Police authorities in Kano State are determined to take strict measures against any group engaging in protests within the state following a Court of Appeal ruling that removed Governor Abba Yusuf from office. The state’s election tribunal had earlier nullified Governor Yusuf’s victory under the NNPP, a decision subsequently upheld by the Appeal Court months later.
Despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declaring Governor Yusuf of the NNPP as the winner of the March election, the state’s governorship election petitions tribunal overturned this outcome.
The Court of Appeal later affirmed this decision, asserting that Yusuf’s absence from the NNPP’s register rendered him ineligible to contest the election. Consequently, the court declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the legitimate winner, triggering tensions in Kano.
In response to reports of planned protests in the aftermath of this judgment, the state police authorities have declared their intent to prevent such gatherings to maintain law and order. Husaini Gumel, the Kano police chief, emphasized the protesters’ alleged intention to disrupt the state and warned against actions that might incite violence.
Referring to a peace accord between the NNPP and the APC preceding the court ruling, the police chief urged both parties to adhere to the agreement and discourage their supporters from engaging in mass actions that could potentially lead to violent protests or celebrations.
‘Miscarriage Of Justice’
Following the court ruling, Governor Yusuf expressed dissatisfaction, denouncing it as a “miscarriage of justice” and announcing plans to challenge his removal in the Supreme Court. In a broadcast to the residents of the North-West state, he asserted, “After careful study and rigorous stakeholder engagement, my team and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) have decided to approach the Supreme Court on the miscarriage of justice delivered by the Appeal Court yesterday in Abuja.”
In alignment with the governor’s stance, the NNPP, his political party, also rejected the judgment, describing it as “ridiculous.” Abba Ali, the Acting National Chairman of NNPP, voiced the party’s discontent.
Stating, “In spite of overwhelming evidence presented to the tribunal by our team of lawyers, the tribunal passed one of the most ridiculous judgments in the history of election jurisprudence in Nigeria and unjustly declared the APC candidate, who had never joined the petition, as the winner of the election.” The party conveyed these sentiments during a news conference held in Abuja on Saturday.
‘Victory For Democracy’
Nonetheless, the APC views the court’s decision as a triumph for democracy and expresses confidence that the Supreme Court will affirm the ruling. Abdullahi Ganduje, the APC National Chairman, shared his perspective at his Abuja residence, stating, “There is no doubt this is a victory for democracy. It is a victory for APC and a victory for Kano State. This is an indication that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. Democracy, we can say, is matured in Nigeria. We have to thank all those stakeholders, even the political parties and the NNPP, that took us to the appeal court.” The party believes that the verdict underscores the resilience of democracy in the country.
According to Ganduje, the judgment signifies a significant achievement for democratic principles, asserting that democracy has firmly taken root in Nigeria. He extends gratitude to various stakeholders, including political parties like the NNPP, acknowledging their role in the legal process that led to the appeal court decision. The APC National Chairman emphasizes the maturation of democracy in Nigeria and the importance of acknowledging those who participated in the legal proceedings.
In his remarks at the Abuja residence, Ganduje of Kano State underscores the importance of democratic values, stating that the ruling is indicative of the enduring nature of democracy within Nigeria. He expresses appreciation for the collective efforts of political parties, including the NNPP, emphasizing their involvement in the legal proceedings that culminated in the appeal court’s verdict. The APC remains optimistic about the judiciary’s continued support for democratic principles, anticipating a positive outcome in the Supreme Court.