NIGER 2015: GOV ALIYU, GUBER HOPEFUL NASKO DISAGREE OVER RUNNING-MATE

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Political godfatherism is a problematic factor in the Nigerian leadership system. In Niger State, Gov. Muazu Babangida Aliyu is already facing problems with his anointed candidate. The primaries are not yet conducted, but Nasko is confident and hopeful that he is not going to be substituted with any option, because an attempt to do so will be inviting fresh miscalculation and discomfort to the 2015 political preparations.

There are five camps jostling for the seat of deputy-governorship aspirant under the Umar Nasko gubernatorial bid. The camps include, The Prof. Jerry Gana Camp nominated Barr. David Umaru; Isah Kantigi Camp have him (Isah Kantigi) as the bargaining chip; Niger State House of Assembly Caucus nominated Hon. Yerima Lokogoma; The State PDP Chairman Caucus nominated Hon. Hassan Abdulllahi Enagi, the current Commissioner for Commerce; Former Gov. Abdulkadir Kure Camp nominated Hon. Usman Saba, the current Deputy-Chief of Staff to Gov. Muazu Aliyu.

Umar Nasko has shown his interest for Hon. Hassan Abdullahi Enagi, his colleague in government. They have both worked together as commissioners in separate Ministries. But the problem here is complex. Gov. Aliyu tactically disagreed with the Hassan Abdullahi option, because he (Hassan) is in the cabinet as a political power-sharing slot to former Senator Isah Mohammed (Wazirin Nupe).

At a point in time, Gov. Aliyu wanted to reshuffle his cabinet and asked the former State PDP Chairman, Hon. Mahmud Abdulrahman Enagi, to nominate a candidate from Edati Local Government. When Hon. Mahmud wanted to unseat Hon. Hassan Enagi as Commissioner, Sen. Isah Mohammed later turned the entire situation in favour of his political godson, Hon.Hassan Enagi. The gimmick is Gov. Muazu Aliyu is thinking differently over Hassan Enagi’s issue. If he agrees to Hassan’s nomination automatically, he is going to share political power with Sen. Isah Mohammed which can be dangerous in his conception.

Gov. Aliyu is still mute over who stands as running mate for Umar Nasko, he is keeping mute so as to prevent the team from splitting over factional interest. But from all indication Gov. Aliyu will later go for a neutral candidate outside the five camps, but out of the five camps, Hassan Enagi has brighter chances.

One of the reasons why Gov. Aliyu will not support Isah Kantigi for deputy-governor is simple; he needs Kantigi to help keep the Nasko government intact from the rear. Kantigi knows how to do all dirty political jobs; he is a master- thinker and influential in Zone A axis. His appointment as Commissioner Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs is to help deliver the Nasko guber ticket in Zone A.

Hon. Usman Saba, the current Deputy-Chief of Staff to the Chief Servant, will be part of the Nasko government as Commissioner, as Gov. Aliyu has assured him and that neutralizes the Former Gov. Abdul-kadir Kure’s nomination. The same thing applied to the State House of Assembly nomination where Hon, Yerima Lokogoma will be part of the government if he lost his seat for Second term to the State House of Assembly.

The Prof. Jerry Gana’s nominee, Barr. David Umaru, is likely not to get a serious attention because he is a popular member of the APC. The conditions Gov. Aliyu gave Prof. Jerry Gana over Barr. David Umaru is, Barr. David must declare publicly his defection back to PDP, and that will earn him the New Chief of Staff in the next government.

The tactical threat Gov. Aliyu is likely to face if he didn’t consider Barr. David Umaru for deputy governorship candidate, is he (David) will contest against Gov. Aliyu in the 2015 Senatorial bid. This, pundits see, will be a serious challenge to the chief servant, since the serving senator, Shem Nuhu Zabgayi, encountered serious challenges at the polls when he run against Barr. David Umaru, who once run for the governorship seat of the state under the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).

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