Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has revealed that the first civilian governor of the state, late Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi wanted him to become the state governor but the aspiration was thwarted by some individuals within their former party, the PDP.
Governor Ganduje, who was deputy governor of Kano state from 1990 – 2003, made the disclosure Tuesday evening during the 7th Anniversary lecture of the Late Dr. Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi, at the Center for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House.
“In 1999, he wanted me to become the governor but some people hatched a plot (to ensure that I was schemed out) during our party primaries at Gabasawa. They later confessed to me that they were involved and asked for forgiveness”, the governor stated.
The governor, however, asserted that he has pardoned them and carried on because of his conviction that one can only become governor at Allah’s preordained time.
Governor Ganduje said he become close to late Rimi because of the philosophy, pointing out that history would continue to remember him has a gentleman, a man of great vision and someone who had the ordinary man at heart.
“Rimi had shoes that have got rubber soles. If he steps upon you, the impact is trouble-free, unlike a governor who had shoes with steel soles”, the governor maintained, alluding to the gentle nature of the late politician.
He stated that Rimi left several outstanding legacies in the old Kano state, while many of his administrations projects and programmes, such as the adult education programme, the state agricultural supply company and public infrastructure have won international wards and became models in the country.
The Emir of Kano, who was represented by a former governor of the state, Sardaunan Kano, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, described Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi as a leader who never allowed his ego to prevail over truth.
He narrated experiences where as governor of Kano state, the late politician allowed superior arguments from his subordinates to take precedence over his personal opinions or even decisions of the state executive.
“Rimi is our mentor who listened to advice from his superiors and we tried to emulate him while we were in government”, the former Minister of Education remarked.
The Guest Speaker and a political associate of Rimi, Alhaji Rabi’u Shua’ibu Ringim, Alhaji Musa Magami, his childhood friend and Alhaji Sule Yahaya Hamma, the Secretary to the Rimi administration in the second republic, all paid glowing tribute to the man whom they described as a dynamic and visionary.