Dandija’s exit and the Bauchi gu­ber race

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Ahmed Mo­hammed, Bauchi

For­mer sec­re­tary to the Bauchi State Govern­ment Bar­ris­ter Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija, whose dis­en­gage­ment from pub­lic ser­vice was an­nounced early this month, has added to the grow­ing ten­sion in Bauchi over who will get the nod of Gover­nor Isa Yuguda to suc­ceed him in 2015.

Dandija had worked closely with Gover­nor Yuguda for close to eight years that no­body had thought he would be made to leave the ad­min­is­tra­tion he has been part of since 2007.

His dis­en­gage­ment early this month has, pre­dictably, caused up­roar among people in the state. While his op­po­nents al­lege he was sacked due to dis­agree­ment with the gover­nor, oth­ers say his re­moval was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated and is part of an ar­range­ment be­tween Dandija and Yuguda to give the for­mer a lee­way to con­test the gov­er­nor­ship seat in 2015.

Ob­servers of po­lit­i­cal events in the state be­lieve that Dandija might have been asked to re­sign in or­der for him to have enough time to pur­sue his po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tion which many be­lieve is to suc­ceed Yuguda.

The spec­u­la­tion is bol­stered by the fact that a fromer SSG in the state, Al­haji Nadada Umar, had to­wards the end of the Ah­madu Adamu Muazu ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­signed to con­test the Bauchi gu­ber seat in 2007.

Chief press sec­re­tary to the Bauchi State Gover­nor, Mr Ishola Michael Adeyemi, while ex­plain­ing the cir­cum­stances that led to the res­ig­na­tion of the SSG in­sisted that the for­mer SSG vol­un­tar­ily re­signed to pur­sue his fu­ture en­deavor.

Adeyemi said Dandija re­signed vol­un­tar­ily and that there was no quar­rel be­tween him and the gover­nor. “He just feels it’s time to go and he put down his res­ig­na­tion,” he stated.

The for­mer SSG is be­lieved to be one of those seek­ing to take over from Gover­nor Yuguda, whose sec­ond and fi­nal term in of­fice will lapse in May next year.

Dandija had been the SSG for nearly seven years and had been one of the close as­so­ciates of the in­cum­bent gover­nor.

But there are those who be­lieve that Dandija re­signed not for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, but to pur­sue his per­sonal in­ter­ests.

There are spec­u­la­tions that both the PDP na­tional chair­man and Gover­nor Yuguda may sup­port a can­di­date from Bauchi Cen­tral and that both of them may have set­tled for Dandija be­cause of his am­i­ca­ble dis­po­si­tion.

Though the bless­ing of the gover­nor is be­ing sought by the likely con­tenders, an­a­lysts say the fact that Dandija’s name is openly be­ing as­so­ci­ated with the in­cum­bent may af­fect his chances.

They say his exit from govern­ment at this time, if proven to be for the pur­pose of con­test­ing elec­tion, will give the im­pres­sion that he can­not stand for him­self.

Though Yuguda seems to be keep­ing po­lit­i­cal ac­tors in sus­pense over who suc­ceeds him, it is ex­pected that he may have a soft spot for one or two out of the many plan­ning to suc­ceed him. The gover­nor has re­cently de­clared that he has no anointed can­di­date while the PDP na­tional chair­man on his part said the party will sup­port only per­sons who win in pri­maries.

In­sin­u­a­tions that Yuguda was groom­ing the for­mer SSG to suc­ceed him so that the gover­nor may move to the Se­nate by 2015, started early in the life of the Yuguda ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The in­ten­tion it is said was so that the SSG will sus­tain the lega­cies of the Gover­nor.

Some how­ever say this cal­cu­la­tion may have col­lapsed due to a ru­mored dis­agree­ment be­tween the for­mer SSG and his Yuguda. Their as­so­ciates have how­ever de­nied that say­ing there is no dis­agree­ment be­tween the two.

As anal­y­sis on who will be the PDP flag bearer has cen­tered around the for­mer SSG, his chances have also been put on a scale.

Be­ing from the Bauchi Cen­tral se­na­to­rial zone, the ar­gu­ment is that based on the PDP zon­ing ar­range­ment, the next PDP gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date should come ei­ther from Bauchi North or Bauchi Cen­tral Se­na­to­rial zone since Bauchi South would by 2015, com­plete 16 years on the seat.

Some wa­ger that even if the gu­ber slot is zoned to the Bauchi North or Cen­tral Se­na­to­rial district un­der the PDP zon­ing ar­range­ment, the for­mer SSG will not find it easy since there are dozens of as­pi­rants from the two zones.

Other prom­i­nent politi­cians ey­ing the seat from the zone in­clude Deputy Se­nate Leader Ab­dul Ahmed Ningi, a close as­so­ciate of the for­mer SSG, Al­haji Abubakar Ahmed Garkuwan Misau, a one time ADC to Muazu, Ibrahim Makama, and Al­haji Nadada Umar.

Dandija it is ob­vi­ous even at this stage, will face a tough bat­tle if he de­cides to run as there are strong politi­cians like for­mer SGF Al­haji Mah­mud Yay­ale Ahmed, his close ally Se­na­tor Baba Tela, Na­tional Chair­man Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion fund TETFUND, Dr Musa Babayo, as well as for­mer deputy gov­er­nors, Se­na­tor Babayo Ga­mawa and Ab­dul­ma­lik Mah­mud and many oth­ers.

It is also not clear if people from Bauchi South will agree to leave the seat to Bauchi North or Bauchi Cen­tral to pro­duce the next gover­nor.

The FCT Min­is­ter Se­na­tor Bala Mo­hammed who is from the zone is be­lieved to be se­ri­ously eye­ing the seat and his posters are every­where in the state. Zonal Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary of PDP Al’amin Sani Muham­mad, also from the zone is said to be in­ter­ested.

There are ru­mours and that the newly ap­pointed Chief of Staff to the gover­nor, Ab­dulka­dir Ibrahim may likely con­test as well as the in­cum­bent fi­nance com­mis­sioner, Al­haji Mah­mud Mai­jama’a. Both of them it is said, are ex­pect­ing to get the nod of the gover­nor be­fore they fi­nally come out.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts be­lieve there are many hur­dles be­fore the for­mer SSG and that even if Dandija be­comes the choice of the state po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, they might find it dif­fi­cult to con­vince many of the con­tes­tants to with­draw for him, as many of the as­pi­rants have in­flu­ence both at state and at the na­tional lev­els as well as the re­sources to pur­sue their am­bi­tions.

Still, a lot would de­pend on whether the man is ac­tu­ally in­ter­ested in the seat.

Apart from the task of se­cur­ing the PDP ticket, Dandija will also face dozens of as­pi­rants from the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) and other par­ties like Se­na­tor Muham­mad Nazif Ga­mawa, Al­haji Yusuf Maitama Tug­gar, En­gi­neer Nuhu Gi­dado, En­gi­neer Sadiq Mah­mud, Al­haji Sadiq Arabi and many oth­ers.

Gov Isa Yuguda Bar­ris­ter Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija

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