The Fula people, often described as the Fulani, are regarded as the world’s largest nomadic group: about 20 million people dispersed across Western Africa. They reside mostly in Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, and Niger. They also can be found in Central African Republic and Egypt.
In Nigeria, the Fulani comprise “the most populous and politically influential” of more than 250 ethnic groups in the country. They speak Fula languages as well as Hausa, English, French and Arabic.
In this article, I will be sharing with you 4 Current Nigerian governors that are Fulani by tribe:
1. Umar Ganduje, Governor Of Kano State
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was born on 25th December,1945 in Ganduje village of Dawakin Tofa local government area of Kano State. He is a Nigerian politician and governor of Kano State. He was a former deputy Governor under Rabiu Kwankwasor.
Ganduje was trained in Islamic Knowledge at the Qur’anic and Islamiyya school at his village Ganduje. He later moved to attend Dawakin Tofa Primary School from 1956 to 1963. He proceeded to Government Secondary School Birnin Kudu from 1964 to 1968.
In 1967, Ganduje proceeded to Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano where he graduated from in 1972. In 1975, Ganduje obtained a degree in Science Education from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
In 1979, Ganduje obtained a masters degree in applied educational psychology from Bayero University Kano. He got a masters degree in public administration at the Ahmadu Bello University in 1985 and a doctorate degree in public administration from the University of Ibadan in 1993.
Ganduje started his career as a politician when he joined the now defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) during the second republic. He became the Assistant Secretary in Kano State in 1979 after he lost election bid to become a member of the House of Representatives.
At the advent of the fourth republic, Ganduje became a member of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and picked nomination form to become the Governor of Kano State. Ganduje lost in the primaries to Rabiu Kwankwaso, but was however picked as Kwankwaso’s running mate.
Ganduje became the Deputy Governor of Kano State following their victory in the 1999 gubernatorial elections. However, Kwankwaso and Ganduje lost their second term bid to Ibrahim Shakarau.
In 2003, Ganduje was appointed special Adviser (Political) to the Hon. Minister of Defence, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ganduje also served as a member of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
In 2008, Ganduje was appointed the chairman of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti in 2008 and was later appointed as the executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission at Ndjamena, Republic of Chad.
In 2011, Kwankwaso and Ganduje was elected for a second term in office under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In 2015, Ganduje ran to become the governor of Kano state under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). He defeated Malam Salihu Takai in the 2015 gubernatorial election and was sworn in as governor in May 2015.
Ganduje was re-elected for a second term in office in the 2019 gubernatorial elections amid voting irregularities. His victory was upheld by the Supreme Court in January 2020.
In October 2020, a video clip of Ganduje receiving wads of dollars in what appears to be bribe payment by contractors was published by an online medium Daily Nigerian. Ganduje through his commissioner denied the video. Ganduje claimed the video was doctored to blackmail him. He threatened the online media and journalist with legal suit.
In March 2020, Ganduje removes the Emir of Kanu Mohammadu Sanusi II as the Emir and appointed Aminu Ado Bayero as the new Emir of Kano.
Not only is Ganduje Fulani by tribe, he was born in a Fulani nomadic settlement, speaks fluent Fulani and has Fulani tribal marks.
2. Bala Mohammed, Governor Of Bauchi State
Bala Mohammed is a Nigerian politician who is currently serving as the Governor of Bauchi State.
He is a leading member of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) and served as the Minister of Federal Capital Territory during President Goodluck Jonathan's tenure. He also served as a Senator representing Bauchi South Senatorial District.
Bala Mohammed was born on the 5th of October, 1958 in Duguri, a town located in Alkaleri LGA of Bauchi State, Nigeria. He is Fulani by tribe. From 1965 to 1971, he attended Duguri Primary School, Bauchi.
In 1972, after obtaining his First School Leaving Certificate, he enrolled at the Government Secondary School Bauchi. He obtained his WASCE in 1976 and proceeded to the North – East College of Art and Science between and 1977 and 1979 for his Advanced Level Certificate.
He subsequently secured admission to study at the prestigious University of Maiduguri, graduating in 1982 with a BA Degree in English Language.
Bala Mohammed began his career as a journalist with Mirage Newspaper, Jos, where he rose to the position of News Editor. He also had a stint as a News Reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN).
He thereafter moved over to the Democrat Newspaper where he worked as the newspaper’s State Editor in charge of Benue.
In 1984, he got employed as an Administrative Officer under the Federal Ministry of Internal. In 1994, he got promoted and redeployed as Principal Administrative Officer in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Presidency.
From 1995 to 1997, Mohammed served as the Chief Supplies Officer, Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals. He rose to the position of Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Power and Steel in 1997. He held the position until 1999 when he was promoted Deputy Director/SA to the Hon Minister, Federal Ministry of transport, serving until 2003.
In 2003, he got promoted as Director of Administration, Nigerian Railway Corporations. In September 2003, he became the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation. In January, he became Director of Administration and Supplies, Nigerian Meteorological Agency.
On April 21, 2007, Bala Mohammed was elected as the Senator representing Bauchi South Senatorial District under the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP). He occupied the seat until his appointment as the Hon Minister of Federal Capital Territory in April 2010.
In 2018, Bala Mohammed emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Bauchi State. On 26 March 2019, he received 515,113 votes defeating the incumbent Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar who received 500,625 votes.
3. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Governor Of Kebbi State
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu is the current Governor of Kebbi State, he was born on 26th of December 1961. He is an indigene of Kebbi State. He is Fulani by tribe.
He is from a wealthy Fulani family, his father was actually the director of Primary Education in Kebbi.
He had his University Education at Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto State where he obtained his BSc. In Economics. He proceeded to the University of Jos, Plateau State where he had his Masters in Economics. He thereafter went to Columbia University where he obtained his M.A in International Affairs.
He was elected Senator for the Kebbi Central constituency of Kebbi State, Nigeria in a by-election after Senator Adamu Aliero was appointed Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in December 2008. He ran successfully for reelection in the April 2011 national elections under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP).
He however defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014 and joined the All Progressive Congress. He thereafter became the flagbearer of the All Progressive Congress(APC) after winning the Party's Gubernatorial primaries. In Nigeria's 2015 general elections, he contested for the Governorship seat in Kebbi State and won under the platform of the APC.
In the 9 March 2019 Kebbi State gubernatorial election Bagudu polled 673,717 votes, while his rival Sen. Isah Galaudu of PDP polled 106,633 votes.
Bagudu was a known associate of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who was accused of stealing more than $2.2 billion of public funds during his five-year tenure as Nigerian president in the 1990s. In 2003, Bagudu was arrested and extradited from Houston, Texas at the request of Jersey, where Bagudu had set up a shell company called Doraville Properties to launder funds stolen from Nigeria. Bagudu eventually reached a settlement, agreeing to return $160 million of stolen money in exchange for deportation to Nigeria to face trial. Despite the considerable evidence from legal authorities in the U.S., Jersey, and Switzerland, Bagudu was never questioned after returning to Nigeria. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the repatriation of $480 million stolen by Sani Abacha and his co-conspirators. In its complaint, the U.S. government alleged that Sani Abacha, his son Mohammed Sani Abacha, their associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and others "embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions of dollars from the government of Nigeria and others, then laundered their criminal proceeds through U.S. financial institutions and the purchase of bonds backed by the United States." In February 2020, the U.S. government entered into a trilateral agreement with Nigeria and Jersey to repatriate over $300 million in additional money that Bagudu played a role in stealing during the Abacha regime. The U.S. announced that it was continuing to seek forfeiture of over $177 million in additional laundered funds held in trusts that name Bagudu and his relatives as beneficiaries. Bagudu is immune from prosecution while governor.
4. Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor Of Kaduna State
Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, born 16 February 1960, is a Nigerian politician who is the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State and former Director General of The Bureau of Public Enterprises, the head privatisation agency in Nigeria and also the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 16 July 2003 to 29 May 2007. He is a member of All Progressives Congress (APC) and elected as the Executive Governor of Kaduna State during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. His spell with the government began under the transition government of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, where he served as an adviser in the Transition government.
EL-Rufai was born in Daudawa of Faskari Local Government Area in Katsina State. Despite his northern upbringing, Nasir El-Rufai has always said he is “Nigerian” first before being “Fulani”. His Fulani father who lived on a pension of three pounds a month died while the young Nasir was 8. He was sponsored throughout his academia days by an uncle in Kaduna, and as a result grew up in the influential Northern state.
He attended Barewa College, Zaria where he graduated as the best student in 1976, wining the “Barewa Old Boys’ Association Academic Achievement” Trophy. Another notable student of the school during the time he was there was the late former President Umaru Ya’Adua who was the house captain of Mallam Smith House, Nasir’s dormitory as a junior.
El-Rufai proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained a bachelors degree (First Class Honors) in Quantity Surveying. El-Rufai is also an alumna of Harvard Business School and Georgetown University.
In addition, he obtained an LL.B degree from the University of London, and graduated in August 2008 with second class honors, Upper Division. He also has a master degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in June 2009.
Furthermore, he received the Kennedy School Certificate in Public Policy and Management having spent 11 months as an Edward A. Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management from July 2008 to June 2009.
In 2014, El-Rufai declared his campaign for Governor of Kaduna State, contesting the APC governorship primaries to emerged as the party's candidate for Governor of Kaduna State. He went on to win the governorship election, with over one million votes to defeat the incumbent Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero the candidate of the People's Democratic Party. In 2018, he again emerged as the APC's governorship candidate. He was re-elected on 9 March 2019, defeating his closest rival by over 200,000 votes.
Nasir El-Rufai is married to Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, a writer and architect.
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