Zamfara 2019: Yari, Yerima battle for supremacy

Posted by Ifeanyi Chukwu, Nwannah | 9 August 2018 | 5,850 times

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•Photo collage of Governor Yari and Senator Yerima

Since the coming of democracy to the country in 1999, only one person, Senator Yerima has been deciding the political fate of over four million citizens of Zamfara state.

That is why it becomes unarguable that Senator Yarima has been adjudged and believed to be the doyen of Zamfara politics. He is the decisive guru as far as Zamfara politics is concerned. And that explains why no other party has formed government in the state apart from the party being controlled by the Senator.

Former Governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi was elected as the Governor of the state through the political influence of Senator Yarima in 2007. But he decamped to the People Democratic Party in 2008 while still a Governor but he could not complete his constitutional second term because he defected to PDP. He was dethroned and Senator Yarima enthroned Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari as the State Governor. Ever since then, Alhaji Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi has not got the mandate to complete his second tenure until he finally defected to APC to realize his second term ambition.

But today, the political climate in the state towards 2019 governorship election is mostly represented by the contest for who becomes the new landlord of Gusau Government House. It is very obvious that the tenure of Governor Abdulaziz Yari is fast rolling to an end and a new Governor is expected to emerge.

The general belief, no doubt is that the APC is likely to produce the next Governor following the political permutation of the political pundits. This is mainly based on the fact that ANPP has been forming government in the state since 1999 through the political weight of Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima.

But things appear to take a dramatic change. Even though APC is believed to be the party to produce the Governor in 2019 but this time it may likely not be Senator Yarima that would decide who becomes the Governor unlike before when he was the Alpha and Omega in Zamfara politics.

Governor Abdulaziz Yari is seriously creating his own political dynasty within the APC in the state. There is no doubt that he has hijacked the APC structures in the whole state. There is no other way to interpret the story other than to conclude that he has thrown Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima’s political influence into a waste paper basket. The Senator himself can only be seen but not heard in Zamfara politics.

The aspirants to various political offices are now clamouring around Governor Abdulaziz Yari putting on their political armour and wielding their political weapons for the grand duel. Consultations upon consultations have been going on within and outside the state up to the extent of chasing the Governor to Saudi Arabic.

There is also another factor pinpointing to the fact that internal crisis may tear the party apart in the state since there is a very strong indication that the Governor may not hand over power to his deputy, Mallam Ibrahim Wakkala due to some reasons best known to the Governor, even though they have been piloting the state together since 2011.

However, one cannot be blind to what is happening within the government led by Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari. As long as APC is concerned in the state, all eyes are on the Governor to produce who would replace him. Though, Zamfara people have so much respect and admiration for Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima but then the unexpected may happen.

For Senator Garba Kabiru Marafa, it is very clear that he has lost the APC ticket based on the fact that he is neither with Senator Yerima nor the Governor but he is a lone ranger even though some political analysts are of the view that he may defect to another party to realize his ambition as he did in 2011 when he defected from PDP to ANPP and won the Zamfara Senatorial election defeating the PDP’s candidate, Senator Hassan Mohammad Nasiha.

Other governorship hopefuls are former Governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi who is bidding to complete his second tenure, the state Commissioner for Education, Hon. Muttaka Muhammad Rini, Hon. Hassan Anka representing Anka/Talata Mafara in the House of Representatives, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Engr. Abu Magaji and the Former First Bank Executive Director, Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare.

However, a reliable and competent source told Daily Independent that both the Governor and Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima, the two political gladiators in the ruling party have agreed that the next Governor would come from Zamfara Central zone that has never produce any Governor since 1999, saying that, the Deputy Governor was the candidate of Senator Yaeima whom the reliable source said Governor Abdulaziz Yari rejected out rightly.

The same source hinted that any person that served with the Governor might not be considered since Senator Yerima rejected the candidate of the Governor who he said was the State Commissioner of Finance, Hon. Idris Shehu. Since then, the people of the state have been put in the dark over who would be APC governorship candidate as things have fallen apart between the Governor and Senator over who becomes the party’s flag bearer for 2019 governorship election which the source said that a candidate must definitely emerge no matter what happens.

However, it was gathered that, since both the Senator and the Governor have not agreed on a common candidate, it is being suggested that Former First bank Boss, Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare may be anointed to fly the APC flag in 2019 but no statement from both the Governor and the Senator has been made public regarding who would be the party’s candidate.

Although, all the contenders for the plum job have not relaxed their efforts even though it is very much clear that there are contenders and pretenders yet many of them have no business in politics but they are in politics because it is the easiest means to make money in Nigeria’s politics, that is why they are being described as pretenders.

But the politics of Zamfara remains that whosoever the powers that be have anointed would definitely run away with victory no matter how incompetent they may be. That is the contemporary and timid politics we are seeing in the state.

•Sourced from a Daily Independent report

Source: News Express

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