2019: Battle Between Unequal Actors In Yobe — Leadership Newspaper
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2019: Battle Between Unequal Actors In Yobe

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As the much talked about 2019 polls draw nearer, the battle for the Yobe Government House has begun with posters and billboards placed at strategic locations at all nook and crannies of the state.
In Yobe, despite the fact that the state is relatively peaceful politically because of the fact that the battle for the soul of the young state is between two unequal actors, there is need for the politicians to take risk and come out to contest so as to make the game more competitive and interesting, and not only that, but more challenging and demanding for both the politicians and the electorate.
Unfortunately, the reverse is the case. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is the main opposition party in the state, is very weak if not dead. In some places, the party did not field candidates.
In Yobe, unlike other states, winners are always known before the elections. Whoever emerged as the candidate of the ruling party in the state, it is automatically assumed that such person is only waiting to be sworn in. This has been the tradition since the creation of the state in 1991 by the Babangida administration.  It is the general belief in Yobe that if Kanuri\ Manga forum, which is seen as the power brokers in the state decided, so it shall be.

Since the creation of the state on 27th August, 1991 by the Babangida administration, the state has been governed by the Kanuris mainly from Yobe East senatorial district, though, late Senator Mamman B. Ali of blessed memory was able to break the jinx before he died two years into his four year term. As we inch closer to the 2019 polls, there are fears that the situation may well remain the same, more so that opposition PDP in the state still hasn’t put its house in order. For instance, in Yobe South senatorial district, the battle for the senatorial seat within the PDP is between Adamu Maina Waziri and the serving senator Dambu. It is still confusing because party faithful who are loyal to the former are saying that Adamu is the candidate while those loyal to the latter are saying that Dambu is the candidate and this confusion has left PDP members and faithful in a serious dilemma. The ruling APC is banking on this. If care is not taken, APC will capitalise on this and wrestle the seat from PDP. The situation is no different with Yobe East senatorial district where the All Progressives Congress (APC), has fielded the serving Governor as its candidate for the 2019 senatorial election. PDP in the zone is reluctant and has shown sign of defeat long before the election.

Same thing applies to Yobe North senatorial district where the ruling party has fielded the longest serving senator in the state, Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current senate leader. Political analysts in and around the state posited that Adamu Maina Waziri, has contributed immensely in making PDP in Yobe State weak. They said since the inception of democratic rule in 1999, Waziri has been the sole gubernatorial flag bearer of the party and has never for once won election or allow somebody to make any move to contest. He is being accused of pocketing the party and tilting it to where it will serve his personal interest. Some party faithful in the state went to the extent of accusing him of working for the ruling APC. If the internal party wrangling between Waziri and Dambu, as he is popularly called, is not addressed before the elections, it will no doubt lead to PDP losing the seat to APC, and if this happens, Gaidam will be happy, because zone B is the only zone among the three senatorial districts in the state that is giving Yobe APC a serious fight and sleepless night.

Under the present arrangement, if Dambu happens to fly the PDP flag in the election, it will be a battle between the two main rival tribes of Ngizim and Bolewa (Bomai, a Bolewa is of the APC and Dambo, an Ngizim by tribe is of the opposition PDP) in the zone.This promises to be a clash of the two giants. And if it turns out to be between Waziri and Bomai, it is going to be a fight between the Bolewas, in which the Ngizims will only fold their hands and watch how it going to end up. As it is, only time will tell how this fight or battle for the Yobe South senatorial seat is going to end. Just like the popular Hausa adage that said (Ba a san machi tuwo ba sai miya ta kare). These and other internal party crisis in Yobe PDP have made the main opposition party in the state weak if not dead and situations like this is not good for democracy which may likely create a one party state.  This has created a kind of fear among politicians in the state that whoever the ruling APC fields as its candidate, such a person will not face any challenge and may not even need to waste his or her money, time and resources to campaign or print posters.  In the face of all these, the battle for the exalted seat of Yobe government house in the forth coming 2019 general elections is also between two unequal actors: Maimala Buni, the current All Progressives Congress (APC’s) National Secretary, who will fly the APC flag and Ambassador Umar Iliya Damagum, of the Peoples Democratic Party. Unequal because long before the elections, a winner has emerged and loyalty have since tilted to Maimala Buni. For us in Yobe State, it is a battle of unequal actors.

– Saleh sent in this piece from Yobe



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