Kebbi 2015: Strug­gle for power shift thick­ens

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Garba Muham­mad, Birnin Kebbi

The de­ter­mi­na­tion for power shift to Kebbi South se­na­to­rial zone in Kebbi State, is grad­u­ally gain­ing ground with over 15 as­pi­rants jostling for en­dorse­ment by the com­mit­tee set up to screen and pick an ac­cept­able can­di­date for the zone.

The zone had set up an 18-man com­mit­tee to screen as­pi­rants and come up with a con­sen­sus can­di­date, in its bid to ac­tu­al­ize the zone’s ag­i­ta­tion for the gov­er­nor­ship come 2015.The ag­i­ta­tion was boosted with the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of war­ring elites from Zuru Emi­rate. The com­mit­tee also got a boost with an in­crease in their num­ber from 18 to 28, fol­low­ing the in­clu­sion of 10 mem­bers from Yauri Emi­rate, af­ter a re­cent har­mo­niza­tion visit to the emi­rate.

The zone has two emi­rate coun­cils, Yauri and Zuru, and con­sist of seven lo­cal gov­ern­ments, namely, Danko/ Wasagu, Fakai, Sak­aba, Zuru, Ngaski , Shanga and Yauri.

Parts of the man­date of the 28-man com­mit­tee, among other cri­te­ria, is to pro­duce a cred­i­ble as­pi­rant that will be ac­cepted in the state so as to give the zone the op­por­tu­nity to rule for the first time since the cre­ation of the state.

The com­mit­tee headed by Al­haji Wakkala Diri, had re­cently vis­ited the Gwandu emi­rate to per­suade it to re­lin­quish power in the spirit of zon­ing. The com­mit­tee also said it in­tends to visit Ar­gungu emi­rate where it is be­lieved to have al­ready gained sup­port.

Those in the race from the south­ern zone are: Zubairu Ab­dul­lahi Tu­raki, re­tired Ma­jor Gen­eral Muham­madu DanHanne Isah, the in­cum­bent deputy gover­nor Ibrahim K.Aliyu, Bala Sak­aba, Hus­saini Adamu, Isyaku Daudu, Tanko Ayuba, Bala Ubadawaki (Mem­ber Fakai Con­stituency in the Kebbi State House of As­sem­bly), Bala Na’Al­lah, Se­na­tor Muham­madu Magoro, Ben­jamine Dikki, Ab­dul­lahi Du­rumbu and a new en­trant, Sadiq Sule Ikoh.

Out of this, 12 are from the Zuru Emi­rate, with only the in­cum­bent deputy gover­nor be­ing backed by Yauri Emi­rate.

The jos­tle from the Zuru emi­rate is how­ever, grad­u­ally nar­row­ing down to two con­tenders in the PDP, namely: Zubairu Tu­raki and Gen Muham­madu Dan-Hanne Isah.

While Isah is said to be the fa­vorite of the in­cum­bent gover­nor, Zubairu Tu­raki is be­lieved to be en­joy­ing the sup­port of the grass­roots who feel it is time for the old bri­gade to re­main in the rear seat of lead­er­ship.

The stance to pro­duce a new breed seems to have of­fended some sup­port­ers of Se­na­tor Ayuba in Sak­aba Lo­cal Govern­ment and those of Se­na­tor Magoro in Fakai Lo­cal Gov­er­ment. Adamu Hus­saini, though from Zuru Emi­rate, is con­sid­ered by the other as­pi­rants from Gwandu as a dis­trac­tion.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that, Zubairu Tu­raki , who cur­rently works in the pres­i­dency, was ini­tially skep­ti­cal when some elders ap­proached him to run as gover­nor as he was said to have sus­pected that it was a trap to set him against very in­flu­en­tial politi­cians in the state.

Tu­raki, who ex­pressed worry over the de­vel­op­ment, later suc­cumbed to pres­sure and was pre­vailed upon to al­low the youths to cham­pion the cause. The youths took over the cam­paign in the so­cial me­dia, as well as by us­ing plac­ards and fly­ers to drum up sup­port for the as­pi­rant. An ap­peal fund was later raised by some prom­i­nent politi­cians and youth groups who pro­duced his cam­paign posters and stick­ers past­ing them in many towns in the state.

Sources in the state PDP said Zubairu’s emer­gence has rat­tled many main stream clique of the PDP, who are afraid of his emer­gence as they sus­pect he may be en­joy­ing the back­ing of the pres­i­dency which had pro­moted emer­gence of new breeds in most states of the PDP con­trolled states. Sources also said he has won the sup­port of 15 out of the 18 mem­bers of the com­mit­tee from Zuru. The claim was how­ever dis­missed by some mem­bers of the com­mit­tee who spoke to Daily Trust. The source dis­closed that, three mem­bers of the com­mit­tee have been in­ves­ti­gated and dis­ci­plined for dou­ble stan­dard. “We shall not spare any mem­ber who is dis­cov­ered to be work­ing against the in­ter­est of the zone,” the source said.

Zubairu’s emer­gence has also made those op­posed to him in the party to is­sue di­rec­tives to elected party mem­bers and party of­fi­cers restrict­ing mem­bers from en­gag­ing in cam­paign ac­tiv­i­ties. The Zuru LG chair­man of the PDP, Maikudi Sale, while con­firm­ing the di­rec­tives said, “party ex­ec­u­tives will not be al­lowed to take sides or par­tic­i­pate in com­mit­tees of as­pi­rants un­til the party has de­cided on who should be its flag bearer. The ex­ec­u­tives can in­ter­act with as­pi­rants , but not to be in­volved in cam­paigns.”

Dur­ing the sec­ond elders meet­ing in Zuru, Ben­jamine Dikki had pub­licly de­clared that he does not have the in­ten­tion to be in the race, but said he is ready to sup­port any­body who emerges from the zone.

Dikki’s po­si­tion has con­firmed stake­hold­ers’ opin­ion in Zuru, who be­lieve that he will be bet­ter off at his cur­rent po­si­tion as the DG, BPE than to go into an ‘ad­ven­ture’.

Both Tu­raki and Gen­eral Isah and some oth­ers in the race have ex­pressed readi­ness to ac­cept any can­di­date who emerges af­ter the screen­ing. They promised to rally round and sup­port the emerg­ing can­di­date in the in­ter­est of the zone.

Close aides of Se­na­tor Magoro said the politi­cian is tak­ing his time to study the sit­u­a­tion be­fore he makes his po­si­tion pub­lic. “Our past ex­pe­ri­ence has taught us a les­son; nev­er­the­less, we shall make our plans open very soon”, the aide said.

Among the Gwandu front lin­ers are re­tired Gen Sarkin Yaki Bello, Abubakar Shetima Malam, Mansur Shehu Mansa (state chair­man of the PDP) , Sen Atiku Bagudu, Kabiru Tan­imu Dan­masani. The other likely Gwandu group in­cludes; Bashir Sarkin Yakin Koko, Saidu Sam­bawa, Sen Faruk Bunza, Bello Tu­rakin Gwandu, Prof Ti­j­jani Bande, Sadisu Nataro. While for­mer deputy gover­nor Suleiman Ar­gungu of the All Pro­gres­sive Congress (APC) may likely emerge from Ar­gungu Emi­rate. Both Bala Sak­aba and Sadiq Sule Ikoh are to emerge from Zuru Emi­rate. Sak­aba is be­lieved to have the back­ing of Se­na­tor Adamu Aliero who still has his grip in the APC in Kebbi.

APC is also bat­tling with its in­ter­nal party cri­sis that has cre­ated two fac­tional in­terim com­mit­tee chair­men in the state. The camp of Ali Ba­ture is said to be en­joy­ing the sup­port of Muham­mad Bawale and a cer­tain fe­male APC na­tional of­fi­cer. He was also al­leged to have been planted by the Aliero group in or­der to con­tinue to main­tain rel­e­vance in the op­po­si­tion, in case the ta­ble turns against them in the PDP.

The other fac­tional in­terim com­mit­tee chair­man , Atiku Bunu, is how­ever said to be en­joy­ing the sup­port of Al­haji Suleiman Ar­gungu , the for­mer deputy gover­nor to Aliero. But Ar­gungu has de­nied this say­ing the rea­son he is per­ceived to be sup­port­ing one of the camp was be­cause he had at a time raised an is­sue against the other camp, “so that was when they drew that con­clu­sion,” he added.

The APC cri­sis has led to the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of its re­cent ward congress elec­tion, where the na­tional body in­sisted on con­sen­sus. The rea­son given was that, one of the fac­tion con­ducted the congress on the 10th April, 2014 with­out INEC su­per­vi­sion, while the other fac­tion that con­ducted its own on 11th April,2014 was su­per­vised by INEC.

There is a lot of talk that Gover­nor Saidu Dakingari may suc­cumb to pres­sure even within his emi­rate to anoint an as­pi­rant from Kebbi South, prefer­ably from Zuru Emi­rate against his deputy , Aliyu from Yauri emi­rate.

Chris­tians, Mus­lims and Tra­di­tional wor­ship­pers in Zuru emi­rate had re­cently or­ga­nized a prayer vigil, de­ter­mined to send sig­nal that come 2015, they will not take any­thing short of the gov­er­nor­ship slot. The Chris­tian prayer war­riors who stormed the Emir of Zuru’s palace was led by the zonal chair­man of the Chris­tian As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­rian (CAN),Musa Ma­gaji. The Mus­lim prayers led by the Zuru Chief Imam , Sheikh Hamza Balarabe was con­ducted at the Cen­tral mosque, while the tra­di­tional wor­shipers in the six district of Dabai chief­domDabai,Ushe,Senchi,Rikoto, Rafin Zuru,Manga-con­verged out­side the palace of the Dabai chief, Al­haji Isah Sami.

Sources say, at­tempt to sug­gest a Bello Sarkin Yaki/ Du­runbu ticket was re­sisted by the people of Kebbi South, which now forced the Gwandu Emi­rate to hatch an­other at­tempt to test the ground for the cur­rent state PDP chair­man, Mansur Mansa to test if the kite will fly. The move was con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous, go­ing by the role the chair­man was said to have played to scut­tle the chance of ap­point­ing Gen Bitrus Ushe as min­is­ter.

Zubairu Tu­raki Gen. Muham­madu Dan-Hanne Isah

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