Ifeanyi Chukwu Nwannah captures the Zamfara Guber battle with the untold story of why former Governor Shinkafi was beaten pants down
The defeat of former Governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi in the just concluded governorship election in Zamfara State has triggered many conflicting and intricate political debates which seem may last throughout the history of Zamfara. The factors that came together to see the defeat of the former Governor are powerful enough to even bring hurricane to his feet. Shinkafi faced abysmal and shameful political eclipse.
But it was clear that democracy is all about participation of highest number of people and this can be achieved through good relationship with people especially when political heavy weights come together to
form a formidable front that can draw the attention of the common masses who are the main players in the field of play. This has to do with a combination of efforts to move and shake the political environment. But then when resources are not committed, every hope becomes shattered.
Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima understands this political gimmick and the secret behind the Zamfara politics. He is very close the grass root and expends his resources without minding whether election is around or not. That is the main reason why he is unbeatable in Zamfara politics. But PDP men expect to win election when they are not close to the common masses. They are always at Abuja, Kaduna and Lagos only to come back to the State to converse for votes during election periods. They are inaccessible even when they are expected by the PDP headquarters to deliver their states.
Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima and his men always relax believing that Zamfara is always in their political hands, no matter the misrule. But the PDP heavy weights can be seen regularly in the State during campaign periods, as a result, they look strange to the people especially those in the rural areas. Yarima’s misdeeds and Governor Yari’s misrule are enough evidences to revolt against them and their
APC but because they are always with the people, their misdeeds and misrule can be over looked. That is why the Senator remains the mover and shaker of Zamfara politics. Yet the PDP players do not care and that is why PDP can never form Government in the State no matter what.
They find it very difficult to give charity to the needy out of the alleged stolen wealth.
Again, most of the civil servants interviewed by this paper said they changed their mind at the dying minutes as they learnt that Governor Abdulaziz Yari vowed to deal with any civil servant that did not vote
for APC, saying that another retrenchment awaits them. According to them, that threat forced the civil servants to surrender even though they had earlier boasted that nothing what so ever would make
Abdulaziz Yari to remain in the Gusau Government House. And over 14,000 retrenched civil servants bowed because Governor Yari was alleged to have assured that he would recall those who voted for him.
All these gave the incumbent Governor the victory contrary to the wish of the people.
But then land slide victory of APC in Zamfara State has made Senator Yarima to remain the doyen of Zamfara politics. All these self acclaimed PDP heavy weights in the State like Gen. Aliyu Gusau, Hon.
Bello Muhammed Matawallen, Eng. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau and the rest of them cannot stand the political might of the Senator.
This again has shown that APC Government in Zamfara State has no opposition. It has shown that Senator Yarima is the deciding guru in Zamfara politics. From 1999 up till date, the Senator has been
dictating what happens in Zamfara political arena. He even said it during the electioneering campaign that the Governor did not need any campaign or to worry himself because PDP men were making noise everywhere, describing it as empty propaganda that can be thrown into a waste paper basket. He was very sure that PDP would be rejected at the polls and that was what happened. Zamfara people did not mind the alleged misappropriation of funds by the present administration, they voted because of Yarima not because of APC or Governor Yari.
The moment President Jonathan and PDP big shots lost in Zamfara, the PDP circle left Shinkafi to his fate. Most of them left for Abuja, Kaduna etc. to attend to their businesses. They refused to commit their
energies and resources to help the former Governor. Panic, fear erupted in their minds especially the PDP supporters as those who are supposed to form a formidable front to wage political war against APC
deserted the State. They believe that as APC has won the presidential and the whole National Assembly elections, there is no hope for PDP anymore.
But there was uneasy calm at the INEC headquarters in Gusau. The supporters of Shinkafi trooped out in their thousands to protest the results released by INEC as they were chanting “Sai Mun Chanja”. Their
request is that INEC should cancel the election and conduct fresh election as the election of April 11th 2015 was unacceptable to them.
The security agents were shooting bullets in the air but the people refused to be dispersed, saying that they prefer to die than accept Governor Yari as their Governor. At INEC office, the whole situation was rowdy and uneasy.
But Shinkafi who could not be reached to hear his comments stood firm during and after the election that he is not going to accept any irregularity even though nobody seemed to stand beside him apart from
the minister of State, Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda. The question now is what is the PDP big wigs and PDP up to? Is it an arranged political set up to betray the former Governor?
As it was alleged that the PDP money bags deserted Shinkafi in time of need remains a soar situation which left some questions unanswered in the minds and political calculations of Shinkafi supporters. Even
before the election, many doubted the possibility and the success of Shinkafi’s bid to clinch the gubernatorial seat under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
From all the political signs and calculations, Shinkafi had already failed even before the election was conducted.
This signs and calculations came from the way and manner the PDP chiefs abandoned the
former Governor. The resources expended right from when PDP lost the bid to retain Aso Rock which appeared that the whole financial burden was rested on former Governor Shinkafi’s shoulders.
Though a worthy and influential contender, but there was no tough challenge to the incumbent political structure of APC. Since 1999, the PDP chiefs have not shown any commitment to struggle for power, no
willingness to take over Gusau Government House even though Shinkafi appears to be the most serious and acceptable candidate PDP has produced in the State. The internal crisis which has eaten deep within
PDP circle as a result of power play went on over and over since 1999 because of the seemingly woes and wounds inflicted on the party by power drunk politicians. As a result PDP has lost its integrity and
reputation in the State.
Upon all the strategies former Governor Shinkafi and his faithful perfected to stop Governor Yari from retaining Government House, all were wasted because there was no moving force to support him. All the
federal legislators, past and serving abandoned him to his fate. Some of the PDP supporters who spoke to this reporter said the action amounted to injustice as Shinkafi did not get resources and moral
support from the well to do PDP members.
Some of the people who wasted their time and energy to vote for him said they did so because in his four years of governance, he recorded unprecedented achievements. But with these betrayals here and there,
Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima and Governor Yari manipulated on them and vowed to stop Shinkafi from his bid to the Government House for the second time.
Yet many of the die hard supporters of the former Governor cited bad leadership, selfish interest, non provision of social amenities by the present administration in the last four years. Even before the election, the PDP and APC had traded words on the mismanagement of the State resources which led to the continuous socio-economic problems affecting the people of the state and even workers salaries. But Shinkafi alone could not have fought for the survival of the state economy. The unfolding politics and unfolding events in the state has shown that the PDP vanguard do not want Shinkafi in the Government House which means that since the down fall of PDP in the March 28th election, nothing possible can be done to maintain or redeem the integrity of the party or prepare the party against the next four years.
Most of the people interviewed by this medium said they were tired of the present administration and would rather go for replacement with Shinkafi’s kind of governance but their dreams did not come true
because they said that they were intimidated to vote for APC. Some said they voted for Shinkafi because of his economic foresight citing example of foreign multi billion naira investment owned by BSM
international petrochemicals limited which was initiated, built and commissioned by Shinkafi in August 27th 2010 to uplift the economic standard of the state and create job opportunities for the people that
gave the insight that Zamfara will be better under Shinkafi’s administration hence they voted for him.
This they said is gigantic economic project that was commissioned more than five years ago is still rotting away in Zamfara.
A project that was supposes to gulp 1.5 billion Euros and turn Zamfara economy
around. All these economic projects including the Zamfara solid minerals processing company, Zamfara International Cargo Airport, Investment House initiated and constructed by Shinkafi administration
would have made the people to bring back Shinkafi to continue from where he stopped. This is a man that has economic foresight to save the state of being a debtor state.
His administration was bent on creating the impression that is committed to the implementation of poverty alleviation programme. According to Shinkafi poverty scars any incoherent strategy of development, stressing that poverty even result in poor performance and failure. He is of the opinion that concerted engagement in economic activities by the people of different background can make it possible through a good governance and leadership which he said Zamfara people have been lacking for quite sometimes. According to him, the present administrations portend dangers and uncertainties, which he said has been a situation that makes positive thinking and actions almost impossible.
From former Governor Shinkafi’s words, it could be noted that poverty alleviation had been and would continue to be fundamental objectives of his administration if voted into power but he did not win the
political battle against Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima.
Former Governor Shinkafi said that he initiated the economic projects to stimulate economic growth, reduction of social vices and tension, creation of jobs, arrest of environmental degradation and provision of micro-credits. These will also improve the distribution of income and assets to sustain development for most low income economies.
If Shinkafi had been elected, his initiative to alleviate poverty through all these economic projects as several international organizations have indicated to assist Zamfara State in eradicating poverty. The assistance could come in various forms. But there is a substantial fear over the sincerity of Governor Yari. The fear is founded on the ground and understanding about the recklessness and fraudulent manner in which the present administration operates in the state.
Although former Governor Shinkafi has vowed that he will contest the INEC result. The PDP has refused to sign that Governor Yari won the election which was declared at about 4am on Monday. But what ever
happens, the PDP is set for election tribunal. Desert herald can confidently report that in spite Governor Yari’s purported victory, there was no jubilation in any part of Zamfara State signifying that majority did not vote for him.