BY IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH
Former governor Shinkafi says his defeat at the just concluded Governorship/State House of Assembly elections was a coup. Even though he claimed that his defeat was the handwork of APC lords in Zamfara State he continues to receive a loud ovation from his supporters in the state. To some of his supporters, Abdulaziz Yari did not win any election in the state. The first time the former governor spoke after the election was that he rejects the result from INEC and would contest any level. He has gone to the election tribunal on Monday 20th April 2015.
Governor Shinkafi who has always bowed to his supporters even after his alleged defeat is honored even though he was not allowed to return to the Gusau Government House. But according to one of his supporters, the former governor should beware of sycophants who betrayed him but some intervened, saying that the loud ovation was enough honor for the gentle former governor. Everybody believed by Sunday April 12th that former governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi’s second attempt to return to the Gusau Government House was up even before the result was declared except Shinkafi himself and some of his die hard supporters.
The ebony former governor had always relied on the support of the people as he was made to understand during the campaign periods that Governor Yari’s tenure was ended but he was not able to survive various plots to scuffle his political ambition. But that wasn’t a worthy ally getting the PDP men to give him their total support.
Shinkafi had believed that the latest attempt to remove governor Yari from office by his teeming supporters would come to naught but he was proved wrong. When the All Progressive Congress (APC) executed their coup, the PDP bigwigs in the state had deserted him except the minister of state, Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda.
Shinkafi was governor Yari’s notable rival in the April 11th election for the governorship position just has he was in 2011 election. Former governor Shinkafi had earlier, in his electioneering campaign promised the people that he would provide them with more dynamic leadership and ensure the dividends of democracy from his leadership. But some APC groups had listed one of the former governor’s sins during his first tenure as his refusal to up hold the implementation of the alleged political shariah of Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima.
The dust had hardly settled on the allegation against shinkafi when the APC lords started to use political permutations to stop his bid to the Government House. Some people told this reporter that Shinkafi was too slow. His critics said such does not augur well with democracy especially when Yarima is involved in Zamfara politics. Again the PDP heavy weights disconnected themselves from the people that matter in the field of play. They said no politician can achieve success without the support or mandate of the masses, the PDP men ignored the masses.
Although some of the people who spoke to this reporter said they had earlier during Shinkafi’s first tenure told him to change his style of leadership and stop Alhaji Musa Zubairu, Ibrahim Malaha etc. from dictating for him in his government. They said for that, Shinkafi had no moral authority to return back to power. Even though a hurried
peace meeting by Shinkafi die hard supporters failed to produce a beneficial result. They claimed that because of the way and manner Musa Zubairu and Ibrahim Malaha handled shinkafi’s administration, they were fed up with the whole system and feared that it may happen again.
But Shinkafi has remained defiant not willing to go down quietly. After the election on April 11th former governor Shinkafi still stood his ground saying that he will fight it out. He said that he will not let his supporters and people of Zamfara down. Shinkafi claimed that the election was rigged by APC, INEC and the security operatives “you
can see the people protested on Sunday April 12th. He said that the constitution allows his supporters to embark on public demonstration because the APC leaders arrogated to themselves so much interest in power that they become power drunk.
Recounting the events which led to his defeat, the former governor said that the government of Abdulazeez Yari was dictatorial and that democracy under the government was a sham, saying that Zamfara has been turned to a beggar state. This some of the shinkafi’s supporter’s sain that any civil servant who either voted against APC or even
refused to vote for the ruling party would automatically be sacked.
They said that democracy died in Zamfara on may 29th 2011. Alhaji Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi is a political enigma, an apostle of change, generally acknowledged as patient, selfless and gentle in formed knowledge and enlightened. He had in his first tenure redefined the priorities of the government to ensure that impact positively on his people and restored the lost valued system; a priority with a vision of a better setting for his people.
Born in 1958 to the family of the renowned merchant, late Alhaji Aliyu Bisije, of cherished memory in Shinkafi town, he attended Qur’an School in the early years of his life. In the immediate latter years between 1964 and 1971, the young Mahmuda was enrolled into Shinkafi township primary school. On completion of his primary school, he got admission into the Government Secondary School Shinkafi only to be transferred to the Government Secondary School Zaria from where he graduated in 1979.
After his secondary education, he got admission into Ahmadu Bello University where he got his Bachelor of Science degree in Business administration in 1984. He was then drafted into the national youth service corps (NYSC) to Ogun State in 1984/1985 service year. After completing the national service, he began his working carrier with a family firm, flour mills of Nigeria Plc Apapa Lagos. After about five years of service with the flour mills, he rose to the position of management training/Personal Assistant to the managing director and latter the chief Executive officer in charge of appraisal of subsidiary operations, overseeing Baco and Burham cement companies in Lagos.
In 1987, Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi got employment with the international merchant bank plc, Kano branch and he latter rose to the rank of supervisor credit analysis and marketing.
In 1991, he resigned from the bank and secured employment with the Smartex Textile Limited as Director, and latter director affirm Pex as director between 1995 and 1998 and he resigned again to join Zamfara Air Services as managing director.
Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi began his political carrier in 1992. It was then he joined the defunct NRC presidential campaign of his elder brother, Alhaji Umaru Aliyu Shinkafi (Marafan Sokoto) “choice 92” and was appointed presidential campaign director in charge of Kano and Jigawa States. In 1998, when the political embargo was lifted he was chosen by the governorship candidate of the All People Party (APP) Alhaji Ahmed Sani Yarima to stand as his running mate in 1999.
The APP won their landslide victory. He chaired various committees under Yarima’s administration as the deputy Governor. He deputized more often and at more important government affairs than any deputy governor in the then previous administration of General Obasanjo in the country since the then governor Yarima was always traveling around the globe.
Mahmuda deeply respected Yarima then, he clearly understood the fact not know to most of the people in Yarima’s cabinet then. That gave him the opportunity to be the only deputy governors in the country succeed his boss in 2007.