BY IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH
The former aide and propagandist of two civilian Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Halliru Andi, who served former Governor Ahmad Sani Yarima as a Special Adviser on public enlightenment for eight years, has officially pitched his tent with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), saying that he joined CPC to enable him participate actively in Zamfara politics.
According to him, he spent eight years with former Governor Ahmad Sani Yarima and his All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), where he said he made a lot of enemies in the cause of Yarima’s eight years as the state Governor, as he pointed out that Yarima dumped him in 2007 soon after his tenure. He vowed that the mother of all political battles in Zamfara politics has just began, concealing the strategies he hope to use against Yarima, saying that if he should reveal his secrets, Yarima and his ANPP will work on them to counter him.
The politician said that he worked closely with the former Governor and knows him very well and he said that his secrets of how to end Yarima’s political dynasty in Zamfara will be revealed on the campaign grounds.
Halliru Andi, who also served under former Governor Shinkafi as a Senior Assistant, said he understand both Yarima and Shinkafi very well and described former governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi as the most popular politician in the state as of now. He then urged Shinkafi and his group to join forces with CPC to unseat the present ANPP controlled government in the state.
He noted that Shinkafi was disappointed in the 2011 general elections by the old members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying that the same group may again disappoint him in 2015. He urged the former Governor to dump PDP for Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) with his loyalists.
Speaking on General Muhammadu Buhari, Halliru Andi said that the retired General has proved himself beyond every reasonable doubt that he can pilot Nigeria to the Promised Land. He said General Buhari is the messiah Nigerians need to turn around the painful situation in the country.
Halliru Andi explained that Buhari was positioning Nigeria very well before his calculated comrade in arms, General Ibrahim Babangida on a Sallah Day palace coup removed him. According to him, Buhari has since 2004 been making another move to complete the work of renovation he started in 1984, this time through the ballot box. He said that the Daura born General is the answer to the economic and political problems of Nigeria, adding that General Buhari resolved to join the political fray because he is touched by serious political, economic and social problems bedevilling the country.
Again, Halliru Andi sees General Buhari as a symbol of salvation against the present administration led by president Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari he said is a hero in most northern parts of the country whom most people perceived as another Sardaunan Sokoto. Not because he is a northerner, but because he fits into the bidding of the whole Nigerians. Alhaji Halliru Andi urged Nigerians to join forces and bring Buhari to power to help them restructure the whole system which are all decayed. He pointed out that during General Buhari’s regime between 1984 and 1985; the rate of killings and corruption were low to compare with the rate of killings and corruption in the country today.
General Buhari was the flagbearer of All Nigeria Peoples Party in 2003 and 2007 but pulled out of the party and became the flag bearer of Congress for Progressive Change in 2011. Though the General is being accused of some misdeeds during his military regime, as many people accuse him of sacking democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari which they said is an offence against democracy. Yet most people especially in the northern part of the country idolize him and look at the General as an instant hero.
The killing of three drug pushers on the same day is another bitter experience by his critics, who believe that the memories of the deceased are still haunting the General as public opinion insist that the three drug pushers do not deserve to die. But the loyalists of the General believe that an issue as serious as drug pushing deserves killing to curb the menace.
According to Halliru Andi, General Buhari deserves the sympathy of the Northern elders to canvass the block support of Nigerians over his presidential aspiration. He said that the Emirs should throw their support behind General Buhari essentially because of the North.
But the General offended the Emirs because when he was on throne, he suspended the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and the Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade for visiting Israel. The abolition of private universities is also attributed to his regime’s failure including the Federal Government owned Open University which dashed the hope of several people who were engaged in one program or the other in the institution. Some of the accusations are that General Buhari did not have a transitional program for democratic feeling.
Most of his critics are his kinsmen who shared the same faith with him including Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Sule Lamido, Mohammed Shatu and many others most from the north. Most of them do not want General Buhari because of their bitter experience in the hands of the General when he was the Head of State. They are of the belief that he would not change because of his military orientation. They are afraid of his utterances and believe that he has not changed.
The claim is that he refused to appear before the Oputa Panel which investigated human right violation during the military era.
General Buhari is criticized for not forgiving anybody who offended him. Alhaji Balarabe Musa once described the General as a risk and a curse to Nigeria, adding that if the North wants to produce an elected president, there can be at least one presidential material in each of the Local Government areas in the region instead of Buhari.
Well, whatever happens, the election is the acid test. Time will tell and the beauty of democracy is that everyone has the right to freedom of expression within the limits set by the law.
If General Buhari is triumphant at the polls, he will have the last laugh. But if he fails to, it will then be a time for sober reflection and a veritable lesson.