Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, current National Chairman of the APC is the immediate past governor of Kano State. He served two consecutive terms from May 29, 2015 – May 29, 2019, and May 29, 2019, to May 29, 2023.

Ganduje started his political career in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) during the Second Republic and served as Kano State Assistant Secretary from 1979 to 1980.

He contested the House of Representatives election in 1979 under the NPN but lost. Between 1984 and 1994, he held various government positions in the Federal Capital Development Authority, and in 1994, he became the Kano State Commissioner of Ministry of Works, Housing, and Transport.

In 1998, he joined the PDP and aspired to be the party’s gubernatorial candidate and lost to Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who later picked him as deputy. He served as deputy governor to Kwankwaso twice from 1999 – 2003 and from 2011 to 2015 before joining the APC.

In addition to being the deputy governor, he was also appointed as the Commissioner for Local Government. From 2003 to 2007, he served as the Special Adviser (Political) to the Minister of Defence. Ganduje also served as executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Ndjamena.

In 2014, he joined the APC after falling out with Kwankwaso and was selected as the consensus candidate for the Governor of Kano State. He went on to defeat the PDP candidate, Malam Salihu Takai. On May 29, 2015, he was inaugurated as the governor of Kano State.

His tenure was also characterised by a series of clashes with Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, whom he investigated for financial recklessness. In 2019, he won a re-election for a second term, defeating Kwankwaso’s son-in-law, Abba Kabir Yusuf, in the governorship election.

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In 2019, Ganduje signed into law the creation of four new emirates. This unprecedented move saw the reduction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II’s traditional domain as emir. According to the law, the Kano emir would only preside over 10 local government areas out of the 44 in the state, when previously the emirate’s domain was all 44 Kano State LGAs. In March 2020, the state legislature launched a new investigation on Sanusi for violation of traditional practices and that came after a high court ruling restrained the corruption investigation against Sanusi. On March 9, 2020, Ganduje deposed and exiled Emir Sanusi, based on alleged “insubordination and disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the Governor. “

The National Executive Committee of the APC appointed Ganduje the National Chairman of the party on August 3, 2023, following the resignation of the former governor of Nasarawa, Abdullahi Adamu.

Early life

Ganduje was born in 1949 to a Fulani family in the village of Ganduje, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of present Kano State.

He began his early education in a Qur’anic and Islamiyya school in his village, where he was trained in Islamic knowledge. He later proceeded to the headquarters of his local government where he attended Dawakin Tofa Primary School from 1956 to 1963.

Ganduje furthered his education at the prestigious Government College, Birnin Kudu from 1964 to 1968.

He also attended Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano between 1969 and 1972, and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, where he graduated with a Bachelor in Science Education in 1975.

In 1979, he obtained a master’s degree in Applied Educational Psychology from Bayero University Kano. Ganduje returned to Ahmadu Bello University from 1984 to 1985 for a Master of Public Administration degree and later received his doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Ibadan in 1993.