Intrigues in States Ahead of 2019
While governors across the federation are about marking their second anniversary in office, politicking has commenced in earnest in many states ahead of the 2019 elections. In some cases, through their body language and utterances, governors that are serving their first terms are relentlessly canvassing for second terms while some of the governors serving their second term are working hard to anoint successors. Daily Trust on Sunday looks at the situation in various states.
TIt’s a different stroke in Kwara o many people, Kwara state politics is unique because of a certain system of succession that has been entrenched. Incumbent governor, Dr Abdulfattah Ahmed is in his second tenure and would neither seek re-election nor have power to anoint any candidate for the position in 2019.
Also, aspirants for the position, especially those in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), would dare not show interest openly because, according to some of them, they don’t aspire for a position but are only assigned by the political lynchpin of the state, Dr Bukola Saraki.
This was further confirmed by the APC spokesperson, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, during a recent interview with our correspondent when he said the system had been in place for long and has really helped them.
According to him, “We don’t aspire for position but are assigned according to our dedication and loyalty to the party.”
The opposition parties have not really shown any seriousness ahead of 2019 because some of the contestants in 2015 have gone back into their shells.
Adamawa: Ribadu strategising for Jibrilla ouster
The Adamawa State governor, Muhammad Jibrilla, is facing growing opposition to his re-election bid as he is locked in political battle with some of his closest allies in the APC, who helped him win power in 2015 as well as those he defeated at the general election, who eventually decamped to his party.
With the growing appeal of the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, among APC members in the state, the stage for 2019 political battle is taking shape.
The executive members of the newly founded political association, Ribadu Support Group, were inaugurated on Thursday to enlighten the public on the credentials of the former police officer.
The Acting Coordinator of the group, Bello Aliyu, said the group had already recruited thousands of ýmembers to project Ribadu’s image.
“Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s immersion into politics was borne out of the desire to bring about growth and sustainable development to the people.
“Giving the unfortunate condition we found ourselves in today, the likes of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu are needed to emancipate the state and it’s people from the clutches of clueless leadership that only leads to doom”, he stated.
Other possible challengers to Jibrilla including ýAbdulaziz Nyako, the senator from Adamawa Central Zone and Mo’Allahyidi, the senator from Southern Zone may soon join the fray.
The political atmosphere is becoming heavy with groups like Nyako Support Group, Team Aziz, Buhari Osinbajo Again and Ribadu Support Group all working to stop the governor from winning re-election in 2019.
On the side of the governor, groups including Four Plus Four, Team Bindow and Bring Bindow Back are working for his re-election but the question is whether they could whither the storm as the government has failed to settle backlog of workers’ salaries and pension despite huge amount of money received from federal government.
Some party chieftains have accused the governor of failing the electorate and betraying those who helped him win election.
However, the state Organizing Secretary of APC, Ahmed Lawal told newsmen on Thursday, that the party executives in the state and 21 local government areas had endorsed the candidature of Gov. Muhammadu Bindow.
Benue: Ortom again?
Speculations are rife that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State is currently strategizing to secure a second term in office.
Although the governor is yet to make his intention to come back in 2019 public, his supporters are working hard to earn the confidence of the electorate in the days ahead.
However, rumours of Ortom’s fallout with the leader of the APC in the state, Senator George Akume, who was believed to have imposed his candidature on the party during the last election, may throw spanners in the work.
The alleged frosty relationship between the duo is not yet in full display but there are pointers that the gap widened from the recently concluded local government primary elections of the party.
Secondly, the odds against Ortom at the moment include the perceived murmuring by the electorate, accusing him of poor performance in the past two years. Zoning is the bone of contention in Oyo The campaign for Agodi Government House in Oyo State has begun. Governor Abiola Ajimobi, will complete his second term in 2019 after he broke the second term jinx in 2015 but at the moment, nobody can predict his succession agenda because he appears to be keeping it under wraps as contenders and pretenders have kept signifying interest.
The crisis in the major opposition parties in the state may affect their chances if it continues in the next one year.
Though Governor Ajimobi has not publicly anointed any aspirant, he will be interested in who succeeds him.
He recently said he would support the people of OkeOgun to achieve their dreams in 2019, adding that he won the 2015 elections as a result of their unwavering support for him.
However, the governor is said to be working in support of two of the aspirants from Ibadan land, which is against his promise for the people of Oke-Ogun.
One of these aspirants is the Deputy Governor of CBN, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, the grandson of late Adegoke Adelabu Penkelemesi. The second is the serving senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Adesoji Akanbi.
A source close to the government told the Daily Trust on Sunday that, “Oga is very fickle; I think you know that. He always tells people to begin to work for the party if they are interested in the race. For now, many people are interested in the race under the platform of the APC. He may support Adebayo Adelabu because of their closeness while he could also support Soji Akanbi so that he can swap the Senate ticket with him,” he noted.
The people of Oke-ogun region have been clamouring for governorship slot because they have not produced a governor since the First Republic.
Meanwhile, the opposition are also preparing for a showdown in 2019. According to a recent report, the flag bearer of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 2015, Engineer Seyi Makinde, former Senate Chief Whip (PDP), Senator Hosea Agboola (PDP) and the former Leader of House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola Akande (PDP), recently held a meeting in Ogbomoso to discuss how to form an alliance against the ruling party in 2019.
But so far, the only aspirant who has declared his intention to run is Chief Niyi Akintola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Hard nut to crack for Ugwuanyi in Enugu The current political happenings in Enugu State are pointing to the fact that the 2019 governorship election may not be an easy ride for the incumbent governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who will seek a second term.
Though ex- Governor Sullivan Chime has remained rather quiet since he handed over to Ugwuanyi, he recently decided to let the people know that he is still very much active in politics. He did that with what some critics regarded as “hired crowd of supporters” who came in their thousands from the remote parts of the 17 local government areas of the state to Comprehensive Secondary School, Udi-Abia, on Saturday, May 6, 2017.
That was the day he formally defected to the APC. The well-attended occasion was graced by APC stalwarts and supporters, led by the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, who welcomed him into the party.
Ever since he indicated interest in dumping the PDP, upon whose platform he was elected governor, the political nucleus in Enugu could no longer remain the same.
Moreover, when one recalls that other top politicians in the state such as Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu (GNG), Jim Nwobodo, Fidelis Okoro, Ken Nnamani, Eugene Odo, Sam Onyeishi, among others eventually pitched tent with the APC, it is evident that Ugwuanyi will definitely face stiff opposition.
Chime had blamed the prolonged leadership logjam which has divided the PDP into two formidable factions at the national level as the main reason he decided to jettison the party and announced that APC will win Enugu in 2019.
But in a dramatic twist, the next day, Sunday, May 7, the people of Udi, Chime’s hometown, in their numbers flooded the Government House, Enugu to pay a solidarity visit to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
In a remark, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who described Chime as an “inexperienced politician,” asked him to learn from history of past politicians in the state, who abandoned parties that brought them to limelight.
“Jim Nwobodo quarrelled with Chimaroke Nnamani to join the opposition; he never recovered. Chimaroke quarrelled with Sullivan Chime and he left and formed another party, but he never recovered. Now Chime has left the party that gave him fame, I bet you he will never recover from it,” he said.
A PDP stalwart, who did not want to be named, said, “With Chime’s departure from PDP, Ekweremadu might still retain the party’s Enugu West Senatorial ticket for the fourth time since he probably won’t run against Ugwuanyi for governorship.
What is not clear is who those that defected to the APC would support for governorship in 2019. Badaru face fight from two fronts Jigawa There are indications that ex- Governor Sule Lamido who served two terms in Jigawa State before his candidate lost to Governor Mohammed Badaru of the APC in 2015 is strategizing for another fight.
Lamido had tasted the bitter pills of losing election or planting a successor because he was recently hauled to prison in the state he once led for allegedly inciting PDP members to fight for their rights in the forthcoming local government elections in the state.
The PDP’s 2015 gubernatorial candidate, Aminu Ibrahim Ringim, who is a close ally of Lamido might still be nursing ambition for the post.
In the APC, Ubale Hashim, a one-time commissioner in the state contested against Governor Badaru in 2015. Hashim gave Badaru a fight for his money during the primaries and considering the fact he is still not having any relationship with the APC-led government at the state, pundits are of the opinion that he is just buying time to spring a surprise.
Another contender is Faruk Adamu Aliyu. The one time member of House of Representative and a governorship candidate under CPC has what it takes in term of popularity to give Badaru a tough time if he will gun for the office once again. APC working to remove Ayade in C/River The opposition APC in Cross River State led by John Ochala has declared that it will be a miracle for Governor Ben Ayade to get a second term.
The Vice Chairman of the APC in Cross River Central, Cletus Obun, said their party will win in 2019 because Ayade did not perform.
Our correspondent reports that the APC is already dusting up many marketable persons, who they say have the clout to confront Ayade in 2019. One of them is a former Director of Crude Oil Sales at NNPC, Godwin Jeddy Agba who came up in 2015 but had to drop because of sudden illness. Much faith is invested in him in recent times and groups are already springing up championing his qualities and capability.
But Christian Ita, chief press secretary to Ayade said the governor has done a lot to deserve a second term.
In Kogi, several aspirants waiting for the bell to ring
No fewer than 28 persons were cleared by INEC to vie for the APC ticket in 2015 but it was late ex-Governor Abubakar Audu that finally got the ticket.
Sadly, Audu died midway into the election and Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who came second in the primaries, was fielded for the concluding part of the process and is currently in his first four-year-term in office.
However, the governor might likely join the race for a second term although he has not openly declared such ambition.
During the last membership registration exercise by the APC, the governor, in an apparent effort to boost his support base, ensured all his aides moved down to their various wards to encourage people to register.
Meanwhile, as the governor secretly nurses his second term ambition for 2019, there are odds he must contend with.
One would be the teeming civil servants who are disenchanted with him over the outcome of his administration-led staff screening exercise, which had thrown a number of them out of jobs while others were being owed salaries for months.
Another odd is the internal crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the APC which has made a good number of the party executives and other stalwarts of the party especially those from the Audu/Faleke group to be working at cross purposes.
One other odd, according to pundits, is the belief that the governor’s cabinet include young people with little or no political experience and grassroots connections needed to woo the electorates.
More so, the ongoing quests by the Igalas to have power back to their senatorial district come 2019 would no doubt remain an odd to contend with.
With all these, coupled with the ambition of those who contested with him in 2015, Bello would have to do a lot to retain his seat. In Kano, it will be a fight between
and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is currently into his first term after serving as deputy governor to his predecessor, Dr Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso for eight years.
All political indices in the state have shown that Ganduje is desperate about his second term bid come 2019.
Daily Trust on Sunday observed that it has become a norm to see admirers of the governor raising eight fingers, which simply means a nod for him to remain in power for eight years. This is in addition to regular radio jingles being aired by many private and public radio stations in the state under the sponsorship of the governor’s political associates.
However, the major challenge Ganduje might encounter in his effort is the current squabble between him and his predecessor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso.
The politicking between Ganduje and Kwankwaso is critical to the extent that each of them is looking for opportunitiers to cripple the other politically. Both have pressure groups within the APC.
While Kwankwasiyya is working for Kwankwaso, Gandujiyya on the other hand is battling for Ganduje.
Kwankwasiyya movement has already taken over the work of the opposition in the state, leaving the PDP surreptitiously yawning. Old war still fierce in Rivers Governor Wike has no doubt kicked started his second term campaign as he makes reference to 2019 election anytime he has the microphone. He is fond of referring to the APC or the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.
Agencies such as the police, EFCC and to a greater extent INEC are also subject of discussion over alleged plots to manipulate the outcome of the yet to be conducted 2019 election. He recently accused Amaechi of forming a cult group, which he said the minister will use to cause mayhem in the state during the 2019 elections. In Plateau, bumpy ride ahead of Lalong It will be a bumpy ride ahead for Governor Simon Lalong in his bid for in second term under the APC in Plateau State.
With issues here and there, the governor has gone far in his campaign if the recent story that he doled out new Toyota Camry cars to each of the eight members of the House of Representatives from the state, and Prado jeeps to all the three senators representing the state, including Jonah David Jang (PDP, Plateau North), whose candidate the incumbent governor defeated in 2015.
Ex- Governor Joshua Dariye (APC, Plateau Central) and ex FCT minister, Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau South), all reportedly got the largesse, thereby giving credence to the rumour that though they belong to the PDP, the governor has struck a deal with the senators.
That did not go well with some party members; who felt they were the ones to be rewarded with the cars after the vital role they played in 2015.
The party members’ fears increased when Rep. Edward Pwajok, defected to the APC, with speculations that other members of the House of Representatives, including Johnbull T Shekarau (PDP, Mikang/Quaan-
Pan/Shendam) and Beni Lar (PDP, Langtang North/South) would also defect to APC.
“If the party doesn’t handle the defections issues carefully, it might boomerang for the governor and the party in the 2019 elections because the oppositions are doing their homework also,” he said
Bauchi’s two years brinkmanship might linger
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar administration has witnessed one of the most fierce and turbulent periods since the return of democracy in 1999.ý
Governor Abubakar, elected on the platform of APC, currently faces opposition from members of the National Assembly from the state who are also members of the party.
The crisis has been lingering for a long time and has defied many attempts of reconciliation.
Members of the National Assembly, from Bauchi, led by the speakerý House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Senator Ali Wakili and others, have been at loggerheads with governor Abubakar over many issues.
Although the governor is gearing up for a second term after the expiration of his term in 2019, many people including, some politicians who contested the primaries with him, as well as aspirants from the opposition are said to be interested in contesting for governorship in 2019.
Members of the APC who were said to be interested in contesting include Dr Mohammed Ali Pate, who defected to the APC immediately after losing his bid in the PDP.
Halliru Jika, a member of House of Representatives from the state, has openly shown his interest to also contest for governorship in 2019.
In the PDP, former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, Senator Abdul Ningi and a host of others are also believed will feature in the race and whoever gets the ticket will contest against governor Abubakar. Darius strategy and plans in Taraba The recent tour of some local government areas by Governor Darius Ishaku was interpreted by many politicians in Taraba State, especially the opposition, as a campaign strategy for his second term ambition.
The appointment of over 260 advisers and senior advisers from across 16 local governments was also said to be a political strategy initiated by the governor and aimed at expanding his contact with politicians at local and ward levels.
The advisers are said to be the gateway for the governor to give him direct access to politicians that matter at the grassroots.
However, political associates of Governor Darius, such as Sama’ila Adamu Mu’azu, have dismissed the insinuation, arguing that the tour was an avenue for the governor to meet people at the grassroots and appreciate them for the support they have been giving to his administration.
Also, the Special Adviser on Media Matters to the governor, Mr Silvanus Giwa, said it is not time to start talking about 2019, adding that what preoccupies the mind of the governor is to meet the needs and aspiration of citizens of the state.
Niger: Gov. Bello seems keen
The body language of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello suggests that the APC, on whose platform he assumed power, may not have to stress itself for a flag bearer. And the messages and signs seem very clear to the governor’s retinue of aides and associates.
At every forum across the state, “Lolo is working, Niger is moving”; “Lolo Again”; “Lolo x 2” slogans are now the sing songs by different groups.
In such for a, banners, jerseys and face caps with inscriptions are common sight. Lately, vehicles with such inscriptions are also becoming regular features on major streets.
However the main instance that points at the a re-election bid of the governor was the project assessment visits to all the 25 local government area in the state.
The opposition PDP, through its chairman, Barrister Tanko Beji, specifically referred to the on-going tour as a ‘jamboree’.
“There is nothing to inspect, no project worthy of inspection, you can only inspect where something has happened, so if nothing is happening what are you inspecting? He calls it projects assessment tour but I call it jamboree tour,” he said in an interview with journalists.
Nasarawa: Almakura mute on successor but . . .
Although Governor Tanko Al-Makura did not openly declare support for any person or anointed one among those who have shown interest to contests the governorship seat at moment, his body language has sent a message for long.
A consultant for the state government, Architect Shehu Ahmed Tukur, whose billboard and posters have flooded all nooks and crannies of the state, is recently being sighted in the governor’s entourage at public functions.
Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State
Gov. Mohammed Umar Jibrilla of Adamawa State
Gov. Mohammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State
Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State