By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The immediate past Governor of Kebbi State, Saidu Dakingari who flew the flag of the PDP easily wins back his seat after the mysterious surrender of the strong opposition parties.

LAST Saturday’s governorship re-run poll in Kebbi State was of little challenge to the immediate past Governor, Alhaji Nasamu Saidu Dakingari. He won handsomely after the opposition parties declared a no contest.

Although the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s records show that 15 political parties, including ACN, AD, ADC, ALP, ANPP, APGA, CPC, CPP, LP, NNPP, NSDP, NTP, PDP, PPA and PPP contested the rerun election, there did not seem to be any sign of serious contest against the PDP, particularly by AD, ADC, ALP, APGA, CPP, LP, NNPP, NSDP, NTP, PPA and PPP.

Prior to the defection by all members of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the withdrawal of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP governorship candidate from the contest, only these three political parties had veritable presence and relative force to challenge Dakingari.

Defection factor: One factor among others that helped Dakingari, was the defection of major strategists and political gladiators in the CPC prominent among whom were the twin brothers, Hassan and Hussaini Suleiman Kangiwa and Alhaji Umaru Abubakar Tafida.

Gov Dakingari

They were known to be the strong financiers of the party and their defection significantly weakened the CPC. The defection of the former Governor and CPC kingmaker, Senator Adamu Aliero completely buried whatever was left of the chances of the opposition.

Why Aliero followed suit: The earlier defection of the twin Kangiwas and Tafida is said to be the real reason why Senator Aliero and the CPC governorship candidate, Garu Mallam also defected to the PDP. “Aliero has no other alternative than to decamp to the PDP. We boosted his popularity in the CPC,” Hassan Kangiwa told Vanguard in an interview in Kebbi.

What also boosted Dakingari’s political strength that gave him absolute control of the outcome of the rerun was the defection of all supporters and governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki to the PDP. Added to this was the withdrawal of the ANPP and its governorship candidate, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad Argungu from the contest on the allegation of bias by INEC in favour of the PDP.

“From the onset, there was no fairness. When INEC scheduled a meeting of stakeholders in Kebbi in preparation for today’s rerun election, invitation was neither extended to my party or myself who is its governorship candidate. There are processes that lead to an election. Election itself is only an event and if the processes are faulty, the event is bound to be faulty. INEC has made a date with the PDP and the ANPP and i cannot be party to this anomaly,” Argungu had told Vanguard.

Bello Halliru factor: Former PDP National chairman and now Defense Minister, Dr. Bello Halliru, who is also from Kebbi state played a major role in the success of Dakingari and by implication, the PDP in the state.

Changes in government: There were insinuations that the removal of the Head of Service, Alhaji Ahmad Usman Bunza and the Secretary to Kebbi State government, Arc Ahmad Mohammed Sama were factors in consolidating the support of the Kangiwa twins for Dakingari.

The second alleged reason is that there is a war of political supremacy between the former SSG and the Chairman of Local Government Civil Service Commission, Alhaji Bello Dantani, Magajin Rafin Kabbi. It is the political weight of Dantani that was alleged to have overwhelmed Arc. Sama.

SSG and the twin political giants
The new SSG is from Kangiwa, the same place with the twin political giants, Hassan and Hussaini Kangiwa. Earlier, the Chief of Kangiwa, popularly known as Mai Arewa, who is a younger brother of the twin Kangiwas and who was removed by former Governor Dakin Gari, was reinstated shortly after the twins returned to the PDP.

Enter the election proper: Although the election had no serious contest in view of the defection of CPC and ACN members and the withdrawal of ANPP gubernatorial candidate, security was tensed up. At the end of the voting process, results were collated at the Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, the state collation centre.

At the end of the collation, Dakingari of the PDP polled 875,492 of the total number of 934,693 votes cast to beat candidates of the CPC, Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar who scored 17,918 and ACN, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu who scored 4,656 and that of the ANPP who scored 2,056 votes each.

He was subsequently declared winner by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Lawal Suleiman Bilbis having scored the highest number of votes cast and was returned as the elected governor of Kebbi state.

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