For surviving a malicious political onslaught, resisting a vicious attempt to undermine the will of the people and expanding the frontiers of the rule of law, Governor Tanko Al-Makura is LEADERSHIP Politician of the Year 2014.
Against all odds, he was elected governor on the platform of the Congress for Progress Change (CPC) in a PDP dominated state.
Ever since, it has been for him a walk in a minefield. The situation was not helped even with the fusion of the party into the All Progressive Congress (APC); instead of the turf war between him and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) creating undue anxiety and helplessness, the political struggle toughened him and has brought out the best in this quintessential politician. Al-Makura has deftly manoeuvred, and survived, the banana peels in the Nasarawa House of Assembly placed in his path by the dominant PDP. With all the cards stacked against him, and everyone believing that his exit was just a matter of time, Al-Makura weathered an impeachment plot mainly because he allegedly did business with the PDP leadership in Abuja, made easy by the resolve of the people to make the state ungovernable if he was removed. Political expediency prevailed and good sense won the day. As an apostle of realpolitik, he stooped and he conquered.
In 1980, Al-Makura became the youth leader of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the old Plateau State. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly of 1988–89, representing the Lafia–Obi Federal Constituency of what is now Nasarawa State. Al-makura was a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State in 1998.
He defected from the PDP after losing the primary elections for the governorship and was elected governor of Nasarawa State on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) on April 26, 2011.
Born in 1952, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura was businessman before his election as governor
On July 14, 2014, the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly gave a notice of impeachment to the Clerk of the House to serve on Tanko Al-Makura. The document contained allegations of gross misconduct and was signed by 20 of the 24 Assembly members. Four APC members opposed it. Youths from the state took to the state to protest the move by the lawmakers, even vowing to start recall processes for them if they continued with the impeachment process.
On July 20, 2014, it was reported that Nasarawa traditional rulers had called on both sides to refrain from holding rallies for or against the impeachment so as to avoid violence. On July 23, four members of the Assembly tried to seize the speaker’s mace to delay a motion to ask the Chief Judge of the state to set up a seven-person panel to review the allegations of gross misconduct. The members of the House met 20 minutes later and passed the motion by 20 votes against four. Even with this, the governor was eventually acquitted of all counts.