By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
A contest averted by death in Niger
Many stakeholders had been looking forward to what was bound to be an interesting battle for the Niger East Senatorial seat in 2015. The battle was to be between Governor Babangida Aliyu who is now serving his second term in office and Senator Awaisu Kuta, a former labour activist who bestrode the Senate as a comrade and his constituency with passion.
Given the trend of many second term governors, suspicion had arisen about three years ago about the intention of Governor Aliyu who is from Niger East to take the seat from Senator Awaisu.
That suspicion had led to a political chasm between the two men leading to subtle battles between the two politicians and their followers. Governor Aliyu was expected to use his power of incumbency to confront Awaisu who was expected to defend himself using his connections with the grassroots.
As political stakeholders looked up to the coming battle, no one considered the input of death which took away Senator Awaisu on June 12.
Now the bye-election to find a replacement for the seat has opened a dilemma for those who were championing the Aliyu for Senate crusade. How do you find somebody who will agree to vacate the seat next year without causing troubles for their man?
The immediate past deputy governor of the state, Dr. Zagbayi Nuhu was adopted by stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the seat at a stakeholders meeting that some alleged was stage managed. Not surprisingly, a disputant, Abdullahi Musa, a former member of the House of Representatives, has emerged setting the stage for a fight that many thought had been buried with the death of Senator Awaisu Kuta.
Dr. Ike Ekweremadu (PhD in view) Fiscal Federalism
Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the man who has championed the cause for the implementation of federalism in its true shape and structure may have surprised many with the news that he is a doctoral student of the University of Abuja.
Ekweremadu, a constitutional lawyer who taught law at the University of Nsukka in the late nineties before the advent of the Fourth Republic, according to reports,
recently successfully defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Abujaay.
The gist of the defence is the fact that the focus of Ekweremadu’s thesis is on Fiscal Federalism, a subject that he has severally defended with passion. In his pursuit, Ekweremadu has rubbished the system as obtainable in Nigeria as Feeding Bottle Federalism.
Congrats, Dr. Ekweremadu
Whither President Marwa?
When the erstwhile military governor of Lagos and Borno States, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, entered the political arena in the middle of the last decade, it was with great aplomb. Many considered that the solid record of the man were assets for a good presidential material.
Marwa’s proposal on security in the run up to the 2007 presidential primaries of the PDP was exceptional as he drew from the blueprint implemented in the well applauded Operation Sweep which he masterminded as governor of Lagos State.
However, President Olusegun Obasanjo at that time thought otherwise as he looked beyond Marwa and another well prepared prospect, Alhaji Mohammed Makarfi for Alhaji Umaru Yar‘adua who was not less good, but for the circumstances of his health.
Following his failure, Marwa has resorted to his native Adamawa State where he has prospected since then for the governorship. It is a sad tale that a man that should be looking up to provide leadership at the national level has been constrained to provincial squabbles.