President Muhammadu Buhari has publicly spoken about Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for the first time since the Kano State governor was accused of pocketing $5 million in kickbacks from contractors.
Buhari praised Ganduje for being a “very responsible” person because he continued and completed projects started by his predecessor Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Buhari made the comments in France where he attended Paris Peace Forum.
The Realm TV: Watch Buhari praise Ganduje
“I compliment the governor for doing so much,” Buhari said.
“He invited me, I went to Kano, the good projects started by Kwankwaso in education and healthcare, which is (where) a lot of emphasis should be made for ordinary Nigerians, the majority, poor Nigerians, Ganduje completed them.
“If it were another person, he could have left them to show them this is the project he started, he diverted the balance to go and contest for presidency, instead of completing it.
“But he completed the project per specification, and Kano ordinary people are enjoying the benefit.
“I think that is very responsible of him,” Buhari said.
The president said nothing of the bribery allegations against Ganduje. Daily Nigerian has published several videos showing the Kano governor pocketing dollar bribes.
Ibrahim Magu who heads Buhari’s anti-corruption drive recently refused to comment on the allegations but chose to respond to questions regarding the extradition of former petroleum minister Diezani Allison-Madueke who served under Buhari’s rival Goodluck Jonathan.
Police in Kano have threatened “fury” against anyone who protests against Governor Ganduje.
A court also ordered Kano lawmakers not to investigate the governor who denied wrongdoing stating that the videos were “cloned”. Daily Nigerian said experts from the BBC verified. Its editor also testified before Kano lawmakers regarding the authenticity of the videos. But Ganduje failed to show up to defend himself at the parliament.
Ganduje said the allegations were cooked to make him, President Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lose votes in next year’s general election.