Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, on Tuesday said but for high level conspiracy, he would have been governor in 1999.
Ganduje said the late Abubakar Rimi, first civilian governor of Kano, was behind him but some personalities in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he was at the time, frustrated him.
He said the people later confessed and asked for forgiveness, which he did.
He was speaking at the Center for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, during the 7th anniversary lecture of Rimi.
“In 1999, he (Rimi) wanted me to become the governor but some people hatched a plot and ensured that I was schemed out during our party primary at Gabasawa,” he said.
“They later confessed to me that they were involved and asked for forgiveness.”
Ganduje said he put the incident behind him because of his conviction that one can only become governor at “Allah’s ordained time”.
Ganduje was the deputy of Rabiu Kwakwanso between 1999 and 2003, and eight years later when Kwankwaso returned.
He ended up succeeding Kwakwanso but both men have since fallen apart.
Ganduje said he become close to Rimi because of the philosophy. He said history would be kind to the late politician whom he described as “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,” he said.
He said 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 Ibrahim Shekarau, a former governor of the state, described Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi as a leader who never allowed his ego to prevail over truth.
He narrated instances when as governor, 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,” he said.