From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi
Expectedly, the forthcoming general election of 2015 has been generating heat with groups and individuals angling for superiority in the build-up to the polls.
Feelers around the state reveal that the Bauchi state governor, Isa Yuguda’s silence over who takes over from him is becoming worrisome to many as his close aides and PDP stalwarts in the state are afraid to discuss the issue for fear that the details may go contrary to his interest. That is why non of his aides can speak on who succeeds him in 2015.
Despite the loud silence in the state, there are underground moves, both within and outside the PDP, to produce Yuguda’s successor as meetings are said to be going on, both in the state and in Abuja.
Though it is difficult t read his body language, there are speculations tha Yuguda may have resolved to relinquish power to one if his close commissioners.
Our Correspondent gathered that there are groups within the PDP that are making concerted efforts to ensure that Yuguda is not allowed to pick his successor. It was gathered that members of the group, known as Abuja politicians, recently slowed down their activities but were said to have picked up the struggle, with the coming of Mu’azu as the national chairman of the ruling party.
Although there are many candidates within and outside the ruling PDP angling to succeed Yuguda, some of them are considered serious enough to get elected into the position by 2015.
Someone believed to be politically powerful in the state, Ibrahim Dandija, who was recently relieved of his position as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) is being variously considered as Yuguda’s possible successor. Dandija was supposedly removed as the state’s SSG for strategic reasons.
In the words of an aide to the governor who prefers anonymity, “Dandija largely determines who gets what, when and how in Bauchi State. The governor reposes too much confidence in him. That is how powerful he is.”
The birth of APC as the major opposition party in the state has however spurred aspirants in the PDP to come out of their shells, more so as the APC has started gathering momentum for a proper take-off, with its many activities.
Political analysts however posit that the party’s strength will not be farfetched because some citizens of the state are bored with the leadership of PDP in the state. They believe if INEC will conduct a free and fair election in the state, the opposition APC may win.
One of the burning issues that have been generating confusion in the political circle is rotation of the governorship seat among the three senatorial zones: Bauchi South, Bauchi Central and Bauchi North.
From records the Bauchi North and South have produced governors in the past leaving only Bauchi Central. Bauchi South alone has produced the two governors in the current democratic dispensation while Bauchi North produced four deputy governors, Abdulmalik Mahmud, Garba Muhammad Gadi and Babayo Garba Gamawa and the incumbent Sagir Aminu Saleh Bauchi Central had produced three Secretaries to the State Government including Muhammed Nadada Umar, Alhaji Shu’aibu Ahmed and Barrister Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija. The position of Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly was shared among Bauchi North and Bauchi Central while Bauchi South always gets the Deputy Speaker.
As the race for 2015 picks up, Bauchi people, according to a source, “are looking for a person who will not crack jokes with our destiny; who will not give us water via television screen, or provide functional healthcare service on radio waves but real things that can make our lives bearable. Somebody who will not be feathering his nest from Abuja instead of living, staying and working with his electorates’’.
Though, none of the aspirants and potential aspirants has openly come out to make a categorical statement, their agents have been singing their praises, telling members of the public what such aspirants are capable of doing and what the electorates should do so as to avoid the current quagmire and take Bauchi state to the desired wonderland.
Those politicians currently eying the seat include Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Ahmed Garkuwan Misau (PDP), former ADC to Present National Chairman of PDP Hon Ibrahim Makama PDP , Former SSG to ex- Bauchi State governor and current PDP National Chairman, Ahmed Muazu, Alhaji Nadada Umar, (PDP), also from the Bauchi North. Others are Former SGF Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed (PDP), his close ally, Senator Baba Tela (PDP), National Chairman, Tertiary Education fund TETFUND, Dr Musa Babayo (PDP), Senator Babayo Gamawa (PDP), former Deputy to Governor Isa Yuguda, Abdulmalik Mahmud, Former Deputy to the National Chairman of PDP Ahmed Mu’azu and many other contenders.
Those eyeing Yuguda’s job in the opposition All Progressives Congress in the state include Senator Nazif Gamawa, Alhaji Yisuf Tuggar, Engnr Nuhu Gidado, Engnr. Sadiq Mahmud, Alhaji Sadiq Arabi, Dr. Yakubu Lame, the former minister of Police Affairs and lately Barrister Abubakar Mohammed.
But should there be unanimity of purpose in the state to leave the space open for all the zones to contest the exalted position thereby jettisoning the zoning arrangements, the incumbent Minister for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed would be a strong contender in the race.
The Zonal Publicity Se rotary of the PDP, Al’amin Sani Mohammed, is equally eyeing the governorship position of the state.
But, there are rumours that the newly appointed Chief of Staff to Governor Isa Yuguda, Alhaji Abdulkadir Ibrahim, and the Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Mahmud Maijama’a, may also be considering the possibility of taking over their boss’ position by 2015.