The former governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje has said he would have slapped his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, if they had met at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Both men were at the State House at different times on Friday to meet with President Bola Tinubu.
Kwankwaso was the first to be sighted at the Villa around 5:30 pm.
Ganduje was later at the Villa to discuss the leadership of the 10th National Assembly and developments in Kano with President Tinubu.
He told State House correspondents that Kwankwaso was spearheading the demolition of structures that were duly allotted to private developers in the ancient city.
Ganduje said Kano indigenes were bitter about it and are trying to manage it so it doesn't degenerate into a religious crisis.
“I know he’s in the building but we have not met,” Ganduje said of his predecessor.
“Probably, if we met I could have slapped him,” he added.
In his response, Kwankwaso called Ganduje a stooge.
“He is number one stooge. If you like, with due humility, I put him there,” Kwankwaso told journalists.
“You see, the governor (Abba Yusuf) is doing what we campaigned with. I wanted to be president, and I campaigned also.
“And I went to Kano and told them that these places – schools. And I can tell you: all our schools, in fact, most of them were being encroached and it is our policy to make sure that at least they are brought back to them, all of them.”
“We will not allow anybody, either local government chairman or governor, to go and sell. If you don’t buy from the school, don’t sell.”
Kwankwaso said Ganduje sold lands indiscriminately when he was the governor of Kano State.
The new governor, Abba Yusuf, has been demolishing multi-billion-naira structures since he was sworn in on 29 May.
Just like Kwankwaso, the governor says the lands on which the buildings were erected were illegally acquired.
Rabiu Kwankwaso was the governor of Kano from 1999 – 2003 and 2011 – 2015, and Ganduje was his deputy.
The latter took over from Kwankwaso in 2015 and governed for two terms until 29 May 2023.
He failed in his bid to sway voters to vote for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the 2023 Governorship Election.
That election was won by Kwankwaso's son-in-law, Yusuf, who ran under the Nigeria National Peoples Party (NNPP).