…Over Kebbi Central Senatorial District
By Haruna Aliyu Usman, Birnin Kebbi
A long standing harmonious relationship between Abubakar Gari Mallam, Shattiman Gwandu and Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero is for the second time heading to the rocks as the two are set for a political show down. The face off began when Atiku Abubakar defected to All Progressives Congress (APC) to fly the gubernatorial flag, making Kebbi Central senatorial district vacant.
It can be recalled that in 2007 Aliero sent delegation to Shattima to convince him to resign his Customs appointment to succeed him, and he Shattima accepted the offer from his friend and mentor but was later dumped for Saidu Nasamu Dakingari. Angered by the betrayal, Shattima defected to Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) where he enjoyed compassion from Kebbians who condemned Aliero’s action and vowed to defeat his candidate, even then it was a fierce political battle between the duo, as it was the first time their relationship got sour. In the end it was Aliero who rose victorious though it was widely believed that the polls were massively rigged.
People’s opinions were sampled to critically analyze the possibilities of either Shattima or Aliero to triumph. Aliero’s boy was the first to be contacted by Alhaji Ibrahim Bande but he snubbed, later his errand boy Alhaji Kabiru giant was also visited but declined to talk on the issue but decided to be contacted on phone. From Shattima’s side none of his closest aides could be reached for comments.
However, a handful of people offered to speak their minds on both Shattima and Aliero. One Mustapha Ahmed, a resident of Badariya area in Birnin Kebbi, said Aliero may want to capitilise on APC’s popularity in the state to win his election, but he said such may not work because his poor relationship with civil servants when he was the governor of Kebbi State will come to play. Ahmed added that people of Birnin Kebbi will not be quick to forget what he did during his reign, saying his government was only enjoyed by contractors not civil servants. He concluded, therefore, that “we will certainly vote for Buhari not Aliero or Shattima.”
Aliyu Tanko of Bayan Kara area in Birnin Kebbi is an ardent supporter of Aliero. His words “I know Aliero as a human being and a leader must have had some short-comings during his time but is still better than Shattima who betrayed his people at the eleventh hour.”
He said “during DPP people lost their jobs and blood brothers/sisters were not at speaking terms because of Shatima but he later mended fences with Aliero at the expense of his followers. No votes for Shatima,” he said and added that he may have been forgiven if he had joined APC.
Attahiru Aliyu was optimistic that Aliero may perhaps rely on the wind of change blowing across the country, as that may work for him. The mood of the town is sixty percent for Aliero, going by talks from people and in the market square especially those whose names prepared to be withheld saying “we love Shatima but he belongs to the wrong party and took side with Nasamu government that was also not enjoyed by both civil servants and contractors.”
In conclusions the duo are now at each other’s throat; the battle for Kebbi central is far from over until the baton is taken by Shatima or Senator Aliero As the drama unfolds we are but patient onlookers.