Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, is reported to have finally yielded to superior argument in favour of the idea of a primary election in the selection of the party’s flag bearer in the 2019 governorship election. Hitherto, it was everywhere that he had favoured the consensus option. The position of those against the consensus arrangement is based on their perception that candidacy of the senator’s anointed, in the person of Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, the incumbent deputy governor, would have hurt the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the polls. The apprehension is a reflection of the popular opinion of APC members and the electorate.
On the surface, Senator Wamakko deserves to be praised for toeing the line of his Lagos State counterpart, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, by listening to the voice of the majority and embracing the spirit of democracy. However, not a few are sceptical that he would, at the end of the day, allow the wheel of democracy to roll without encumbrances. This is against the backdrop of the man’s political antecedents, his demonstrated unabashed preference for his choice of candidate, and some of the steps, overt and covert, that he has taken since his acceptance of the primary election against the consensus format.
Firstly, a political maverick of the Machiavellian hue, Wamakko has shown in the past that he is not one that backs off a position that he considers as strategic to his salient political interests talk less of his survival and remaining at the helm. For as long as it serves him, qualifications of persons, their competence, comportment or popular ratings have been seen to be matters of little, if any significance, in his considerations.
A typical instance usually given in this regard, was his recommendations of persons for federal political appointments while he held sway as governor from 2007-2015. While Sokoto State went through the unpleasant experience of its representatives at the various national platforms that were deficient in their abilities to articulate issues that were beneficial to the state and, the nation, the era also witnessed the emergence of high profile officials in the ministries and apartments of the state, whose apparent and only qualifications appeared to be no more than their primordial affinities and absolute loyalty to the state Chief Executive.
Those opposed to the consensus arrangement and by extension, emergence of Ahmed Aliyu as the APC flag bearer, are simply apprehensive of the prospects and consequences of ultimate victory for the party at the poll. To them Ahmed Aliyu beside the question of age, has yet to show sufficient, requisite endowment in the attributes of comportment, the candour, wide spread acceptance and other critical and pertinent requirements of a governor. Many of those averse to his candidacy are fearful that the pride of place enjoyed by Sokoto at the national stage will suffer immeasurably.
Yes, like Tinubu in Lagos, Wamakko may have opted for the party primary election in Sokoto not because of any commitment to the ethics of democracy both for thinly veiled self-serving ulterior motives. But, unlike the unfolding scenario in Lagos where the apparent preferred candidate of Tinubu comes across as a sellable and quality material, the same cannot be said of the situation in Sokoto. Further, while the Asiwaju seems to carry along majority of stakeholders in the Lagos APC, Wammakko, on other land, is visibly running against the popular trend and clamour within the APC family in Sokoto State. But for a few courtiers and praise singers, Wamakko, is the lone voice championing and pushing for a consensus candidate.
We know that he is interested in victory for the party in next year’s election and would therefore accede to popular demands for a marketable candidate. There is, indeed, no doubting his claim of the Sokoto people’s affection for him. However, there is just so much that the people can tolerate when much is at stake. To those who know Sokoto people, as Senator Wamakko should, will accept that their seeming elasticity has a snapping point. The words of advice to Wamakko is that, he should take a deep and introspective account of his own political trajectory that rigmaroled and eventually culminated into his coming to political limelight, in spite of the machinations of those who tried to play God. He would, for certain, realize the futility of a mere mortal that arrogates to himself the powers and wisdom of the Almighty, especially in the emergence of leaders.
By the way, on what criteria would anybody want to be suppress a candidate of the calibre of Farouk Malami Yabo for any of the aspirants that has purchased the APC expression and nomination forms for the governorship election in 2019? Here, is an individual who has proved his mettle in various human endeavours. For instance, in terms of educational qualification and manifesting the true qualities of a genuinely, truly educated, Farouk is the personality. In him, is a young, incisively intelligent young man who has made his mark in the world of business by national and global dimensions. In politics, he has covered mileage with foot prints as Commissioner for Finance, four years, and Commissioner for Local Government and Rural Development also for four years covering the total eight years that Governor Wamakko spent in office. It is remarkable that he stood out as a member of the Wamakko’s kitchen cabinet essentially on account of his contributions to the formulation of programmes and projects that were later to turn out to be the flagships of that administration’s accomplishments that today make Senator Wamakko one of the outstanding and cherished leaders of Sokoto, past and present.
Talking of the ability to galvanize the electorate in support of the APC in the forthcoming elections, there is, perhaps, no one of those angling to fly the party’s flag that has the capacity and machinery to do so than Yabo. Apparently, the man utilized the opportunities availed by his tenure as commission of Local Government to reach out to a broad spectrum of people at the grass root and thus his current popularity across the state. He had wanted to contest the House Representatives in 2007, the senate in 2011 and the governorship in 2015 in respect of which he had put in place an awesome political machinery that he can easily now reawaken for the present project. None of the other contestant has this rich antecedent and asset. For once, it looks in the interest of the political gadfly, the strong man of Sokoto politics to look beyond self and go for the superior overriding general interest. Sokoto will be better off and I dare say. Without any sense of equivocation that Senator Aliyu will be the better for it now and in the no distant future.
–Abubakar wrote from Sokoto.