To say 2019 struggle in the Seat of the Caliphate is a battlefield for political godfathers, especially of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) is a statement of fact.
To say the race for Sokoto Government House in the forthcoming general elections as yet another political baptism for incumbent governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, versus his deputy, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto is another blunt reality.
After all, they are both beneficiaries of Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko’s political benevelonce to have emerged governor and deputy respectively in 2015.
However, now that the drum beat has changed, one will be left with no option than to ask if the dancing steps will equally change.
Both Senator Wamakko and governor Tambuwal were said to have high degree of respect for each other, especially when they dumped the PDP in 2014 on grounds of misgovernance. However, recent turn of events after Tambuwal’s sudden but expected defection from the APC and back to the PDP proves that the marriage was not no longer of convenience, hence things fell apart.
In the display of their individual political maturity, Tambuwal, since his defection restrained himself from making derogatory remarks about his esrthwhile godfather, until recently when he logically decided to step into the mulky waters with a logical threat.
Tambuwal, while addressing scores of supporters in front of the Sokoto Government House warned that the opposition should not dare his patience.
According to him, he decided to allow the sleeping dogs lie after becoming the governor because some elders have advised him to do so.
The governor however stressed that should he be pushed to the wall, he would be left with no option than to open up some cans of worms whose resultant effect will lead to outright self exile by some persons in the state.
Tambuwal’s predeccesor, now Senator Wamakko on his part, being a political bulldozer only spoke in public about his successor once when he was given a heroic welcome back to the state for remaining in the APC.
Wamakko was very emphatic about his love for Tambuwal when he told the crowd that Tambuwal is a very promising politician with lots of prospects but has pathetically lost it via this singular return to the PDP.
As genuine as Wamakko’s advise was, political observers however read lots of meanings to it, with many saying, it implies another battleline being drawn between the duo ahead of the next general elections.
For others, the battle is going to take a tripatriate dimension, as Tambuwal, though, a governor would have to get the support of other godfather(s) if he is to slug it out against Wamakko in subsequent elections.
Those holding such notion rightly affirmed that Wamakko, as the immediate past govenror of the state who single handedly endorsed Tambuwal in 2014 to be his successor is most likely to anoint another candidate against Tambuwal come 2019.
And for observers, should such happen, Tambuwal will be left with no option than to liase with other godfathers to be able to contain Wamakko’s political dexterity.
True to their words, the turn of events shortly after Tambuwal’s defection back to the PDP and his instant reunion with former governor Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa amongst other political big shots in the state became a very glaring confirmation that 2019 election in Sokoto might be battle for the godfathers.
With hope very high on adding flavour to the mix, a political analyst in the state, Ibrahim Kajiji, said Sokoto has never been lucky to have a true government of continuity.
According to him, at the wake of democracy in 1999, both Bafarawa and Wamakko were governor and deputy respectively but parted ways just a year to the end of their second tenure of four years.
“They allegedly parted ways because Bafarawa was said to have openly shown preference for the then Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Maigari Dingyadi, to become his successor.
“Irked by the development, Wamakko as Bafarawa’s deputy swiftly left the party to actualize his dream elsewhere.
“At the wake of 2007, Wamakko was drafted to become the governhsip candidate of PDP while the then President Olusegun Obasanjo appealed to the flag-bearer, Mukhtar Shagari to be his deputy.
“People thought that Wamakko was going to anoint Shagari as his successor after completing his two terms of four years each”.
“But alas, that was never to be as Wamakko dumped PDP for the newly merged APC a year to the end of his second term leaving behind his deputy Mukhtar Shagari to his fate in the party.”
As expected, Wamakko automatically became the state leader of the new party (APC) and some godfathers such as former governor Attahiru Bafarawa who could not stomach that defected from the party to PDP.
True to that postulation that Sokoto is one state where incumbent governors don’t anoint their deputy as successor, Wamakko single handedly brought Tambuwal as his successor.
Now that Tambuwal, as governor has dumped APC for the PDP and Senator Wamakko has annointed his deputy as gubernatorial candidate of the APC, the natural question ‘is Tambuwal contesting his second term bid against his deputy or his godfather?’
Though, some notable godfathers such as Bafarawa, Umarun Kwabo and 19 of the 30 House of Assembly members, 23 local governments sole administrators and the commissioners are with Tambuwal, how far he can go against the ‘Sai Alu’ factor in the state still remains to be seen. 2019 no doubt will be an interesting political outlook in the Caliphate state.
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