Home Election FACT CHECK: Is Kwankwaso’s doctorate honorary or academic?
FACT CHECK: Is Kwankwaso’s doctorate honorary or academic?

On January 19, 2023. A Twitter user tweeted that Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, is an academic fraud. This tweet came after Kwankwaso’s appearance at the Chatham House, where he declared himself a Ph.D. holder and not a trader.

This was in response to questions about the possibility of him stepping down for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

This has sparked numerous conversations and raised questions about the authenticity of his Ph.D. Some have also suggested that the degree he holds is an honorary one.

Did Kwankwaso really bag an academic doctorate?

According to a 2014 report by Daily Trust, Rabiu Kwankwaso received an honorary doctorate from Sharda University in India, in recognition of his dedication to education and infrastructure in Kano State.

Kwankwaso, who was the governor of Kano State at the time, had, according to Sharda University website, sponsored 165 Kano scholars to attend the university.

The Daily Trust, however, reported in 2022 that Kwankwaso had earned a doctorate degree from the same Sharda University and had in fact given a viva presentation, which is an oral exam where you defend your thesis. 

CDD Election War Room checked the list of students awarded a Ph.D. from the University, which is available on the university website. The list contains the names of Ph.D. awardees from 2016 to date, along with their year of registration. 

On page 8 of the list, we discovered a “Mohammed Rabiu Musa” who enrolled in 2018 and received a Ph.D. in 2022. 

Further investigation reveals that “Kwankwaso” is, in fact, Mohammed. This sworn affidavit was submitted by Kwakwanso to INEC and obtained by the Premium Times.

In it, Kwankwaso stated under oath that he was previously known as “Musa, Mohammed Rabiu,” but that he is now Musa Mohammed Rabiu Kwankwaso, with the surname Musa. This matches the name we discovered on the list of Ph.D. recipients from Sharda university. 

Kwankwaso’s Ph.D. was in Civil Engineering with specialisation in water and irrigation engineering. His thesis was on “Design and Construction of Irrigation System in Northern Nigeria”.

Kwankwaso has no academic paper?

It is also false to claim the NNPP presidential candidate has no published papers. Checking Google Scholar, we also found papers published by the former governor of Kano state.

Using Google Scholar, we found that in November 2020, Kwankwaso published an academic paper in the International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET) on “Design Optimization of Water Lifting Device in Kano, Nigeria”.

The paper was co-authored by Muhammad Isa Abdurrahman, Sameer Arora, and Gaurav Saini, who was Kwankwaso’s supervisor at the Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology,
Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Kwankwaso is the recipient of both an academic and an honorary degree from Sharda University in India. Therefore, the claim that Kwankwaso is an academic fraud is false. 

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