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Published On: Thu, Dec 18th, 2014

Borno 2015: The contest inside PDP

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By Hussaini Mohammed

The problem of governance in Borno state has never been theabsence of potential, but the rightperson that will able to lead the people in the right direction.However, the question is who and where to find that right person withthe right leadership acumen that will inspire and influence thefollowership in order to take the state to another height.

Borno has been in the control of other parties other than the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a fact which has prompted people to ask when will the PDP form a government in the state. The other question on the lips of most PDP members is: who in the party stands a chance against the incumbent governor, Kashim Shettima, now in the APC. The answer to this question is not far-fetched, if the antecedents ofAlhaji Gambo Lawan are considered. Not only will he bring his wealthof experience and integrity into governance, his youthfulness andfresh ideas will help reinvigorate governance.

Lawan is a household name in the history of partisanpolitics in Nigeria as he has continued to bestride the politicalfirmament of the country for more than two decades now.Although there seems to be a plethora of aspirants currently jostlingto be the candidate to represent PDP in the governorship race for Borno Government House in the 2015 polls, but only one of them is fromthe northern senatorial district of the state while the rest of themfrom the central district.

Coincidentally, Lawan is the only aspirant from the zone whichis yet to produce the governor of the state since the beginning ofthis democratic dispensation in 1999 as all the three governors thathad had the privilege to govern the state came from the central zone.For justice, fair-play and equity, it will be right for the PDP to support the aspiration of Lawan to get the party’s ticket as itscandidate, a decision that they will never regret if they ever take.Although his party has never produced the governor of his Borno state,he has remained steadfast and loyal to the PDP, and unwavering in hiscommitment to its ideals.

For a man well-known as a stickler for rulesand procedure, he will bring the much-needed unity, harmony, partydiscipline and internal democracy that a majority of PDP members yearnfor. He represents the younger generation in the party, with thedesire and capacity to reconcile its aggrieved membership and launchthe party to the leading position in the state envisaged by itsfounding fathers.

The story of Lawan is an interesting narrative in dynamic political leadership and service to fatherland. At 54, he hasdistinguished himself as one of Nigeria’s foremost politicalstrategists with a solid record in partisan politics.He has spent most of his life in business and politics, beside theshort stint as a civil servant in his home state of Borno from 1978 to1982, rising from the grassroots to national prominence.

However, itis in politics that he made, perhaps, his most remarkable impact.In 1987, he stood for and won election on personal merit ascouncillor/vice chairman of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council; fouryears later in 1991, he was elected chairman of Maiduguri MetropolitanCouncil on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP.He was subsequently chosen to lead the forum of elected council chairmen in the state.

A foundation member of the PDP, he played a major role in selling theparty to the people of Borno State in particular and the North-eastzone in general. He has devoted his energy to ensuring the party’sstrong showing in the governorship, state and National Assemblyelections as well as successive presidential contests since 1999.

Hussaini Mohammed is reachable on


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