At last, Governor Aliyu T. Wamakko has again been returned as the executive governor of Sokoto State. He seems to have curved a unique record in the history of elections in the country as he has three times returned winner in the general and rerun polls.
Few weeks before the elections, Wamakko was deeply engrossed by numerous political challenges posed from a powerful intra-party contender, Alhaji Yusif Sulaiman, who was then strongly believed to have been sponsored by daunting forces from the top hierarchy of his party PDP.
His problems were further compounded with the return of the erstwhile governor Attahiru Bafarwa into the ANPP opposition party, who sponsored Alhaji Yusha’u Muhammed Ahmed to participate in the gubernatorial race.
During the critical moments, Wamakko was perceived as a saboteur by some forces within the PDP for his alleged political romance with Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima during general elections, and partly predicated on his allegedly major role in producing Hon. Waziri Tambual as the Speaker, House of Representatives, which was believed to have been against the wish of President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP bigwigs.
In the face of these challenges however, the last October 18 PDP primaries, in which Wamakko defeated his two strong contenders, Alhaji Yusif Sulaiman and Senator Abubakar Gada, seemed to have put to rest, the raging insinuations that Wamakko was not only on the path of risky political venture, but was also treading on the interests of his political lords, a situation that may in the end, makes him loss relevance within the ranks of the PDP.
But in what sounded like a dramatic twist of events, the then chairman of the committee constituted by the national headquarters of the party to take charge of the conduct of the primaries, the minister of state for education, Mr.Ezenwo Nyesom Wake, soon after announcing the results, harped on all PDP members, who have been pulling strings with Wamakko, including the defeated contenders, to cultivate the spirit of reconciliation with one another as one family.
“All the contenders were respected, members of the PDP will finally reconcile and unite to ensure that Sokoto remains a PDP state”, Mr. Ezenwo said, warning that “if the party losses the state, it means that all members of the party have lost relevance”.
It was not surprise therefore, when a few days to the gubernatorial polls, the two major contenders defeated at the primaries, Alhaji Sulaiman and Senator Gada suddenly conceded their aspirations to Wamakko and resolved to throw their weight behind him to fight the ANPP candidate, Alhaji Ahmed, a retired banker whose candidature was believed to have single-handedly been selected and sponsored by the former governor, Alhaji Bafarwa.
It is now over. The governorship polls had returned Governor Wamakko, as duly elected governor, having scored the highest number of 518, 247 votes, to defeat his closest opponent of the ANPP, Alhaji Mohammed who scored 131, 048 votes, while the candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) got 7323.