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Kebbi Governorship Race And Its Pains
MATHEW ABRAHAM writes on the 2011 governorship race in Kebbi State and the contenders who have indicated interest so far.
AS 2011 general elections approach, political activities have peaked with various aspirants jostling for elective positions in Kebbi State. Looking particularly at the governorship race, not a few aspirants have signified their intention to contest the forthcoming primaries on various party platforms to emerge the standard bearers, the ticket which they need to contest for the 2011 governorship poll.
Ahead of that poll, posters of several governorship aspirants have flooded Birnin Kebbi, the state capital and other major towns in the state, including villages. The interested aspirants are simply using the medium to canvass for votes from the electorate. In Kebbi State, the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and the new and fast growing entrant, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), are clearly identifiable.
On the platform of PDP, there are the incumbent governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, who is seeking to recontest in 2011 to complete the two terms of four years as allowed by the 1999 Constitution. Other aspirants with whom the governor will slug it out to get the PDP ticket are Alhaji Hassan Kangiwa, Senator Umaru Tafida, Alhaji Mai’aka Bello and Alhaji Abubakar Mallam.
But curiously, while some posters are announcing the governorship aspiration of Mai’aka Bello, Abubakar Malam and Sen. Umaru Tafida on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), some other posters are helrading their ambition on the platform of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Essentially, what is being depicted here is that all is not well within the fold of PDP and that is already showing the manner the 2011 governorship race will be fought and won.
For some time now, the PDP has been divided between the group loyal to Governor Dakingari and that in support of former Governor Adamu Aliero. Now that the differences between the governor and the immediate past minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) appear irreconcilable and 2011 poll is fast approaching, the former governor’s camp may have thought it wise to cast its lot elsewhere in case it fails to secure any accommodation in the PDP that is seen currently to be in the firm grip of Governor Dakingari. Analysts say this may have accounted for why the like of Mai’aka Bello, Abubakar Malam and Senator Umaru Tafida, who are regarded as Aliero’s loyalists, had to have their posters in two versions, one canvassing their governorship ambition on the platform of PDP and the other doing so on CPC platform. According to analysts, this step being taken by them is to avoid recording total loss from both ends.
Indications are that some loyalists of former Governor Aliero have started to defect to CPC, while some more are said to be concluding arrangements to do same any moment from now, a development which analysts say may spell doom for the PDP in the forthcoming poll.
Already, Hassan Kangiwa, whose relationship between him and Senator Aliero remains strong, has defected to CPC. According to the politician, his defection from PDP to CPC was not to allow him contest for the governorship position or any other elective post come 2011, but to enable him assist his people and utilise his resources to see the CPC into victory.
However, on the contrary, not a few people are doubting the genuineness of the intention of the Aliero group to work for the success of CPC. They are pointing at the past altercation that occurred between former Governor Aliero and General Muhammadu Buhari while both were in ANPP. The altercation took place before Aliero defected to PDP, the platform he used to contest for and win a seat to the Senate before he later became minister under the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua. According to them, the defection of Aliero group of PDP may be aimed at scuttling the impending success of CPC.
Notwithstanding, confusion has equally set in the CPC with the entry of the Aliero group. The party, which appeared to have resolved on the candidature of Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu as its governorship standard-bearer, being the sole aspirant initially, may have found itself in a dilemma. This is so because picking Tanimu, who was said to have been assured of a ticket, has now been made difficult as the Aliero group has now taken over the entire party machinery.
It is said that Tanimu’s group and founding members of CPC are threatening to defect to ANPP should the party pick other candidate as its governorship standard-bearer.
Relatively ignored is the ANPP because of recent exodus of members from the party. There has been quietness in the party but in spite of that, its governorship aspirant, Alhaji Suleiman Mohammed Argungu, who is also former deputy governor under ANPP administration in the state, could at the end of the day spring a surprise arising from possible protest votes as fallout from tension and crises gripping both PDP and CPC currently.
Already, it is being said that the candidature of Governor Dakingari as PDP standard-bearer may have been assured with the defection of other contenders to another party, just as that of Alhaji Argungu is with ANPP. However, following speculations that Alhaji Abubakar Malam might be favoured against Tanimu, who was initial sole aspirant in CPC, trouble appears to be in the offing for the party as well.Share