As political ‘fireworks’ have commenced in earnest ahead of the 2019 general elections, former Clerk of the National Assembly, Abubakar Maikasuwa has thrown his hat into the ring for the Nasarawa gubernatorial race. JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH, in this report, takes a look at his chances
Nigeria had in the past few months witnessed a deluge of fierce but thrilling political developments created by politicians to alter the country’s political landscape in their favour. Desperate to prove their relevance, competing political forces, both at the national and regional levels, are engaged in all types of political manoeuvres to outwit themselves.
In Nassarawa State, the political temperature ahead of the 2019 gubernatorial election is heating up. As at last count, more than 25 persons have indicated interest to succeed the incumbent governor, Umaru Tanko Al – Makura. In a country where the bar of governance had been lowered by most state chief executives, Governor Al- Makura stands tall among his peers.
In Nigeria, it is the norm for governors to perform in their first term and when they scale through to their second term by every means, they slack in terms of performance, but that is not the case with Al- Makura whose performance in his second term as if he is seeking relection. In Nasarawa, Al-Makura has raised the governance bar and his successor must maintain the status quo.
Aspirants have been juggling to succeed Al- Makura. His deputy, Silas Agilas, is also interested in succeeding his boss. Former Minister of information, Labaran Maku, who contested in 2015 on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is also interested in taking a shot at the Nasarawa Government House in 2019. Heavyweights like Hon Aliyu Wadada and Ahmed Tukur are also in the race.
In Nasarawa, the political tension is raised, the tempo is up and the political gladiators are warming to what promises to be a clash of the titans in the state come 2019. And according to an unwritten power rotation rule in the state, 2019 is the turn of Nassarawa South to produce the next governor.
One man’s name who has been been ringing a bell in the state is former Clerk of the National Assembly, Abubakar Maikasuwa. Political pundits in the state have described Maikasuwa as the only person who can take Nasarawa to the next level.
Recently, chairman of Nasarawa Coalition for Credible Leadership, Mustapha Mahmud, at a rally in Keffi, called on Maikasuwa to contest the gubernatorial election in Nasarawa come 2019. In the last one month, two groups namely Nasarawa youth mobilisation and coalition for good governance have been organising rallies endorsing the candidature of Maikasuwa.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP in one of the rallies, Mahmud said among the candidates they have seen so far, only Maikasuwa fits the bill due to his antecedent and pedigree. According to him, people of the state need someone who can consolidate on the good performance of Governor Al- Makura. He added that this is more so when it is considered that continuity is key in governance.
CitIng Lagos which has enjoyed developmental strides due to the continuity of governance in the state, Mahmud said, “With the achievements of the present administration, we need a mature and experienced person that will carry on this development. Maikasuwa is by no means perfect but we chose him because we know he can take the state to the next level.
“The endorsement of Maikasuwa in the three senatorial zones in the state cut across party lines. The people are calling on him to run and whatever party he chooses to realise his ambition, the people will follow him to the party.
“Nasarawa State has seen some structural improvement and we need continuity. We have a problem of continuity in Nigeria and we intend to buck this trend. Lagos is where it is today because of continuity. We are looking at the person that can sustain the development on ground and we see Maikasuwa as that person and the three senatorial zones in Nasarawa have endorsed him”.
On his part, chairman of the forum, Ahmed Ladan, noted at the rally that Maikasuwa’s performance as the Clerk of the National Assembly speaks volumes. He stated that the Clerkship was not an elective position but Maikasuwa impacted positively on the lives of his constituents by building schools, hospitals and boreholes.
Also at the rally, Aliyu Mahmud Aruwa who works at the Emir of Keffi’s Palace said the reason why the people feel that among all the candidates who have signified interest in running in 2019 Maikasuwa is the man to beat is because he is mature, honest and they feel that by endorsing him, they are more things to be done .
His words: “He (Maikasuwa) has donated many things to the people and nobody from Keffi would not want him to be governor. He is also a technocrat and we know he will listen to the voice of the people and contest. So far, he has not shown any platform he wants to contest but we will follow him to which ever platform he chooses at the end of the day. His chances of succeeding Al- Makura is very high”.
On his part, an Associate Professor of political science, Dr Abdullahi Modibo, assessed Maikasuwa’s candidacy from a professional’s point of view. He said the former nass Clerk has contributed to the welfare of the people all over the state and has affected a lot of lives because of his love for the masses.
“He has the political know-how. He is very experienced and after managing the National Assembly, Nassarawa State will not be a problem”, Modibo submitted.
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