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Sokoto: Gang Up Against Tambuwal’s Plot To Return Through ‘Back Door'


 
ANKELI EMMANUEL in this report writes on moves by both the APC and PDP in Sokoto State to ensure that Governor Aminu Tambuwal does not return to office if he fails to emerge as presidential candidate of the PDP.
Current political development in Sokoto State no doubt potents great danger and a looming implosion for both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections, if not well managed.

Whereas there are other political parties eagerly waiting and praying for such implosion, there is the natural tendency that they will woo defectors with free tickets should that happen.

However, a deeper anatomy of the other parties aside APC and PDP show that they are only but appendages of the two.

The impending implosion, no doubt, might have diverse reasons peculiar to each party depending on the degree, magnitude and influence of those involved.
For clarity sake, therefore, the analysis will scrutinize both the PDP and APC as the hide and seek games continue.

Sokoto PDP in the eyes of the storm

The political terrain in Sokoto State has continued to be undulating since governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal dumped the ruling APC for PDP.

Those who have commenced Tambuwal’s defection say the governor has simply excercised fairness, justice and strict adherence to the tenets of his conviction and religion.

For those in this school of thought, many other politicians who are still defending mediocrity by not calling a spade a spade like Tambuwal did are but enemies of the country.

In their opinion, if most politicians and electorate went up in flames criticising immediate past government of Goodluck Jonathan because of insecurity, corruption and misgovernance, then they should now remove the spec from their eyes and see the log of wood in the present government’s route.

Notable amongst those holding such notion is Alhaji Suleiman Muhammed Maikasuwa, who said if they failed to criticize President Muhammadu Buhari for the glaring failure to address all those things Jonathan was accused of, then they are hypocrites.

According to him, it is no longer news that there was massive looting and insecurity under the then Jonathan-led administration, the cost of living for the ordinary Nigerian was relatively fair which signifies economic stability.

He lamented further that Nigerains are disappointed now that after three years into the Change government, the status quo never remained but has continued to get worse by the day.

Seeing the deterioration of things in Nigeria as a glossy selling manifesto for the opposition PDP, Maikasuwa however wondered if gladiators of Sokoto PDP and that of other states are genuinely ready to take advantage of that.

Giving his reasons for such contemplation, Maikasuwa querried what he described as a glaring display of impunity by the PDP and APC as well.

According to him, it makes no sense for Tambuwal to have logically imposed his former commissioner for local government, Alhaji Manir Dan’Iya on PDP as a consensus gubernatorial candidate.

Dissecting the scenario that played out leading to Manir Dan’Iya’s endorsement, a source from within the party who prefers anonymity said majority of the party faithful are still in shock over the development.
He however added that, it was a fractured arrangement whose aim was simply to allow for a comeback should Tambuwal miss the presidential ticket.

“Though, we are very optimistic that Tambuwal is going to emerge as PDP’s presidential flag-bearer at the end of the day, however, picking Manir Dan’Iya as Sokoto PDP gubernatorial consensus candidate is like making him a caretaker waiting for the arrival of the landlord.
“Some members of the PDP are not comfortable with the arrangement. However, Bafarawa was said to be at ease with the resolution so long as his conditions will be met.

“We gathered that the grand design was to make Bafarawa’s son the deputy governor under PDP.
“But I can assure you that some political big shots of the party are not in any way happy with the development. Therefore, people should expect defection from the PDP back to APC and vis-vasa or to any other party soon”.

Sokoto APC and the looming danger

Though, APC in Sokoto seems to be at ease despite not being in power because of Senator, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Wamakko, whose political whirlwind is characterized by the SAI ALU lexicon, has a better grip of the electorate than any other politician in the state.
Expectedly, this therefore bestowed on him the singular privilege to choose who gets what political position in the state.

Wamakko manifested this when in 2015 he single handeldy picked Tambuwal as his successor. And that was it as no other opposition or discordance voices from within could withstand that choice because of the SAI ALU movement.

Prior to Wamakko’s endorsement of Tambuwal, all eyes were on his commissioner Of Finance, Faruk Malami Yabo who hails from the same Senatorial District with Tambuwal.

Before then, their Senatorial District was the only one that was yet to govern the state since the return to democracy in 1999.

Senator Wamakko in his wisdom having picked Tambuwal from that region went ahead to pick a deputy from Sokoto South to help balance the equation.

It could be recall that all eyes were hitherto on honourable Yabo to succeed Wamakko before the sudden turn of events.

It is equally an open secret that Faruk Malami Yabo had before then showed interest in succeeding Wamakko. A decision which allegedly was said to have been endorsed by Wamakko before he later asked Faruk to step aside for Tambuwal in 2015.

Though most electorate felt upset with the decision and pressed it on Yabo to defect to another party so as to pursue his political interest, Yabo however showed statesmanship, stayed back and supported Tambuwal.
Now that another election is by the corner, most pundits in Sokoto felt it was very apt to consider a consensus ticket for Yabo as the APC gubernatorial flag-bearer.

But alas, that was not to be as a hidden battle of wit seems to be gradually playing out.

A reliable source from APC had divulged earlier that there was a grand design to deny Yabo’s Senatorial District the chance of governing the state come 2019 as a punishment for Tambuwal’s defection.

It’s on record that Sokoto has a gentleman’s agreement which allows for each Senatorial District to govern the state for two terms.

In compliance with that agreement, Bafarawa from Sokoto East, served two terms of four years each between 1999 to 2007. Wamakko, from Sokoto North served as governor for two terms of four years each between 2007 to 2015. Tambuwal from Sokoto South Senatorial District is currently serving his first tenure of four years and is expected to have another four years, all things being equall.

However, as the day progresses, it is glaringly manifesting that the powers that be in the APC are bent on denying Sokoto South Senatorial District a second chance hence the prefrence for other candidates aside Yabo.

Speaking on the two scenarios and what political messages electorate were to deduce from them, a source from the APC who spoke on condition of anonymity captured it thus: “Like the PDP where Tambuwal was said to have planted his stooge as the consensus gubernatorial candidate, the powers that be in the APC are also trying to do same.

“They have openly supported other aspirants against Faruk Malami Yabo. And that is going to be the genesis of another implosion in the party.

“We have gathered reliably that the state deputy governor, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto who is from the same Senatorial District with immediate past govenror and now Senator, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko is the preferred candidate.

“We equally gathered that, former Minister for Transport, Alhahi Yusuf Suleiman who is from Sokoto East Senatorial District is going to deputize Ahmed Aliyu”. The source said.

If the position of the source is anything to go by, then, APC in the state is still waxing in the sea of uncertainty as 12 of the State Serving House of Assembly Members who refused to defect with Tambuwal jointly purchased gubernatorial form for Faruk Malami Yabo.
The lawmakers, irked by the unfolding scenario, felt Yabo should be compensated as the party’s consensus candidate for his loyalty to the party and their leader, Senator, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.

Presenting the Guber form to Yabo in his residence in presence of all the 12 lawmakers,
the Minority Whip, Abdullahi Sidi Gwadabawa noted that Faruk Yabo posses all the qualities of a good leader hence he has been tested and trusted having served in diverse dimensions in the state.

Gwadabawa added that the state lawmakers bought the form for Yabo in appreciation of his patience and obidience to the party and it’s leader, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.

He recalled with nostalgia how Wamakko preveiled on Yabo to step down for Tambuwal in the build up to 2015, saying such sacrifices deserved to be reciprocated by all.

Much as many see the state lawmakers gesture of purchasing guber form for an aspirant as a healthy one, the decision however does not seem to go down well with the party executives in the state.

This was more so that only very few of the party’s chairmen from across the 23 local government areas of the state were present during the presentation.
They were however said to be handy when the deputy governor, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto picked his form to contest the state governorship come 2019.

As the development stands, there seems to a bitterly hidden cold war between members of the APC in the state as supporters of either camp are making use of any available opportunity to explain why his co-contestant cannot become the governor.

“As things stands today, if the state APC is to avoid the looming implosion, then they have to do the needful by featuring one candidate before things gets out of hand.
“And if it continues this way, I am sure you can see the handwriting on the wall already because the state lawmakers have taken their stand. And the party decision making body seems not to be at ease with that.

“What we are foreseeing therefore is that, if the state party leaders do not thread with caution by ensuring that the gentleman agreement of each Senatorial District serve two terms as governor is upheld,, then the tendency for a major crack in the APC is eminent”.

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