By Bala Ibrahim.
I read with disbelief, the story that went viral on the social media few days back, saying Abdulazeez Umar Ganduje, the son of the Governor of Kano state, Dr. Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, had dragged his mother, Hafsat Ganduje to the EFCC. According to sources, Abdulazeez took that decision because he believed his mother is corruptly using family access to power for private and selfish aggrandizement.
The doubter in me, asked me to wait this long, with the hope that a rebuttal would come from the Kano Government House. But alas, nothing like that came, nor seems forthcoming. This lends credence to the story making the rounds that, indeed Gwaggo is into grabbing, sometimes using her children as the conduits or facilitators.
Rather than denouncing the reports, what keep coming is that Gwaggo, as the powerful Kano first lady is referred to, had jetted out of the country to London, to attend the graduation ceremony of her youngest son. This, according to sources, is in outright disregard to the invitation extended to her by the EFCC, to appear before them last Thursday.
The story is that, Abdulazeez reported to the anti-graft agency that he was approached by a property developer to help facilitate the acquisition of some plots of land in Kano, with some hundreds of thousands of US dollars, and at least N35million as “facilitation commission.” Having received the money, Abdulazeez said he paid the sum in dollars to his mother, Mrs. Ganduje.
However, according to him, three months later, (the property developer) discovered that the plots of land he wanted and had paid the first family through Abdulazeez, had been allocated to other buyers. As such, he requested to be refunded. A situation that put’s Abdulazeez in an embarrassment.
Pricked by his conscience, Abdulazeez thought it appropriate to clear his name by reporting his mother to the EFCC, with the hope that he would be freed from additional wrong doing.
Nothing more can illustrate the meaning of the day of reckoning. We are familiar with family squabbles, but not in the proportion that would make a son to report his mother to the police, for indecency.
Indeed all the religions have talked about the time when past mistakes or misdeeds would be paid for, or documented for punishment. What these religions didn’t tell us is that we shall see a sample of the accused amongst the likes of Gwaggo, who would be reported by their own offspring.
This is not the first, second or third time the name of Gwaggo is featuring in matters that have to do with unlawful grabbing.
Before Abdulazeez, other siblings of his have been in the news for similar bad news, with the case of one Balaraba Umar Ganduje, previously the most favored daughter and her husband Inuwa, being the most mind boggling.
Before things went sour between the daughter and Gwaggo the mother, Balaraba was the link for everything lucrative. She was strategically positioned by the mother, sometimes allegedly using the husband, to corner and channel to Gwaggo, all gainful and profit-making businesses in the state.
Things fell apart when Gwaggo came to realize the alleged magnitude of Balaraba’s worth of wealth. She was said to have asked her to regurgitate all to Gwaggo’s coffers, or risk some sanctions.
Through wise counselling, Balaraba opted to keep what she got and damn the repercussions, which of course have been following her and her husband Inuwa, with unpalatable consequences. The duo are allegedly fenced off the perimeter of the Government house, despite being members of the first family. But they are said to be happier now, because they know the day of reckoning is beckoning.
Governor Ganduje himself has for long been embroiled in a corruption-related scandal, the case of which is before the court. Since 2018, in what nearly scuttled his second coming, when the Daily Nigerian online newspaper, published a series of videos showing him collecting money from a government contractor and pocketing them neatly into his agbada, Ganduje has entangled himself in poor public perception problems, as he is seen, pursuant to those videos, as a corrupt public servant.
Governor Ganduje is not the only governor with a wife at the Government house, some even have more than one, especially among the northern Muslim Governors. But Ganduje‘s wife is the only one that is most regular with negative news.
From the Ministry of Finance to the office of the Head of service, Gwaggo is accused of forcefully planting incompetent and inexperienced personnel in strategic positions, for selfishly personal purposes.
And to make matters worse, news from the grapevine are saying, when Her Excellency was opening her newly commissioned office of the First lady in Kano recently, which had Governor Ganduje in attendance, to show his allegiance and dedicated dependability on Gwaggo, the Governor mocked himself by saying, far from being the accused “Mijin Ta ce”, the hausa phrase for the subservient husband, he is even, “Mijin tun kan Ta ce”. This literally means he is a husband that when asked by the wife to jump, he wouldn’t ask why, but how high?
And that explains the greatness in the grabbing gimmick of “Governess” Gwaggo.