Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely -Franklin D. Roosevelt
or quite some time, many people in Yobe state have been sleeping with just one eye closed and, many others had deliberately avoided crowded environments while, night life became history due to restriction of movements caused by the prevailing security challenges that bedeviled the state. Few weeks to the 2015 general elections, the people of Yobe state had thrown away that fear and, wore the garb of courage for active participation in political activities. They prepare for the opportunity provided for in the general election to choose their leaders wisely so that the long unpalatable experience of insecurity suffered in the state will give way to a new life of normalcy and prosperity.
When the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state inaugurated a 99 member campaign organization for the 2015 election, from Alhaji Sidi Yakubu Karasuwa, to Alhaj I Zakariya’u Galadima, to Alhaji Lawan Shettima, to Alhaji Aji Bularafa, to Malam Garba Medugu to Buba Mashio and, Awwalu Isa Bello among others, it was obvious that the party made wise choice of credible and acceptable politicians to stir the campaign ship in the 2015 election.
The careful selection of this team of political heavy weights cutting across the three geo-political zones of the state, will give any other party the battle of its life for survival in the political heat of 2015. The 99-man committee is indeed the nucleus of partisan politics in Yobe state. They are respected politicians in their own rights who can deliver their units, wards, local government and the state at any given moment. They have over the years led successful campaign trains for the APP, ANPP and now APC. Some had contested and won several political offices and, some are currently candidates for state and national assembly offices. When the committee embarked on inauguration of its zonal campaign committees in Gashua, Damaturu and Nangere, the people of Yobe state set aside their fears, sufferings and the pursuit of their daily bread to identify with the movement preparatory to the general election.
The turn outs were obviously the largest human event in recent times in the state. The chanting of ‘Chanji’ (Change), Nigeria saiBuhari, Yobesai Bra-Bra (Ibrahim Gaidam) has become a common slogan among men, women, youth and even children. Hon. Zakariya’u Galadima, Chairman of the publicity committee of the campaign organization observed “change has come to Nigeria, when you look at the massive turn out of the people in spite of the security challenges and the harsh harmattan weather, it is a clear demonstration of the people’s faith in democracy and good governance. Galadima was quick to add that the people of Yobe state will remain active participants in the wind of political change sweeping across Nigeria.
The assembly in Gashua identified with the achievements recorded by the APC government under Alhaji Gaidam and to support his re-election bid. APC is confident that the achievements made in the last four years by the state government under the party has made electorates to appreciate the government for not hiding under the guise of insecurity and not to perform. They vowed to deliver all APC candidates from Presidency, governorship, national and state legislators.
The provision of infrastructures like road network, housing and, social services including free treatment of pregnant women and children and, youth employment have remained avenues of political fortunes for the APC. The ill feelings against the national party (PDP) which is seen to have shown little concern to the plight of the people in the face of insurgency that gripped the state, may work against the party and its candidates in the state.
There is the general excitement that the 2015 election provides the people with yet another good opportunity for a pay back time and, to take their pound of flesh against PDP. The people have spoken and, are resilient to exercise their franchise even in the face of the daunting challenges. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should ensure that no eligible electorate is denied the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice. They see hope in a new government under APC that will bring an end to insurgency in their state, Borno, Adamawa and indeed Nigeria.
For the devastated communities that suffered insurgency and neglect of federal presence under the PDP led central government in the last four years, the 2015 election provides them with an opportunity for a new life, a hope for a new Nigeria and, a hope for peace and prosperity.
Al-Ameen Mohammed can be reached on Muhammedalameen@email@example.com