Our Political Correspondent reports that as the 2015 general elections draw closer, more contenders are trouping out to vie for seats in Nasarawa state, especially the exalted seat of the governor, currently occupied by APC’s Tanko Al-Makura
Some of the governorship aspirants according to our investigations may not deliver due to their antecedents and the party they belong to. It is on record that only four political parties out of the over 50 registered parties have supporters on ground as well party offices in Nasarawa state.
The PDP as a party is at the vantage position to regain the state from the APC, but the major snag of the party is the absence of internal democracy. If the party resolves its in-house lacuna, sky will be the starting point of the party. The endorsement of a popular candidate in the opposition party in the state in person of the former governor, Akwe Doma or Yusuf Agabi may compel the APC to embark on serious campaign but other governorship aspirants ranging from Maku, Ewuga, Angbazo, Ombugaku, Musa Hussaini, Chris Mamman would be a mere walk-over for the sitting governor.
The politics of Nasarawa state has been polarized along tribal and religious lines, but the worst of all is the wanton killings by Eggon militia – the Ombatse. The invasion of scores of communities in the name of politics is a determining factor that the state is descending into abyss.
Ever since the mass killings of security agents and the confiscation of deadly weapons by the group and the recommendation of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to embark on the disarmament of the sophisticated weapons seized by Ombatse which is yet to be in force; is a signal towards bloodletting come 2015.The mass exodus of Eggons to the opposition party is another factor – that the Eggons have an agenda to create confusion not in PDP but in the state in general. This may gave the incumbent governor a soft landing to return to the Shendam Road Government House.
Top contenders for the governorship race from the three Senatorial zones in the state are as follows:
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura – APC
He is the sitting governor that came to power without any support from a godfather in 2011. Al-Makura remains the best governor since the advent of democracy in 1999 to date. He established the Taal Model schools, Township road networks and uplift of the health sector. The governor implemented the N18, 900 to civil servants, ungraded water and electricity supply among others.
The worst thing is the rising spate of killings which was politically motivated, according to an Eggon elder, Dogara Angbo. The ad-hoc chairman committee on the selection and actualization of Eggon governor, project 2015 stated this during a press conference in Lafia. The major challenges of governor Al-Makura were his hand in-glove to prosecute those indicted by the judicial commission of Inquiry over Alakyo killings.
In spite of the exemplary leadership style, intermittent killings and mass exodus of people still potent danger to the state. No fewer than 10,000 people have been killed while scores of communities were displaced. This did not only affect the socio-economic activities of the state but also affect the enrollment of students in the crisis prone zones.
Mr Labaran Maku – PDP
The former Minister of Information is an Eggon from Nasarawa Eggon. He is versatile. He has all it takes to be the Governor of Nasarawa state but his major huddle was the emergence of Ombatse (it’s now our time, An Eggon militia group) with an Eggon agenda. The group has political connotation. It is believed to have killed over 20,000 people as well displaced various communities. Maku will experience the bitter pills of politics as Nasarawa politics is polarized by ethnicity and religion. He may not have it lightly in Nasarawa west while in Nasarawa south, a senatorial district with five Local Governments and a centre point that decide who became the next Governor.
The Migili in Obi and Lafia Local Government will not vote an Eggon man neither a Gwandara man from Iggah community of Nasarawa Eggon and Burum-Burum (Ana) would vote an Eggon man as a governor, Also a Bare-bari man from Lafia Local Government will not support an Eggon man for any political office despite the inter marriage that exist between the two, none an Alago man from Keana,Obi and Assakio,Lafia Local Government will support Eggon for governorship in 2015.
The only Alago community that will support the candidature of an Eggon man is Doma due to religious inclination and internal crisis within, a statistic according to the bureau of statistic revealed that Nasarawa South senatorial district with 5 Local Governments has a population of more than the voting strength of the two senatorial zone. Again within the Eggons, the ex-minister was compelled to forget his governorship ambition in 2015. This was the position of Eggon stakeholders during a press conference held by the Eggons recently.
Also documents from one of the secret meetings held by the Eggons to create ten Eggon chiefdom in Nasarawa south and North may not go down well with other tribes in the two zones. However, the former minister is a candidate to beat as he has the backing of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Senator Solomon Ewuga – PDP
He is the current senator representing Nasarawa south under the APC before he decamped to the PDP. He is grass root mobilizer not only among his Eggon kinsmen but extended to other tribes in the state. The Ombatse crisis has completely crippled his chances of vying for governorship. The sour relationship that exists between him and the past governor, his political mentor, Abdullahi Adamu may affect his political pedigree in Nasarawa west.
Another reason was that Ewuga among other five prominent sons of Eggon nation where indicted by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry as financiers, abettors and sponsors of Ombatse. The indictment may constitute another cogwheel to his Governorship ambition as some politicians described the aspiration of Ewuga as a victory nearer but so far from him. The second reason that may truncate Ewuga’s chance of winning Nasarawa state if given the PDP ticket was his ailing health, The father of Eggon politics is facing and will face the bitter piles of governing the diverse ethnic group.
Architect Stanley Buba – APC
He is a one-time Local Government chairman of Akwanga under the PDP and the Interim Committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress before he parted ways with the ruling party in the state. Some politicians described him as a joker. The embattled interim chairman of the ruling party in the state lacks the willpower to win election at his electoral ward. It was gathered that Stanley Buba was one politician in troubled waters as it is no longer news that he only delivered his Local Government to the ruling party by a whisker.
His 4+4=8 standpoint did not see the light of the day because of the way the executive of the party were victimized by Stanley and his cohort. The ITC chairman of the APC was the brain behind the defection of the Deputy Governor who is loyal to his master before water runs dry. Stanley was a man that was accused of financial incongruity by diverting over N30m gathered by the party from the sale of nomination forms to chairmen and councillorship aspirants in the last Local Government election. The question that needed answer is the estranged interim chairman will contest under which platform; APC, is he ready to suffer the same fate?
Mr Chris Mamman
An Eggon man from Nasarawa North senatorial district is the immediate past National President of Eggon Cultural Development Association (ECDA) before he resigned to join other aspirants. The chances of Mamman to clinch the PDP governorship ticket is slim. He is a weak candidate and the reason being that he cannot penetrate either Nasarawa west or Nasarawa south as an independent candidate. Other factor is that Chris Mamman is not boyant enough to compete with other aspirant as politics is now for the highest bidder. Mamman was a factional leader of ECDA. He is out to protect the vote of Eggon from compromising to another candidate other than Eggon politician.
Abubakar Danger – PDP
He is a unionist and an errand boy to the former governor, Abdullahi Adamu. He is presently cooing his feet behind the walls at Lafia prison over an allegation of armed robbery attack at the residence of Sangarin Kwandare by Ahmadu Al-Makura.
Michael Abdul – PDP
Is the immediate past Deputy Governor under Governor Aliyu Akwe Doma. He served from 2007-2011. His chances of ruling the state is unclear because even in Akwanga his Local Government is difficult for him to win election as he was not able to end the chieftaincy debacle that dragged Akwanga backward, A flag bearer of the PDP may not have it likely with the Eggons who are anxious to rule the state in 2015. It was during the reign of Governor Almakura that 3-5 Km Township roads were constructed, an achievement that was never recorded during the PDP regime for three consecutive times.
Senator John Danboyi – PDP
He is a Mada by tribe and a former senator of the federal republic. He is a popular politician among his Mada people. His greatest challenge was that is not having the backing of the state executive of the party. Another challenge of the Danboyi is that is insolvent as money now determines the strength of aspirant.
Yusuf Mohammed Agabi – PDP
He is a retired federal civil servant and one of the top contenders to watch in the party’s primary election,His campaign billboard filted the roads of Nasarawa state from south to west, North to east excluding his posters, The Abuja-based politician it was gathered lacks the leadership quality to lead the people of Nasarawa state to the promise land, Some politicians described him as a deceiver. His ambition has been taken over by an event according to some indigents while expressing their opinion maintained that Akwe Doma is from Nasarawa south spent four years as Governor,Tanko Al-Makura spent four years as Governor the same Nasarawa south that Agabi held from,This alone has weaken his political pedigree to contest with the present Shendam road landlord.
Within the PDP the presidency may lure him with federal appointment as it was revealed that his main ambition is to be the Director of Federal Inland Revenue Service. Agabi, is seen by the national body of the party as the only aspirant that can challenge the incumbent being a Lafia man.
Aliyu Akwe Doma – PDP
Akwe Doma is the immediate past Governor of Nasarawa state. He hails from Doma Local Government. He was sent out of the Shendam Road Government House in a bid for his second term. The initiator of 13 point of Alago extraction may have some chances but his tenure was marred by incessant strike actions by workers that culminated into why he was booted out of the seat. The good thing about Doma’s regime was that the security of lives and properties was guaranteed not like the incumbent administration that lives are being lost on daily basis.
Stakeholders in the state attributed the crisis experienced in the last three years to bitter politics. The former governor still have a helping hand and a say in the state executive of the party, four years after he vacated the seat of power as his cabinet members are still obedient to him unlike the present administration that commissioners have hidden agendas. This ground may give him the leverage to carry the day.
Colonel Jibrin Bala Yakubu – PDP
The former military governor of Zamfara state and a card carrying member of the PDP, has a governorship ambition that is questionable. The reason is that he is not popular in the political fold. He was in detention for an alleged murder case of Late Kudirat Abiola during the era of Late General Sani Abacha. His shortfalls include lacks of party structure the absence of which may affect his governorship ambition. Money also determines one’s political strength. He hails from Nasarawa south senatorial district, a senatorial district that the former Governor, Akwe Doma is from. Going by the PDP arrangement Jibrin Yakubu is automatically screened out of the race.
Mathew Ombugaku -APGA
He is from Nasarawa Eggon. His ambition was to ensure that the Eggon agenda of ruling Nasarawa state sees the light of the day by all means. His political strength is only between Nasarawa Eggon and Akwanga but will not make any impact in Nasarawa west. He could however, generate votes from the southern zone of the state.
Angbazo is a son to the sitting monarch of the Eggon extraction Bala Angbazo. The APC even in the absence of a governorship aspirant cannot endorse him. The reasons is that for the past three years after governor Al-Makura attained that position, the princess never attended any party meetings or event. This alone is enough to screen him out of the race.
Only time shall tell who steps into the shoe of the imcumbent Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura come 2015.