His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (born December 25, 1949), is the Visitor to Yusuf Maitama Sule University. He was elected as the Governor 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 Rab’iu Musa Kwankwaso.
Dr. Ganduje started his early education in Qur’anic and Islamiyya schools at Ganduje, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area in Kano State, where he became trained in Islamic knowledge. He then attended DawakinTofa Primary School from 1956 to 1963, and later the Government Secondary School Birnin Kudu from 1964 to 1968.
The Visitor obtained a Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) from Advanced Teachers’ College Kano in 1972. He then attended Ahmadu Bello University, 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, in 1979 and later returned to Ahmadu Bello University from 1984 to 1985 for a Master of Public Administration degree. To cap it all, Ganduje went to the University of Ibadan for a Doctor of Public Administration degree between 1989 and 1993.
Ganduje’s passion to serve his people took him into politics, where he joined now-defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) during the Second Nigerian Republic and served as the party’s Assistant Secretary in Kano State from 1979 to 1980. He contested in the House of Representatives election in 1979 under the NPN but lost. He joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and aspired to be the party’s gubernatorial candidate but lost the primaries to Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso,. Ganduje was later picked as the deputy to Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso between 1999 and 2003. In addition to the deputy governorship, he was also appointed as the Commissioner for Local Governments. From 2003 to 2007 he served as the Special Adviser (Political) to the Minister of Defence, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ganduje also served as member of the Board of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Chairman of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti Governing Board in 2008, the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission at Ndjamena, Republic of Chad. He participated in the 2006 Nigerian Political Reforms Conference.
Governor Ganduje was conferred with the national honour of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in September 2012 by the then Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. He was also conferred with numerous other honours and awards by national and international organisations, including the honour of Fellow National Association of Educational Administration and Planning (FNAEAP) on 13 October 2016 in Bayero University, Kano.