Born on the 21st of October 1956, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso comes from a village located at Madobi, to a Sunni Muslim Fulani family.
He attended Kwankwaso Primary School, Gwarzo Boarding Senior Primary School, Wudil Craft School and Kano Technical College after which he proceeded to Kaduna Polytechnic for his National Diploma, and Higher National Diploma.
Kwankwaso also attended postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom from 1982 to 1983 at the Middlesex Polytechnic; and Loughborough University of Technology where he received a master’s degree in water engineering in 1985.
Kwankwaso joined the Kano State Water Resources and Engineering Construction Agency of the Government of Kano State in 1975. He served there for seventeen years rising through the ranks to become the principal water engineer.#
In 1992, Kwankwaso made his entry into politics on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He was a member of the People’s Front faction of the SDP led by General Shehu Yar’adua and other popular politicians.
Kwankwaso was elected as a member of the House of Representatives representing Madobi Federal Constituency in the same year. His subsequent election as deputy speaker in the House brought him to the limelight of national politics. Kwankwaso was elected as one of the delegates from Kano, during the 1995 Constitutional Conference, as a member of the People’s Democratic Movement led by Yar’adua. He later joined the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) in the political transition program of General Sani Abacha.
Kwankwaso joined the PDP in 1998 and in 1999, he contested the PDP primaries and won. Kwankwaso was elected for his first term as the governor of Kano State from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2003. In 2003, he lost re-election to his rival Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. From 2003 to 2007, Kwankwaso was appointed Minister of Defence in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second cabinet, replacing Theophilus Danjuma.
Kwankwaso was re-elected for a second term in office as governor of Kano State from 29 May 2011 to 29 May 2015.
In October 2014, Kwankwaso used his large political following in Kano to contest the APC presidential primaries but lost. He is currently the presidential candidate for the New Nigeria Peoples Party for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.