2019: Gov Yari betrays ex-Gov Shinkafi as State APC adopts controversial zoning for Governorship

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There is so much tension in Zamfara APC as a result of last minutes decision of incumbent Governor Abdul’aziz Yari not to support the governorship aspiration of arguably the most popular politician in Zamfara State today, former governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi. Before the latest development, there was reportedly an understanding between Governor Yari and Mr. Shinkafi to support the latest bid to come back and complete his second term which was truncated by the current governor.

It was because of the same understanding which DESERT HERALD gathered was brokered my stakeholders, Zamfara elders including the late Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi who happens to be Mahmuda Shinkafi’s elder brother and a father in-law to Mr. Yari that Mahmuda became convinced and decamp to the APC from PDP. Mr. Mahmuda Shinkafi is not only popular in Zamfara politics but the most favoured governorship candidate that won the support of the majority across political party divide.

But Mahmuda’s former boss and incumbent senator, Ahmed Sani Yarima who also happens to be the political godfather of Governor Yari have rejected the candidature of his former deputy, Mahmuda Shinkafi and insisted on the current deputy governor whom he anointed to the position in 2011, Ibrahim Wakkala to succeed Mr. Yari. It was the political power play and intrigues all aimed at denying the slot to Mr. Shinkafi according to insiders and credible political pundits that made the state APC or precisely Governor Yari to adopt a highly controversial formula (zoning) never adopted since 1999 for the governorship candidate of the party.

While Mr. Yari has now settled for his own candidate in his own cabinet, Senator Yarima still has his support for Mr. Wakkala but pundits averred that Yarima may at the end preferred to support Mr. Yari’s choice than to support the emergence of Mr. Shinkafi. Shinkafi’s intimidating political credentials according to keen political observers of Zamfara politics has over the years unsettled Mr. Yarima who has assumed the monopoly of Zamfara politics since 1999. According to the calculations of Sen. Yarima, any attempt to support Shinkafi with the position of the governor considering his popularity, it may signal the end of his political control and career hence the plots to ensure Shinkafi did not emerge through fraudulent and undemocratic option called zoning.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State has therefore zoned the governorship position of the party to the central zone.

Lawal M-Liman, chairman of the party in the state revealed this after the stakeholders meeting held at Government House in Gusau on Wednesday.

DESERT HERALD reports that the Zamfara central zone comprises four local government areas of Gusau, Bungudu, Tsafe and Maru. The zone has never produced the governor of the state since its creation. By this arrangement if it eventually succeeded, Mr. Shinkafi who this week purchased the APC governorship nomination form has been eased out of the race except if he will return to his former party, PDP to contest. To pacify him which will damage his credibility before his supporters, Governor Yari is considering giving the senatorial ticket of the APC to Shinkafi.

Mr Liman said the meeting was called by the party leadership to discuss mode of primaries, zoning of governorship positions and setting up of the committee of reconciliation or consensus among the aspirants for various elective positions.

“We have resolved to adopt indirect primaries to produce candidates for various positions of the party. We resolved to set up a reconciliation committee or consensus were necessary, and also resolved that the governorship candidate of the party should be produced from the central zone of the state,” he said.

He thanked the stakeholders for attending the meeting. He also thanked them for their cooperation towards the development of the party,

He urged APC members in the state to remain united so that the party could retain power in the 2019 general elections.

DESERT HERALD recalls that four of the aspirants, considered to be close associates of former governor and a serving senator, Ahmad Sani-Yarima, had earlier met and resolved to support any one among them who emerges as the party’s governorship candidate for the 2019 election in the state.

This is coming on the heels of recent development in the state that the serving commissioner of finance in the state, Mukhtar Idris, who is also from Zamfara central is being supported by Governor Abdul’aziz Yari for the governorship ticket of the party.

Meanwhile among the four aspirants that met earlier, the current deputy governor, Ibrahim Wakkala, and the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Sanusi Rikiji, are from the central zone. The commissioner of education, Muttaka Rini, is from Zamfara west zone while House of Reps member, representing Kaura-Namoda/Birnin-Magaji federal constituency, Aminu Sani-Jaji, is from the Northern zone. Yari’s and Yarima’s adoption of the controversial zoning formula will favour all their anointed candidates considering the fact that they are all from the central zone.

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