I read with keen interest long articles on Yobe politics by one Adam Mukhtar Jajimaji titled ’“Yobes Strange Politics” and a response to it by one Muhammed Babande published in DAILY TRUST of 21 August and PREMIUM TIMES platform. Yobe’s political scene had been strangely deadly silent. Political activities by Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai and a couple of others were the only signs that the political scene in the state was not totally dead.
Both interventions by Adam Mukhtar Jajimaji and Muhammed Babande are also another sign of the fact that politics in Yobe State is moving from a pedestrian level of chatter, as that carried out under lush neem trees after sumptuous dinners of ‘taushe and burabusko.’
On the political scene, Muhammed Babande cannot deny the fact that Yobe State government has never hidden its intention to impose a gubernatorial candidate on the state APC; by hook or crook. It is widely known on the Yobe political scene that the agenda is tribal. Nothing else. Because the governorship of Yobe State has stayed for almost two decades in Zone A, people of Yobe state want equity, so that power can shift. But the plot now is to retain power within the same tribe and clique. Already the people of Yobe state knew very well that the state government is to present an aspirant for the party to endorse. In Yobe it looks like governorship turned into ‘emir-ship.’ But time will tell. Trying to use the State’s wherewithal to impose that person on the people would not even be as bad as the fact that the motivation for doing this is tribal, and aimed at keeping Yobe within the control of an empire that doesn’t exist anymore.
Yesterday, a stakeholders meeting of Yobe APC was held in Damaturu, at the instance of the state government. But it is ironic that two term governor of the state Alhaji Bukar Abba Ibrahim was sidelined. Three times campaign manager that lead APC to victory in 2007, 2011 and 2015 Hon. Sidi Yakubu Karasuwa was also shut out. Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai, a gubernatorial aspirant that within a short time turned the fortunes of APC in Zone B was also sidelined. The so-called stakeholders meeting excluded these key figures because they are considered to be irrelevant to the plan to impose a gubernatorial candidate on the people of the state.
It is grossly dishonest to say that there is no political repression in Yobe state. It is widely known in Damaturu that thugs called ECOMOG, taking orders from a commissioner, have been pulling down billboards and posters of aspirants that the state government doesn’t like. If this is not a suffocation of the political space, what name can we give to this act of crass political brigandage? At a point, the political space was dense, until Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai took his campaign to all parts of Yobe State. In fact, hostility towards the aspirations of Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai and Hon. Sidi Yakubu Karasuwa is like a ‘state policy.’ Other aspirants and their supporters just went underground out of fear.
Overall, one can ask: why did Yobe State government used every means to ensure that direct APC party primary elections are not adopted? Why do they want to use their connections within the APC national leadership to ensure that only handpicked delegates can elect the gubernatorial candidate of the APC? What are they afraid of? Why are they trying every means possible to prevent the people of Yobe State from choosing their leaders? Let us not forget the fact that there is a case in court challenging the so-called congress that produced the so-called ‘delegates.’
Of course APC has a grip on the politics of Yobe State, but using the wherewithal of the state government to impose a candidate on the basis of a tribal or whatever selfish motive or consideration may not augur well for the party.
Gulani wrote this piece from Buni Yadi, Yobe State, email@example.com
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