In this report, SUNDAY ISUWA writes on the huge number of aspirants seeking to succeed Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State.
Getting to the boundary between Abuja and Nasarawa State in Nyanya, you will be faced with myriad of political posters of Aspirants seeking to takeover from governor Umaru Al-Makura.
Even though the Nasarawa State governor is said to be eying a senatorial seat after serving the state for eight years, it was gathered that the political atmosphere in the gate way to the FCT is full of lobbying and alignments. For the past one year posters and billboards have continued to saturate the streets and big towns of Nasarawa State.
They are competing for for available spaces knowing fully well that the incumbent has served for two terms and won’t be illegible to contest for another term.
Being a serious politician, Al-Makura was quoted as saying that he won’t have any anointed candidate, a statement that gave many politicians in the State both within and outside his party to show interest.
The politicians in the state, according to some pundits, are busy strategising, putting structures on ground to their advantage, ahead of the 2019 general elections. It was gathered that the fight for who succeed Almakura has been shifted to which of the senatorial district should produce the next governor. While the Northern zone believed that it is now their turn to produce the next governor of the state in 2019, politicians from other zones see otherwise. The Northern zone is the only area that have not produced a governor since the creation of the Nasarawa.
Those from the Western zone are kicking against the idea of allowing the Northern senatorial district of the state to have it next. Some of the politicians from the Western zones are now describing zoning arraignment as undemocratic. According to them, zoning contravene the provisions of the Nigerian constitution that allows all interested and qualified citizens to contest any elective position of their choice irrespective of his or her senatorial district. The huge number of politicians seeking to take over from Almakura in 2019 is interesting considering the population of the state.
Being at the centre of the contest is the Deputy Governor, Mr Silas Agara, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Maikaya, Hon Godiya Akwashiki, Hon. Ishaq, Mr Dauda Kigbu, Barr Hassan Liman and Dr James Angbazo.
Others are: Hon Adamu Muazu, Sen Phillip Aruwa Gyunka, David Ombugbadu member representing Akwanga, Mr Mike Abdul, Mr Damishi Luka, Sen Patricia Akwashiki and Sen Musa Nagogo.
Added to the long list of contestants seeking to become governor of Nasarawa State are: Dr James Angbazo, Alh Mohammed Musa Maikaya, Jafaar Mohammed Ibrahim, Ahmed Wadada and Mukhtar Ahmed Kana.
Others are: Sen Solomon Ewuga, Labaran Maku, Shehu Ahmed Tukur Engr AA Sule, Barr Hassan Liman and Hon Godiya Akwashiki.
Even though the list keep increasing on a daily basis, Alhaji Suleiman Nagogo said politics should be that of fairness, justice and equity.
He said Nasarawa state belong to all of them adding that if there should be equity and fairness it is obvious that Nasarawa North should get the slot in 2019 in order to balance the political equation.
He said since 1996 that the state was created, Nasarawa North is the only zone that have not occupy the seat.
“Talented politicians, knowledge and ability is endowed in the citizens of Nasarawa North to occupy the seat,” Nagogo said.
But another aspirant, Ahmed Wadada said he does not believe in zoning which according to him, it is in variance to the tenets of democracy.
He said he has always succeeded in working against zoning in his political career.
“My political aspiration that saw me to the House of representatives in 2003 was against zoning,” Wadada said.
For the incumbent deputy governor, who is also contesting, Hon Silas Agara, political pundits say he will be the man to beat in the contest because his zone has been favoured to take the shot in 2019.
A graduate and a master degree holder in Economics from the University of Jos, Agara hailed from Akwanga in the Northern senatorial district of the state, and seen by most people as the most loyal and humble deputy governor in the history of Nasarawa politics.
Even prior to his nomination as deputy gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 election, is unparalled among most politicians of today and his nomination is seen as a reward for patient, hard work and loyalty.
Agara is a trained economist, sport enthusiast, season administrator and new breed politician who epitomises humility, simplicity and dedication in the services of the state and whose meteoric rise in Nasarawa politics has come to many people as a surprised. He came into the political limelight of the state in 2007 when he was appointed as the state commissioner for youths and sports by PDP led administration of ex-Gov. Akwe Doma of blessed memory where he performed well to the astonishment of many people in the state who saw in him a quality of a focus and vibrant young man willing and ready to put his foot prints in the sands of time.
As an economist with vast knowledge in his area of specialisation, he was subsequently moved to planning commission as a commissioner in a cabinet reshufflement that sent most of his colleagues to dustbin of history but unfortunately or fortunately for him, few months after his redeployment he fell apart with Doma and resigned from the cabinet and aligned himself with Al–Makura revolutionary political movement and became deputy director general of Ta’al campaign organisation.
When Almakura won the election Agara was rewarded with the position of special advicer to the governor on special duties which bring him more closer to Almakura and was subsequently moved to sports as special adviser in another cabinet reshuffled the post he was holding until in the build up to 2015 election when he resigned to contest for the House of representative seat of Akwanga -Wamba-Nasarawa Eggon Federal constituency of Nasarawa state and emerged as APC flag bearer at the primaries.
Luckily enough for Agara, Almakura felt apart with his then deputy Hon. Damishi Luka and he was picked.
Damishi is from the same tribe and local government with Agara. Almakura nominated Agara as his running mate for the 2015 election where they emerged governor and deputy respectively.
Most people believed that if he succeed in his ambition to replaced his boss there will be continuity with the Almakura’s policies and programmes.
Agara contributed in drafting and implementing the Almakura policies and he will go into history as the first deputy governor in the state to succeed his boss.
Inspite of all this, one fact which is certain is that the struggle to replace Al–Makura is indeed a tortous one as the road to Nasarawa government House appears bumpy.
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