The political atmosphere in Yobe state is getting charged as the electorates and politicians are divided over who to support ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial elections.
By Bala Ajiya
While some Yobe indigenes are rooting for the incumbent governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam for re-election, some politicians are canvassing for a change of baton, claiming that all the senatorial zones have produced governor except Zone C.
Some political pundits are of the opinion that Yobe State, which has been ruled by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), which merged into All Progressives Congress (APC) since the advent of democracy in 1999, which has denied the state federal presence, there is need to give the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a chance in 2015.
About seven months to the general election, none of the potential candidates of both APC and PDP has made any statement or declared his intentions to contest the 2015 gubernatorial election. However, Governor Gaidam’s body language within the APC family in Yobe has in a way forced fellow party men to either bury their governorship ambition or seek alternative political platforms to actualise their dream.
A strong member of the APC from Zone C, who initially hobnobbed with the PDP to achieve his ambition of ruling the state is Senator Ahmed Lawan, who represents Yobe North Senatorial District.
Lawan is serving his second term as senator. He was in the House of Representatives for two consecutive terms between 1999 and 2007. He is considered to have soft-pedalled on his purported plan of defecting to PDP or to contest the primary election of APC with Gaidam.
Gaidam gets lawmakers’ boost
What would have boosted the chances of other aspirants against the incumbent was diffused before it gathered momentum. The 27 members of the Yobe State House of Assembly have not only debunked reports that they were planning to impeach the governor they also passed a vote of confidence on him and endorsed him to fly the party’s flag at the 2015 gubernatorial election.
However, the governor’s endorsement by the legislators and some stakeholders in Yobe has elicited war of words within and outside the ruling party in the state. Those, who want Zone C to produce the next governor are especially bitter.
The PDP’s push
Among those aspiring on the banner of the PDP are Yerima Ngama; Ibrahim Talba, a retired federal permanent secretary; Alhaji Goni Aji, immediate past head of service of the federation, Alhaji Abu Gulani, the current minister of Science and Technology and leader of PDP in the state.
For the PDP ticket, Ngama, who is considered a leading aspirant will also have to contend with the late Usman Albishir’s group within the PDP family, which played a key role in his emergence as minister of state for Finance. President Goodluck Jonathan dropped him as a minister a few months ago to enable him pursue his governorship ambition.
Some prominent members of the Albishir camp on account of Ngama’s appointment defected to the APC while those who remained in PDP were aggrieved for no other reason than the fact that the former minister abandoned them after they supported him to get into limelight of Yobe politics.
However, the fight for the Yobe seat power, as of now seems to be between Governor Gaidam and Ngama.
To get the upper hand in the forthcoming contest, the PDP in Yobe state through its Youth Leader, Alhaji Ado Bomboy, has been criticizing Gaidam’s programmes, saying there is need for change of leadership which he claimed only the PDP can provide through the election of Ngama.
Alhaji Comparing Yobe to PDP ruled states in the North-east, Ado said: “Comparing Yobe state with other neighbouring states like Gombe, Taraba, Bauchi, it can be said that the state did not progress to the level expected, the present administration has failed to implement the promises it gave the electorate, the inability of the present APC led government in the state to construct modern market, airport, provide accessible portable drinking water, youth empowerment among others as they promised, is enough to vote them out of officer come 2015.”
Countering, the APC insists that Yobe is a no-go-area for the PDP and vowed to retain the state in 2015.