Things have turned spiritual in the northern Nigerian state of Kano where a rerun governorship election would take place on March 23, following an inconclusive election on February 23.
At stake is northern Nigeria’s most populous, richest and dynamic state.
A defeat of the ruling All Progressives Congress there would be a strong rebuke against President Muhammadu Buhari’s anointed candidate, seating Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who has been embroiled in various corruption scandals.
Kano was among the six states where gubernatorial elections were declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
News wire, PRNigeria, reported on Friday that voters have been thronging places of worship within and outside the country to seek the intervention of the Almighty Allah.
In almost all of those states, the opposition People’s won, but with a margin the electoral body said was not satisfactory.
In Kano, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Abba Kabir Yusuf, polled 1,014,353 votes to beat the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who secured 953,522 votes.
The win margin between the APC and opposition PDP candidates was 26,000 votes while about 141,694 were canceled.
“But several members of the two major political parties APC and PDP have gone spiritual by embarking on non-obligatory prayers and fasting seeking Allah’s intervention and making animal sacrifices at various local governments across the state,” PRNigeria said.
“PRNigeria observed that depending on the political divide, supporters in their thousands have trooped to various praying sites, some outside the mosques with selected Imams leading them in special prayers against political manipulation and electoral frauds in the state.
“Some businessmen have also sponsored ‘prayer warriors’ on a pilgrimage to the Holy lands in Saudia Arabia for God’s intervention in the forthcoming re-run election.
“In one of the videos obtained by PRNigeria, a business man in Saudi Arabia, said that many pilgrims were expected from Nigeria for the special prayers over Kano re-run election,” the news wire wrote.
“We have finalised all arrangements for pilgrims coming to the Holy land In Saudi Arabia for payers for peace in Kano in the next election. On arrival, they would move to the Grand Mosque of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Madina for special morning prayers, and thereafter proceed to the Grand Mosque in Mecca for special evening prayers while the following day, they would proceed to a special mosque on the way to Jeddah International Airport. “Meanwhile, we have made provisions for vehicles, accommodation and feeding for all intending pilgrims for this special prayer against political crises in our beloved city of Kano in the forthcoming election…. As we have also purchased the sacrificial rams to be slaughtered,” the business man is heard as saying.
“Apart from prayers offered in various places, sacrificial animals were also slaughtered in office premises, personal residences and public places in Kano as part of efforts to seek the face of Almighty God to favour their candidates.
“PRNigeria gathered that some of the slaughtered animals for the sacrifice included camels, cows, rams, goats among others,” the report added.
It said Kano has also witnessed peaceful protests by youths.
In their thousands, they chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is the greatest) “Hasbunalahu Wani’imal Wakil” (Allah is sufficient for s) as they marched through some major streets within Kano city.
One of the groups terminated their protest at the Kano Emir Palace, where they performed ‘Al Qunut’ (special prayer) of two Rakat prayers at the palace pavilion. Similar protests were recorded across the state, the newswire said.