AREWA political bites
Who is after Al-Makura?
Nassarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura, is in the eye of the storm as multiple issues have cropped up in the last few weeks, which are likely to unsettle his administration. The first is the increasing ethnic clashes claiming a number of lives, followed by allegations over his son in an Asian nation.
If pushed too hard, some have the feeling that the governor, a former strong member of the PDP before defecting to the CPC, may have no choice than to play the PDP card. But his aides said the governor is not perturbed and that the few incidents are the usual occurrences in any political setting by those itching to take the governor‘s job in 2015. What may fault this assurance is the report that a prominent son of the state in the cabinet of the president is itching to take the governor‘s job in 2015.
Yakowa‘s three goals
Yakowa‘s three goals Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa, has announced three major goals to be pursued by his administration, namely to secure, unite and develop the state. That coinage, though well intentioned, is still dogged by the desire of the North to re-take the governorship.
In the same way northerners are angling to retake the presidency, Yakowa is almost like the Jonathan of Kaduna. What is not clear is how far Vice President Namadi Sambo will go to ensure the re-election of his former deputy. Even at that, the VP must thread softly, as he himself has his own political issues to manage in the state.
The attack on the Shehu of Borno has finally confirmed the paralysis of Borno State after months of relentless insurgency. The previous management of the conflict by the state government is giving way to stark realities of an overwhelmed state, with citizens groaning under military operations.
If there is anything, the state governor is only ruling a war ravaged people. But the good news is that the governor‘s godfather, Ali Modu Sheriff is back in reckoning. The former governor has been named the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the All Nigeria Peoples Party. After almost a year of political sabbatical, the ex-governor is back on the turf. This may bolster the war management efforts of Governor Shetima.
Keeping Mamman Ali‘s memory
Who is keeping the memory of late governor Mamman Ali alive in Yobe State? Many will mention the state governor, going by his continuation and completion of the many laudable projects started by his late predecessor on the anniversary of his death. Some expect Governor Ibrahim Geidam to do more. Some allies of the late governor are calling for a state organised lecture and a free work day on the anniversary of his death.
Sambawa and Mr. President
Kebbi State is witnessing a silent political war since the sack of theformer defence minister. The state is yet to get a replacement on the federal executive council. The former minister may not be uninterested in selecting the state nominee, irrespective of who the state governor preferred. It may also be a case of the president looking for his own man from the state’
Recent report indicated that there were strong moves to bring Dr Samaila Sambawa back to the cabinet to compensate for his huge contributions to the president‘s election. Samabwa, a former sport minister, was reputed to be one of the closet supporters of the president but he lost out during the cabinet selection process. If Sambawa is reappointed, it is not clear whether he will go to the Defense ministry or another ministry.
The recent sacking of hundreds of political appointees in Bauchi is seen by the governor‘s opponents as a vindication of their condemnation of the governor. Some CPC and ANPP leaders see the move as a negative judgment on the administration. The governor by reversing himself is, however, described by his men as a sign of statesmanship.
Babangida‘s Chatham trip
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State was in London recently to address the Chatham House, an influential British think tank. The address focused on the role of Northern Governors’ Forum in taming the Boko Haram menace as well as attending to the many developmental setbacks facing the region. Babangida was at his oratorial best and the body language as to a future interest was readable.
Even if the issue of presidential aspiration was not on the table, the questions were pointed enough and the governor was not unmindful of the importance and strategic nature of the platform. Addressing such an audience provided a good ground for marketing his profile and tactical positioning for future contests.
Suswam‘s eventual triumph
For more than a year, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State was at war on all fronts in a combined assault by opposition forces. The attacks were so ferocious that even the closest friends of the governor were already jittery. At a point, the state was almost paralyzed and the distraction to governance was quite evident.
Today, the war is over, as the chief executive has finally defeated his rivals on all fronts. But the opposition may have been defeated; they are not destroyed. Hence PDP leaders in the state are also back on the drawing board, plotting fresh graph ahead of 2015. This is even more strategic as a son of the state may feature in the 2015 presidential race.
Shema‘s secret agenda
Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State may have something up his sleeves if reports from the state are anything to go by. While focusing on development issues at home, the governor is increasingly being fingered as nursing an aspiration for higher office.
His supporters believe there is no crime in such an ambition even though the governor himself has reportedly not uttered such intention. He is, however, seen less in federal circles and his romance with political forces indicate an agenda grander than state governance.
Return of Bayero
The ancient city of Kano was thrown into joyous celebration recently when the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, returned form weeks of medical treatment abroad. What made the return politically significant was the persistent rumour.
The rumour was so strong that the revered monarch had passed on. Some were already looking in the direction of the Central Bank of Nigeria for succession. The emir‘s return is stoking a fresh round of political distrust between the state governor and the Emirate establishment. Supporters of Ibrahim Shekarau mobilised heavily for the return. PDP members were very scanty, reports indicated.
Adamawa‘s rally behind Tukur
Weeks after the bitter PDP national convention, Adamawa leaders rallied round Bamanga Tukur. From Abubakar Atiku to Governor Muritala Nyako, the trend is an increasingendorsementof Tukur and a feeling that he may actually be fair in handling issues surrounding 2015.
Even when the distrust is not completely cleaned up, there is no doubt that a sort of equanimity now exists among Adamawa PDP leaders. Those still outside the ring may include Senator Jubril Aminu and few others. Tukur should, however, not sleep with both eyes closed.