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Published On: Wed, Oct 24th, 2018

2019: Battle between two unequal actors in Yobe

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By Adamu Saleh

As the much talked about 2019 draws nearer, the battle for the Yobe government house has since commenced with posters and billboards placed at strategic locations at all nook and crannies of Yobe state advertising the political gladiators. Despite the fact that Yobe state has been relatively peaceful politically, because of the fact that the battle for the soul of the young state is between two unequal actors, yet there is need for the politicians to become proactive to contest so as to make the game more competitive and interesting both for the politicians and the electorate.
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 has not fielded a candidate.
In Yobe South senatorial district the battle for the senatorial seat between Adamu Maina Waziri and the serving senator Dambu is still confusing because party faithful who are loyal to the former are saying that Adamu is the candidate while those loyal to the later are saying that Dambu is the candidate and this confusion has left party faithful in a serious dilemma and the ruling APC is banking on this. And if care is not taken, they will capitalize on this and wrest the seat from PDP.
The situation is no different with Yobe east senatorial district where the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has fielded the serving Governor as their candidate for the 2019 senatorial election. PDP in the zone is reluctant and has shown sign of defeat long before the elections come. Same thing applies to Yobe north senatorial district, the ruling party has fielded the longest serving senator in the state in person of Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current senate leader.
Political Analyst 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 has pocketed the party 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 and settled before the elections, it will no doubt lead to PDP losing the seat to APC, and if this happens, Gaidam will be the happiest man on earth, 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, a Ngizim by tribe is of the opposition PDP) in the zone and is going to be a clash of 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 will 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. It 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. It is crystal clear that Gaidam, Lawan and other candidates are only waiting for time to be sworn in as the Senators representing Yobe East, Yobe North Senatorial zones. The situations in Yobe South, as it is, nobody can confidently or authoritatively say which party will win the election there.
Battle for the soul of Government house Damaturu
The battle for the exalted seat of Yobe government house in the forth coming 2019 general elections is between two unequal actors; Maimala Buni, the current All Progressive Congress (APC’s) National Secretary, who will fly the APC flag and Ambassador Umar Iliya Damagum, of the People Democratic Party, (PDP).
Unequal because long before the elections, a winner has emerged and loyalty have since tilted to Maimala Buni.
In Yobe, unlike other state winners are always known before the elections. Whoever emerged as the candidate of the ruling APC it is automatically assumed that, that person is only waiting to be sworn in as the next governor of the state and this has been the tradition since the creation of the state in 1991 by the Babangida administration. That is why there is no opposition which led to the popular belief among the majority of the people of the state that even if it is a dog that the government of the day says will be the next governor that dog will no doubt become the governor. Nobody will have the temerity to challenge the decision of the government of the day and even where such decisions are not in the interest of the majority or the state at large.
It is the general belief in Yobe that if Kanuri\ Manga forum, which is seen as the power brokers in the state has decided, so it shall be. Nobody will challenge that decision and that is how the state has been governed in the past.
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 until he died two years into his four year term.

Adamu Saleh can be reached through: bappandada1@gmail. Com. Or 08033499812

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