Niger 2015 Guber: Generals battle for Gov Aliyu’s Seat

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By Our Correspondent

 

In 2007 when former Governor Abdulkadir Kure was battling with the political problem of choosing a successor, he fingered Bala Gunna, one of his loyal officers, but after the PDP primaries, EFCC indicted the anointed candidate. The indictment was a typhoon of the failed Obasanjo Third term bid, as Gov. Kure happens to be one of the powerful Anti-Third term gladiators. The trick of the indictment was a tactical retaliation by Obasanjo, whom at the eleventh hour, presented a new PDP gubernatorial flag bearer for the 2007 general election in Niger State.

 

The Candidate happened to be Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, a veteran bureaucrat who understands all the tricks and intrigues of power play at the federal level. He was the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Transport. Educated in Pittsburgh University, USA with a specialization in Strategic Studies, Public International Affairs, Defence and Political Economy, Dr. Muazu Aliyu successfully won the election without first winning party primaries. He came in with a bulldozer effect changing all the establishments of political power in the state. He rules till date as a demi-god in charge of the state without any internal or external interference.

 

Now that 2015 is just around the corner and Governor Aliyu, just like his predecessor Governor Kure wants to anoint a successor, but Aliyu does not want to fall into the same trap like Kure. Initially, he anointed his Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Mohammad Bawa Rijau, (Sarkin Yakin Kontagora), popularly known as ‘MBR’. But after complex political calculations, MBR became an implausible choice. He was dropped because the calculations will not favor Gov. Aliyu, and there were some powerful forces bidding for his seat. He needs to go back to the drawing board so as to find a favoarable solution to the political question using more complex arithmetic.

 

Governor Aliyu was reported to have held a meeting at his residence in Minna last month with top political power-brokers in attendance. The essence of the meeting was to announce to the political class a change of plan that led to the picking of a new successor. The meeting went on successfully with Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko as the new candidate. Umar Nasko, 39, is a charismatic politician, son to Gen. Gado Nasko, former Minister of FCT under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida Military Junta. Born in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko is a native of Magama Local Government Area of Niger State.

 

He received his early education at Command Children’s School Ann Barracks Yaba, Lagos from 1980 to 1985 during which period he showed signs of great appetite for education and training. During his secondary education at the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna State, Umar Mohammed Nasko excelled and after his secondary education, he was enrolled into University of Abuja in 1993 where he undertook a course in Computer Basic Programming and Disk Operating System. At the end of his studies, he was awarded the University of Abuja’s Certificate in Computer Basic Programming and Disk Operating System. Immediately after this course, he gained another admission in 1993 into the Remedial School of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State. After successfully completing his remedial course in 1995, he was offered Admission to study Agriculture.  He however, decided to proceed to the University of Lodz in Poland instead.

 

Nasko also undertook some courses in Polish Language Sciences at the University of Lodz Poland in 1996. His other qualifications include Masters Degree in Political Sciences obtained from Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland in 2001 and a Mashav Institute Certificate in Citrus and Mango Farming obtained in the year 2004.

 

Alhaji Umar Muhammed Nasko worked at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja in the 311’s Air Defence Artillery Detachment as Sky Guard before proceeding to the United Nations Human Rights Office Krakow, Poland in 1999 as a volunteer where he served till 2001.

 

Between 2001 and 2002, Alhaji Umar M. Nasko served in the capacity of Assistant Secretary, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes before joining Fathibro Ventures Nigeria Limited, Abuja as Project Manager.

Umar Nasko has served on various Boards and Committees where he contributed his own quota to the progress of the work assigned to the Committees.

 

He was a member  of the Transition Committee in Niger State; Member, Niger State Government Committee on Public Private Partnership 2007; Chairman, Vehicle Verification Committee in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Niger State; Member of the Technical Committee on harmonization of  Niger State Action Plan in the State Government, Chairman, Local organizing Committee for the 2009 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), Member of the Niger State Executive Council in his official capacity as the Honourable Commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Ministry of Youth Development, Special Adviser on Tourism Matters, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Parks, gardens and Forest Resources and currently serving as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Niger State.

 

Why the choice of Nasko?

 

Dropping Mohammed Bawa Rijau for Umar Nasko came in with a conflict of choice. Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko is a Native of Magama Local Government Area of Niger State. He received his early education at Command Children’s School Ann Barracks Yaba, Lagos from 1980 to 1985 during which period he showed signs of great appetite  for education and training.

 

After his Secondary Education, he enrolled into University of Abuja in 1993 where he undertook a course in Computer Basic Programming and Disk Operating System. At the end of his studies, he was awarded the University of Abuja’s Certificates in Computer Basic Programming and Disk Operating System. Immediately after this course, he gained another admission in 1993 into the Remedial School of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State. After successfully completing his remedial course in 1995, he was offered Admission to study Agriculture.  He however, decided to proceed to the University of Lodz in Poland.

 

Nasko also undertook some courses in Polish Language Sciences at the University of Lodz Poland in 1996. His other qualifications include Masters Degree in Political Sciences obtained from Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland in 2001 and a Mashav Institute Certificate in Citrus and Mango Farming obtained in the year 2004.

 

He worked at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja in the 311’s Air Defence Artillery Detachment as Sky Guard before proceeding to the United Nations Human Rights Office Krakow, Poland in 1999 as a volunteer where he served till 2001.

 

Between 2001 and 2002, Allhaji Umar M. Nasko served in the capacity of Assistant Secretary, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes before joining Fathibro Ventures Nigeria Limited, Abuja as Project Manager.

 

Umar Nasko served on various Boards and Committees where he contributed his own quota to the progress of the work assigned to the  Committees. He was a member  of the Transition Committee in Niger State; Member, Niger State Government Committee on Public Private Partnership 2007; Chairman, Vehicle Verification Committee in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Niger State; Member of the Technical Committee on harmonization of  Niger State Action Plan in the State Government, Chairman, Local organizing Committee for the 2009 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), Member of the Niger State Executive Council in his official capacity as the Honourable Commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Ministry of Youth Development, Special Adviser on Tourism Matters, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Parks, gardens and Forest Resources and currently serving as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Niger State.

 

The war between the Generals

 

Gov. Aliyu’s choice to drop MBR for Umar Nasko under the PDP came after serious and tactical thinking. President Jonathan sent a confidential delegation to meet IBB at his Hill top residence in Minna over the gubernatorial aspiration of his son, Mohammed Babangida. The delegation was to lure IBB into the GEJ 2015 Presidential bandwagon. Gov. Aliyu was offered a choice between the seat of Vice-President or the Senate, but most let go the seat of the Governor in 2015 for Mohammed Babangida. Gov. Aliyu is against the Mohammed Babangida’s ticket. That was why Governor Aliyu allegedly dropped Mohammed Bawa Rijau (MBR) for Umar Nasko. It was a counter-strategy to stop the GEJ political compensation for IBB. Umar became a choice due to his background as the son of a former Military general. Governor Aliyu wants to remain relevant in the political power-game, as keeping a military General (Gado Nasko) in a political battalion means a strong defence to win.
Gen. Gado Nasko is, according to reports, working under-ground to make his son the next governor of Niger State by 2015.

 

General Abdul-Salam’s Political Battalion

 

Gen. Abdul-Salam Abubakar is not left-out in the game. He is working for a family relative under a different political party platform. Gen. Abdul-Salam is said to be working to make Abubakar Sani Bello the next governor by 2015 under the APC platform. He is not for Umar Nasko neither Mohammed IBB. The APC 2015 gubernatorial hopeful, Abubakar Sani Bello, is a wealthy business man and son of former military governor of the old Kano State, retired Col. Sani Bello. Mustapha, popularly known as Abu Lolo, a former Commissioner for Commerce and Investment in the Governor Aliyu administration, resigned his appointment and went back to face his business.

Bello is the chairman of Millennium Air, a subsidiary of Millennium Travels and Tour, chairman of Properties and Estate Limited, and a Board Member of various other companies including Communication Services, Health insurance to general trading.

 

Who wins the battle?

 

All the three players are tough. They have the power, political connection and resources needed to be in the 2015 polls.  It is left to the people who are the backbone of democracy, to decide the number one citizen of Niger State, come 2015.

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