The PDP is re­new­ing its ef­forts to­wards win­ning Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the 2015 gen­eral elec­tions. How far can it go?

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Tu­raki A. Has­san

Shortly af­ter his ap­point­ment as a min­is­ter, Al­haji Mo­hammed Wakil, the cur­rent min­is­ter of state for power, stepped up ef­forts to get his party into reck­on­ing as the party to beat in the re­main­ing states in the North East geopo­lit­i­cal zone of the coun­try not un­der the con­trol of the PDP.

Borno and Yobe State have never fallen un­der the grip of the PDP, while the gover­nor of Adamawa State, Mur­tala Nyako re­cently left the PDP for the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), which has re­clas­si­fied the state as an APC state.

But this would not be the first time the PDP would be threat­en­ing to cap­ture all states in the North East­ern zone of the coun­try. In 1999, the de­funct All Peo­ples Party (APP) won three of the six North-East­ern States of Borno, Gombe and Yobe while the PDP cap­tured Bauchi, Taraba and Adamawa States.

In the build up to the 2003 elec­tions, the party’s top hi­er­ar­chy made strong moves to win the three states and even though the re­sult fell be­low their ex­pec­ta­tions, the PDP suc­ceeded in cap­tur­ing Gombe leav­ing the de­funct All Nige­rian People’s Party (ANPP) with Borno and Yobe States, the additional state it cap­tured served to boost its morale.

For­mer gover­nor Habu Hashidu lost to Mo­hammed Dan­juma Goje, while Adamu Maina Waziri was de­feated by the then in­cum­bent Bukar Abba Ibrahim in Yobe State. In Borno State, Se­na­tor Ali Sherif un­seated the in­cum­bent Mala Kachalla who de­fected to the Al­liance for Democ­racy from the ANPP. PDP’s Kashim Imam also lost out in the same elec­tion.

Again, in 2007, the PDP lost its bid to cap­ture the two States with Waziri los­ing out to late Se­na­tor Mam­man Ali in Yobe, and Se­na­tor Ali Sher­iff se­cured his sec­ond term in of­fice hav­ing trounced yet an­other PDP can­di­date Kashim Imam who lost to him four years ear­lier in 2003.

A sim­i­lar trend en­sued in 2011 with the two states re­main­ing in the hands of the op­po­si­tion fol­low­ing what many PDP loy­al­ists and an­a­lysts say was as a re­sult of the an­tiparty ac­tiv­i­ties of their party men who al­legedly con­nived with the ANPP gov­er­nors.

Po­lit­i­cal pun­dits be­lieve the cause of the suc­ces­sive fail­ures of the PDP in the North East is not far from the in­ter­nal wran­gling and lack of co­he­sion among party chief­tains.

Wakil, who was a for­mer vice chair­man of the party in the North East zone and who is said to have of­fered to serve as the ar­row head of the on­slaught in the three state, is not obliv­i­ous of this.

To ac­tu­alise this dream, the PDP is said to have set up a com­mit­tee headed by the min­is­ter which is said to have since swung into ac­tion with se­ries of meet­ings in­volv­ing top party lead­ers from the zone in both Maiduguri and Abuja.

The move is said to be at the in­stance of the Pres­i­dency which ex­pressed its re­solve to cap­ture the states in 2015.

One of the strate­gies to be used, sources say, is to lure both Gov­er­nors Kashim Shet­tima and Ibrahim Gei­dam into de­fect­ing to the PDP, while a strong can­di­date would be fielded in Adamawa State to un­seat who­ever the APC pre­sents.

The sec­ond strat­egy is to en­sure elec­tions are not con­ducted in the three states which have been un­der emer­gency rule for the past one year or to shift it to a lat­ter date dif­fer­ent from when other states in the coun­try are hold­ing their elec­tions, so as to have enough re­sources to fo­cus on the states later. But how eas­ily can these mea­sures be ap­plied?

Adamawa

In Adamawa State, the re­cent de­fec­tion of Gen­eral Mo­hammed Buba Marwa (rtd) and Markus Gundiri to the PDP from the APC is seen as a great boost to the PDP’s ef­fort to win the elec­tion next year.

Pun­dits say the great­est chal­lenge for the PDP would be de­cid­ing on a can­di­date as the com­ing of Marwa and Gundiri has added to the mix of clash­ing in­di­vid­ual am­bi­tions as there are al­ready people like Bello Tukur, Auwal Tukur, Dr Umar Ardo, Dr Idi Hong and ,many oth­ers angling to get the party’s ticket.

Mean­while, the APC is not bereft of heavy weights as the state gover­nor, Nyako and for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Atiku Abubakar as well as many po­lit­i­cal stal­warts are in its ranks and could eas­ily mo­bi­lize strong can­di­dates that would give who­ever the PDP pre­sents a good run for their money.

Borno

The un­do­ing of the PDP in Borno has been the anti-party ac­tiv­i­ties of its mem­bers since 1999. Many fear that this has not been con­tained.

In the last elec­tion, for­mer Gover­nor Mo­hamed Goni was fielded as a con­sen­sus can­di­date af­ter many of the party chief­tains failed to come to­gether. How­ever, to their

Yer­ima Ngama Mo­hammed Wakil

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