Since the beginning of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, Nasarawa State never had it so good like now and under the leadership of Governor Tanko Al-Makura. With his mounting the saddle of leadership in 2011, Al-Makura has so far left no one in doubt as to his mission and vision to transform the state and its people for the better.
In spite of the fact that everything seem to be working for him, pundits however, argue that Al-Makura should be careful in order to avoid leading the APC to a major avoidable crisis resulting into an unprecedented defeat come 2019 general election if feelers around are taken into consideration.
It was reliably gathered that the APC organs in the state from the wards to state level are asking to be carried along whenever there would be deliberation as well as decisions to be taken collectively.
Again, as his tenure comes to an end, with the political terrain already charged with several party stalwarts coming out to declare their intention to run for the seat of the governor, another crisis seem to be brewing capable of causing the APC to implode and to pave the way for the opposition to come back to power. There appears to be growing apprehension over Al-Makura regarding his much acclaimed neutrality regarding the choice of his successor. The governor has on so many occasions stated his willingness to remain impartial in the selection of the flag bearer of the party ahead of the 2019 general election.
However, feelers from around showed that political pundits are advising Al-Makura not to install his successor albeit through the back door. There are speculations that the governor, seeking for a candidate with financial muscle to foot the 2019 political campaign leading to the governorship election, may compromise his initial claim to being neutral in the process leading to the picking of an acceptable candidate for the party.
If this is indeed true, then Al-Makura should be careful of sowing the seed that could eventually destroy the APC. It is further alleged that Al-Makura’s immediate family members are applying pressure on the governor, obviously in a bid to sustain their control on power even after leaving the Government House. Pundits argue that Aliyu Gusau who has been a member of the Peoples Democratic Party all the while, never won a councillorship seat for his party, leaving many to wonder why such a person should be instrumental in choosing a governor for Nasarawa State.
Another person whose name is being bandied is Arc. Shehu Tukur who has been working as consultant with the state government. Judging from comments and postings on social media by mostly direct aides to the governor, Shehu Tukur has been anointed to succeed Al-Makura.
This is coming against the backdrop that prominent politicians from across the state who have shown interest in running for the governorship ticket of the APC, have been going round the state, reaching out to the people, buoyed by the initial proclamation by the governor regarding his neutrality. Aware of his clandestine approach to subvert the electoral process through the back door by manipulating the scheduled primary to favour particular candidates, other governorship aspirants, it was gathered, have begun to mobilize themselves, holding meetings with a view to forging a common front to demand a free and fair process of arriving at a candidate for the APC in Nasarawa State.
The rising discontent among political appointees, members and supporters of the APC is another major source of concern if the party should retain its position come 2019. Through excessive domineering, Al-Makura should be wary of alienating nearly all relevant stakeholders. Most are aggrieved that Al-Makura deliberately chose to empower his cronies and to position them for elective position at the detriment of those that worked to bring him to power.
There is the case of one of his godsons, Yahaya Aliyu who is currently running for the Lafia Central state Assembly seat. It is believed that Al-Makura is sponsoring Aliyu as pay back for his loyalty while handling the governor’s personal projects being executed within the state capital and environs. Aliyu recently purchased eleven vehicles for his campaign office located along Jos Road.
Another of the governor’s henchmen in Keffi, Jibrin Suleiman, is set to contest the Keffi/Kokona/Karu Federal Constituency seat. Jibrin manages Al-Makura’s private businesses in Abuja. Also, Alhaji Abubakar Nalaraba, former chairman of the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, is being positioned for the Doma/Awe/Keana Federal Constituency seat. What appears worrisome is that these godsons of Al-Makura are expending enormous resources in their campaigns fuelling fears that they are being sponsored by the governor.
Ahead of the impending crisis within the party, the governor many say, may have been left only with the loyalty of his immediate family except for a few like Alhaji Danazumi Muhammed, SUBEB chairman, Suleiman Wambai, National Vice Chairman, North Central of the APC and the state Secretary of the party, Aliyu Bello who are on ground controlling affairs across all the wards and local governments of the state.
Since its establishment and institution of democratic rule in 1999, all three senatorial districts in Nasarawa State have produced its governor except one. That is the Northern Senatorial district comprising of Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon and Wamba local governments.
This has led to clamour by especially many from that Senatorial zone that it is their turn to occupy the number one citizen’s seat in Government House, Lafia.
But one of the leading contenders for the office of governor, Nasarawa State, Aliyu Ahmed Wadada has however rubbished the zoning issue. Wadada, the Baraden Keffi, was a former House of Representatives member representing Keffi, Kokona, Karu federal constituency.
The former federal lawmaker, who is contesting under APC, vehemently disassociates himself from any zoning policy in Nasarawa State, describing it as undemocratic and “not acceptable at all”.
Adamu wrote this piece from Lafia, Nasarawa State