Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (born December 25, 1949) is the Governor of Kano State elected on 13 April 2015 and sworn in on 29 May 2015. He was two term Deputy Governor of Kano State, serving from 1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2015 under the administration of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
He started his early education in Qur’anic and Islamiyya school at his village Ganduje where he became trained in Islamic knowledge. He later moved to headquarters of his local government where he attended Dawakin Tofa Primary School from 1956 to 1963. Ganduje attended the Government Secondary School Birnin Kudu from 1964 to 1968.
He obtained a Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) from Advance Teachers’ College Kano between 1969 and 1972. He then attended Ahmadu Bello University, located in Zaria, Kaduna State, for a Bachelor of Science Education degree from 1972 to 1975.
He obtained his first master’s degree in applied educational psychology from Bayero University Kano, located in Kano, Kano State, in 1979 and later returned to Ahmadu Bello University from 1984 to 1985 for a Master of Public Administration degree. Not satisfied, Ganduje went to the University of Ibadan, located in Ibadan, Oyo State, for a Doctor of Public Administration degree between 1989 and 1993.
Ganduje’s passion to serve his people took him into politics, he joined now-defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) during the Second Nigerian Republic and served as Kano State Assistant Secretary from 1979 to 1980.He contested the House of Representatives election in 1979 under the NPN but lost the election.
He joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and aspired to be the party’s gubernatorial candidate but lost the primaries to Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Tony Momoh chaired the Committee that screened the candidates and conducted the primary election other members included Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila and Senator Bala Tafidan Yauri. Ganduje was later picked as the deputy to Governor Rabiu Kwankwasobetween 1999 and 2003. In addition to the deputy governorship, he was also appointed as the Hon. Commissioner for Local Government. From 2003 to 2007 he served as the special Adviser (Political) to the Hon. Minister of Defence, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ganduje also served as member of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Ganduje was appointed 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. He participated in the 2006 Nigerian Political Reforms Conference.
Ganduje was a Deputy Governor of Kano State Governor Kwankwaso between 1999 and 2003, under the flag of the PDP. They lost re-election to Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. They were re-elected on 27 April 2011 and sworn in on 29 May 2011 for a second term in office.
He was selected as the consensus candidate to succeed Kwankwaso as Governor of Kano State on 28 November 2014 among the All Progressive Congress APC Candidate are Usman Alhaji, Kawu Sumaila, Ibrahim Muhammad Kankarofi, Malam Ibrahim Khalil, Col. Lawal Jafaru Isa. He went on to defeat the opposition candidate, Malam Salihu Takai, with 1,546,434 votes against Takai’s 509,726 votes in the 11 April 2015 gubernatorial elections. He was sworn into office on 29 May 2015
Ganduje was conferred the national honour of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in September 2012 by Nigerian PresidentGoodluck Jonathan. He was also conferred with the honour of Fellow National Association of Educational Administration and Planning (FNAEAP) on 13 October 2016 in Bayero University, Kano.