Senator Mohammed Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is a Nigerian politician and Engineer. He is a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Kwankwaso is also a former (two-term) governor of Kano State. Kwankwaso represented Kano Central Senatorial district under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. This is after he decamped from the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Senator Kwankwaso was the first elected governor of Kano State in the fourth republic. He was elected under the platform of the PDP in 1999. Kwankwaso, however, lost a re-election bid in 2003 to Ibrahim Shekarau. Consequently, President Obasanjo appointed him to serve as Defence Minister.

Nevertheless,  Kwankwaso returned to contest for another term as a governor in 2011. He successfully completed his final term and moved on to the senate in 2015. He swapped his presidential ambitions for the senate after he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.


Rabiu was born on 21 October 1956 in Kwankwaso village of Madobi Local Government Area of Kano State. He took up the name of his village as his surname in line with the popular tradition in Northern Nigeria.

Early Life and Education

Rabiu Kwankwaso had his early primary education at Kwankwaso Primary School. He also attended Gwarzo Boarding Senior Primary School. Afterward, he moved to Wudil School of Craft (1970-1972).

Mohammed attended Kaduna Polytechnic where he did his National and Higher National Diploma. From there he went on to Middlesex Polytechnic (1982-1983) and Loughborough University of Technology 1983 -1985) in the UK where he got his Masters Degree in Water Engineering.

Professional Career

Rabiu Kwankwaso officially joined the professional world in 1975. He served at the Kano State Water Resources and Engineering Construction Agency (WRECA), He remained in the civil service for 17 years. He rose to the rank of Principal Engineer.

Political Career

Musa joined partisan politics in the aborted Third Republic where he contested elections to the House of Representatives. He became the Deputy Speaker. He belonged to the Peoples Front faction of the SDP Led by General Shehu Yar’adua.

During the 1995 Constitutional Conference, he was elected to be one of the representatives from Kano, at that time he belonged to the Peoples Democratic Movement led by Yar’adua. He joined the PDP in 1998 under the platform of Peoples Democratic Movement in Kano led by Mallam Musa Gwadabe, Senator Hamisu Musa, and Alh. Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila.

The group was able to have sympathizers from the PSP group such as Alh. Datti Wudilawa and ANC such as Mallam Abba Dabo who all supported his candidature. He therefore had a victory in the primary elections. The People’s Democratic Movement consisted of a majority of the Tabo Faction of the P.R.P. and a few loyalists of the Santsi faction of the P.R.P. such as Alh. Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila their Secretary and Alh. Dodo Fagge and a host of others. Hence Rabiu Kwankwaso is now seen as the heir apparent to the political dynasty of Mallam Aminu Kano.


Kwankwaso was elected as the Executive Governor of the northern Nigerian state of Kano between 1999 and 2003, under the flag of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He lost re-election to Malam Ibrahim Shekarau whom he removed from the highest civil service position of permanent secretary to a Lecturer in a higher institution(College of Arts and Science, Kano).

Kwankwaso was reelected for a second term as Governor on 26 April 2011. He won with a difference of sixty-three thousand plus votes, his party won three-quarters of the house of assembly seats, by winning 30 out of the total 40 seats in the state.

Meanwhile, on 26th November he was among the Five PDP governors that defected to the new opposition party APC. They formed a PDP splinter group in August known as the G-7. Then he contested for the APC Presidential primaries but lost to Muhammadu Buhari. However, he was elected to the Kano State central senatorial seat on 28th March 2015. He lost his reelection bid.

Presidential Ambition

Kwankwaso is known to be a great admirer of the apex political office of the nation. Meanwhile, he is rumored to have a strained relationship with not just the President, but the present Kano State Governor and his former protegé, Umar Ganduje. This very likely inspired his decision to decamp to the opposition PDP along with 14 other senators in 2018.

Kwankwaso contested the 2018 PDP primaries, but lost to Atiku Abubakar.

Kano Guber 2019

Kwankwaso and abba gidaSenator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso threw his weight behind the The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, popularly known as Abba Gida-Gida. Abba is said to be his son-in-law.

Related: Biography Of Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje


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