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Fact-checking Kwankwaso’s claims at ‘The Candidates’ presidential town hall series

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AHEAD of Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, on Saturday made several claims on his achievement as a former governor of Kano state and his plans for Nigerians if elected Nigeria’s number one citizen in the next democratic dispensation.

Kwankwaso was the governor of Kano state between 1999 to 2003. He initially lost his second bid to Ibrahim Shekarau in 2003 before he re-contested and won again as the state governor in 2011.

The town hall series features six presidential candidates ahead of the February 2023 presidential election alongside their running mates, starting from November 17 till November 23.


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The presidential candidates are: Bola Ahmed Tinubu (APC), Peter Gregory Obi (LP), Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (NNPP), Omoyele Sowore (AAC) and Adewole Adebayo (SDP). Saturday’s edition featured Kwankwaso, who was also a former Defence minister.

READ: Fact-checking Adewole Adebayo’s claims at ‘The Candidates’ presidential town hall series

The Nigerian Fact-checkers Coalition (NFC) which included The FactCheckHub, examined the veracity of these claims.

CLAIM 1

Kwankwaso claimed that he never borrowed money when he was governor of Kano state.

THE FINDINGS

According to a report by Premium Times, Kano state Commissioner of Information, Mohammed Garba, said that Kwankwaso borrowed N4.161 billion from pensioners’ funds to build Bandirawo and Amana Housing Estates.

He added that when the project was completed, the government realized pensioners could not afford housing units in the estates because of the cost.

In a Vanguard report in 2021, the former Kano governor was probed by the EFCC for allegedly mismanaging N10 billion in pension remittances between 2011 and 2015.

VERDICT

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The claim that Kwankwaso did not borrow money when he was Kano state governor is FALSE; findings show that he borrowed at least N4.161 billion to execute some projects in the state.

ALSO READ: Fact-checking Sowore’s claims at ‘The Candidates’ presidential town hall series

 

CLAIM 2

Kwankwaso claimed that he didn’t leave debt behind in his two terms in office as the Kano state governor.

THE FINDINGS

Kwankwaso was the governor of Kano State between 1999-2003 and 2011-2015.

According to data from the Debt Management Office, Kano state had a debt of $59.8 million US dollars ($59,796,931.03) as of 30th of June, 2015, about a month after Kwankwaso left the office.

Similarly, a report by Premium Times quoted the Kano state’s treasury department as saying Kwankwaso left over N200 billion debt as the governor in 2015. No data was found yet on Kano’s debt profile when he left office in 2003.

VERDICT

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The claim by Kwankwaso that he did not leave any debt in office in his tenures as the Kano state governor is FALSE.

* This fact-check republished from the FactCheckHub was done by members of the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition (NFC).

Author profile

Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via nyahaya@icirnigeria.org and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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