Zakari Zamani Alumaga, former magistrate and currently a private legal practitioner and politician, in this interview with Peoples Daily reporter Ahmed Abubakar reveals his senatorial ambition in the Nassarawa-Nortth Senatorial district as well as the apparent political problems of the Eggon nation ahead of 2015 general elections.
ear 2015 is around the corner. Do you have any political ambition?
The scenario in Nasarawa state is peculiar. In 2011, the Eggon nation where I belong had a political focus. At the heat of it, we rallied round a Gwandara man to become the governor. It was agreed then that in 2015, power would shift to the Eggon nation. Ahead of 2015, crises began to erupt everywhere. The Eggon nation was made the centre of the crises. The simple truth is that someone has reneged on the agreement. When the Eggon attempted to say no, the mastermind of our ordeal resorted to self-help. The end is the crises bedevilling the state. We now see militias of different tribes trying to annihilate us. That has not deterred us because we insist that power is from God. The Eggon are still in the race in accordance with the agreement. While that is happening, there is a little development. Senator Solomon Ewuga and Hon Labaran Maku are gunning for the same race. The matter is now compounded by the declaration of former president of the umbrella body of the Eggon nation to run for the same race in the same PDP. Those of us in the project to produce a governor of an Eggon extraction are now apprehensive. By indicating interest to be governor, Solomon Ewuga has abdicated his position, the same as Labaran Maku. If we do not struggle to fill these positions, we lose all assuming they lose out in the governorship. We won’t be indolent in struggling to gain what we have, otherwise we won’t even be there as spectators. That is the reason why some people should cover up the loopholes.
Which position are you gunning for?
I am gunning for the Senatorial seat of Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon, Wamba constituency under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance. I chose APGA because I have been in the PDP. I attempted the last election. I discovered that there are too many hoaxes in the PDP. I knew why I lost out before and the same has not changed. You have to come as a millionaire or through a godfather who will control you. If I go to the APC, my people will not see me as sensible because of what we have passed through in the hands of the APC machination. I refer to my testimony at the commission of enquiry into the Alakyo killings.
Won’t you undermine the unity of the PDP which the Eggon nation want their governor to emerge from by joining the APGA?
We are contesting for two different positions. From the INEC timetable, the governorship will come after the Senate. I expect people to vote for me; thereafter we go to the governorship race. If the governorship candidate is from the Eggon nation, it becomes a different ballgame. But my people do not vote for parties, they vote for people. From 1999, the Eggon have always voted en bloc.
If you become the senator, and an Eggon person becomes the governor, won’t other ethnic nationalities in the state feel side-lined?
We conceded the governorship before and brought a minority. This is for other nationalities not to see us as selfish. Unfortunately, the APC has embarked on a war to eliminate our people. We are aware that people attacking the Eggon nation are camped in the land of our neighbours. Some of the ethnic nationalities with us do not show sympathy for us.
What is your reaction to the seemingly disunity of the Eggon nation in the governorship race?
Our major deal as an outlawed group was to pray. We prayed for the current governor. We still have hopes that our prayers will be answered although we are scattered. Yes Ewuga, Maku and others are in the PDP. We still have others in other parties. Our own position from the beginning is that Maku and Ewuga would sit down and bring out one candidate. The attempt to do this was fraudulent. They had their respective fragmented groups who chose them. Our plan was to produce one on a political party. I wonder what other aspirants under other political parties are doing. Having failed to do this, our desire was that our umbrella body would intervene. Today it is clear that the president has also declared his intension to run. The matter is now compounded. Over the umbrella body is the Aren Eggon. The son of the Aren Eggon is also in the race. Somebody has already emerged from APGA. I can assure you that the Eggon nation will be advised to vote for him. That is God-ordained.