Mohammed Rabi’u Musa popularly knows as Rabiu Kwankwaso is a Nigerian politician. He was two times Governor of Kano State from 1999–2003 and 2011–2015. He was the first governor of Kano State in the fourth republic who was elected under the platform of People’s Democratic Party (Nigeria). Kwankwaso lost re-election bid in 2003 to Ibrahim Shekarau and was in July same year appointed Defense Minister by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
In 2015, Kwankwaso unsuccessfully contested the presidential primaries nomination under the opposition All Progressive Congress, but lost to Muhammad Buhari. He then swap to contest the senatorial seat for Kano Central Senatorial District.
Early life and education
Kwankwaso was born on 21 October 1956 in Kwankwaso village of Madobi Local Government Area of Kano State. 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 did postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom a Middlesex Polytechnic (1982-1983) and Loughborough University of Technology (1983 -1985) where he got his master’s degree in Water Engineering. 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), serving as a civil servant for 17 years in various capacities and rising 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 Peoples Front faction of the SDP Led by General Shehu Yar’adua.
During the 1995 Constitutional Conference, Kwankwaso was elected as one of the delegates from Kano, as a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement led by Yar’adua. He joined the PDP in 1998 under the platform of Peoples Democratic Movement in Kano led by Mallam Musa Gwadabe, Senator Hamisu Musa and Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila. He defected to the Peoples Democratic Party on July 24th, 2018.
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.
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. He 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 Gubnetorial 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 Gubnetorial Post.
Kwankwaso was reelected for a second term as Kano state Governor on 26 April 2011 and sworn in on 29 May, 2011. He 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. 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. He was elected to the Senator for Kano State Central Senatorial District Seat on 2 March 2015.
EFCC Investigates Kwankwaso
On July 2, 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 July 16, 2015, the same judge in the Kano High Court voided his earlier order and granted the EFCC a judgemment to enables 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.