwankwaso as an alternative due to their loss in the election.
He laments the fact that Tinubu failed to invite them to the meeting and expresses frustration over the perceived lack of fairness. Ganduje believes that Tinubu’s actions could damage people’s trust in him and emphasises that power ultimately belongs to God.
“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.
Masari acknowledges Ganduje’s concerns and assures him that the meeting should not be discussed over the phone due to security risks.
“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.
“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.
Ganduje claims to have received a security report suggesting that the meeting was part of a plan to undermine the APC governorship case at the election petition tribunal. However, Masari agrees that it is not within Tinubu’s powers to influence 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 for comment on the audio clip, the governor’s spokesman, Abba Anwar, requested time to call back but did not fulfil that promise or respond to subsequent calls, Daily Nigerian reports.