BY BALA AJIYA
GOVERNOR Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State first emerged as chief executive through the constitutional provision that makes it mandatory for deputy governors to assume the governorship role of their states if the governor is either incapacitated or dies in office.
His reign was initially to complete the tenure of Senator Mamman Ali, who was elected in 2007 but died on January 27, 2009. When he was the deputy governor, he was hardly visible because all important functions of government were performed by his boss.
On assumption of power, however, the searchlight fell on him and everything he did in his new role became important.
His election as governor was not without challenges because Senator Usman Al-bishir, who hitherto had contested the ticket in 2007 along side late Mamman Ali on the ticket of the All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP), gave him a run for his money by contesting and winning the ticket of the major opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Al-Bishir, who was a strong member of the ANPP had rattled the whole structure of his former party when he defected to the PDP and declared his intention to run for the governorship. At his defection ceremony, many notable members of the party including, Alhaji Mai Lawan Goroma, Arch. Mohammed Saleh and Baba Chiroma among others left the ANPP with him for the PDP.
Coming from the same geo-political zone with Governor Gaidam and having been elected twice to the Senate, Al-Bishir was thought to have greater political influence than the Yobe chief executive and it was a battle royale when the time came for the polls.
The Accountant-turned politician, who is in his late 50s, however, was no push over in politics and his victory was not only a loud statement of his acceptability to the people at the grassroots but also a confirmation of his political dexterity.
Gaidam’s election has proved that his political base is not just strong but equally solid throughout Yobe State as can be attested to by the landslide victory he recorded.
One of the strongest issues before Gaidam in his second coming is how to re-unite the people of Yobe State, especially members of his party, so that the ANPP would continue to hold sway in the state.
Of equal importance is how to ensure even development throughout the three senatorial districts to give the citizenry sense of belonging. He has proved to be a good public administrator during his first tenure and more development is expected in his second tenure.
Governor Gaidam can be said to be a lucky individual because the likes of Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, three-time governor of Yobe, who is widely acclaimed as the “father of Yobe politics” is there for him to seek guidance from always.
He equally has Alhaji Sani Inuwa Nguru, the ANPP state chairman, Alhaji Sidi Yakubu Karasuwa, who was the director general of his campaign organization and Engr. Baba Goni Machina, an accomplished administrator, to lean on. This crop of politicians and many more as well as the dedicated civil service are expected to make him sit up to achieve results.
On the opposition front, Gaidam has Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri three-time minister of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria and two-time gubernatorial candidate of the PDP and Al-Bishir to contend with.
These and many more are some factors and personalities that may make Governor Gaidam sit up in his task of governing Yobe State between 2011 and 2015.