The northern political axis of Nigeria has never really excelled in the theatrics that characterise the other regions. If anything, the region has always come across to most onlookers as gruff, concise, with a touch of being frustratingly confident. All that might be changing as the political scrambles are shedding light on the nuances that run in the pipelines.
For those who aren’t in the know, the recent emergence of Aminu Tambuwal – the Executive Governor of Sokoto State – as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum (NGF) has not been met with open arms in all quarters. The North East Elders have been allegedly particularly emphatic in labelling the supportive camaraderie of Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba State Governors as a blatant betrayal.
While the Governors – Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi and Darius Ishaku of Taraba – have been allegedly accused of disloyalty to the Elders’ invested trust, Tambuwal has been accused of oiling his personal interests and prepping for the 2023 presidential election over to which his interests have turned.
Giving flesh to the debacle, the Elders, led by Dauda Yakubu, have been reported as being very disproving of Tambuwal, especially after he allegedly publicised his presidential ambition in newspapers – even though he is aware that it is the turn of the North East to produce the next Nigerian President. Making an instance of enduring presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, the Elders were described as maintaining that there are better, more qualified folks who are patiently waiting for their turn to be President – not excluding former Minister, Senator and current Bauchi State governor Bala Mohammed, as well as other PDP North East governors.
Furthermore, Tambuwal’s new role has also been allegedly opposed based on the fact that he is also the Deputy Chairman of the NGF, and so clearly cannot hold two positions at the same time. Further accused of being manipulated by a South-South Governor, it seems Tambuwal’s emergence has sparked off a little obstruction.
With the alleged additional claim that Atiku would have won the last presidential election if it had been free and fair, it is not yet evident what the North East Elders are after: the immediate vacation of Tambuwal from the PDP NGF Chairmanship Seat, or the installation of Atiku, Bala Mohammed, or any of the other North East Governors as Nigerian President.
The stakeholders, in a statement by its leader, Dauda Yakubu noted that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Atiku has what it takes to win a presidential election, noting that if the last election was free and fair, the former Vice President would have won it.
The elders, who also rejected Tambuwal as the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, said they can’t afford to miss the next opportunity of getting the position, which has eluded the zone for many years.
The North East Stakeholders further noted that Tambuwal is also the Deputy Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, adding that he cannot hold two positions at the same time.
They said that they cannot work with somebody who has been manipulated by a South South governor and who depends on somebody for direction.