Sokoto Guber: A critical look at Tambuwal’s chances

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By Maryam Musa

Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has won the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship ticket in Sokoto state. Tambuwal won with a total of 3,466 votes cast, ahead of Senator Umaru Dahiru and Yusau Kebbe who scored 23 and 13 votes respectively.
Tambuwal’s victory now sets him against either Ambassador Abdallah Wali, Deputy Governor Muktari Shagari or former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman who are the major governorship aspirant for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket.

In assessing the chances of Tambuwal in governing Sokoto state from 2015 several factor come into play. These include the political platform, incumbency and endorsement by prominent opinion leaders, without excluding the nature and the capacity of PDP in the state.

The APC as a political platform appears more solid and united than the PDP which is fragmented. The crisis in Sokoto PDP between the group led by former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa which wants Wali to emerge as governorship candidate of the party is opposed by the Shagari group which depends on Abuja for support. This prompted the PDP national headquarters to send Tony Aneni to resolve the crisis, and according to a source, in favour of Shagari, which the Bafarawa group rejected and the crisis remains unresolved. It is expected that the crisis would be reflected in the number of vote to be scored by whosoever wins the yet to be conducted PDP governorship primaries. But one thing is certain, whosoever wins cannot have a landslide victory as Tambuwal’s and the fallout of the primaries may further weaken the chances of the PDP governorship candidate to win the 2015 governorship election.

Another issue in favour of Tambuwal is the fact on ground that PDP appears not saleable in the state particularly for the antecedents and conduct of Bafarawa and the perception of President Goodluck Jonathan by Sokoto people, of being anti-north and anti-Muslims, compounded by criticisms against him (Jonathan) by former President Obasanjo, Wole Soyinka and other prominent personalities across the country.

Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, who leads the APC battleship is fully in control of all the political structures in the state and has been able to ensure that no major crisis erupts within the state ruling party; his endorsement of Tambuwal recently has been described as a political strategy to ensure that credible and unbeatable flag-bearer of the party emerges, out of the aspirants.

Acting state APC Chairman in Sokoto, Alhaji Usman Danmadamin Isa, Friday, told newsmen that the emergence of Tambuwal is a blessing to the party, which entertains no fear from any candidate that emerges from the PDP aspirants who, according to him, are Abuja-based, with no connection to the grass-roots.

And since Wamakko enjoys significant support for his performance and conduct, Tambuwal’s assurance that he would continue with the laudable people-oriented policies ad programme of Wamakko, according to observers, would also win more support for him, than any PDP governorship candidate who could reverse the trend which the people and various personality across the country applauded.

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