By Abdul Malik
WITH the defection of Governor Aminu Tambuwal from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, political permutations of who becomes the next governor of the state have become more open. It is left to the elite of Sokoto State, leaders of the APC in the state and at the national level, to look keenly in choosing a candidate to lead the state in the next elections. In doing so, equity, loyalty, experience, skills and academic laurels should be paramount in who qualifies to wear the crown.
Although there are a number of candidates in the two leading parties in the state, the APC and PDP, Sokoto State has a seasoned and experienced technocrat, who the cap fits in social, academic, economic and political terms. The candidate, Hon. Faruk Malami Yabo, unlike many politicians, who lack the patience and equanimity for sacrifice, has waited patiently over the years even though he was previously pencilled down to run for the office in 2015.
Perhaps, it is his towering profile that sets him apart as the most qualified to be crowned governor in 2019. Having served as commissioner for Finance under former Governor Aliyu Wammako, he is regarded as one of the biggest political heavyweight in Sokoto. A professional accountant of repute, his experience and professionalism were credited with the improvement of the state’s internally generated revenue, bringing Sokoto State second only to Lagos State, which is the richest state in Nigeria.
Indeed, Senator Wammako, as governor, was so impressed by Hon. Yabo’s performance as finance commissioner that he had no second thought in appointing him as Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, a position that brought to the fore, the social re-engineering abilities of Yabo, as he galvanised the people and built social infrastructures with peace reigning in all parts of the state.
Yabo studied Public Administration at the Bayero University Kano and also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration (MPPA) from the same University. He attended the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government where he studied Public Financial Management; and University of Manchester, Manchester Business School where he studied International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
Before Tambuwal defected to the APC in 2014, he was seen as the preferred and anointed candidate to succeed Senator Wammako.
However, the arrival of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, changed the dynamics of the state’s political equation. Hon. Yabo, who was clearly positioned for the governorship ticket, was prevailed upon to allow Tambuwal get the ticket “having sacrificed so much by defecting to the party at the level of Speaker,” as some chieftains reasoned and advised.
As a true democrat at heart and in practice, Hon. Yabo’s political sophistication showed itself as he took the decision calmly and instead worked tirelessly to see that the party’s candidate carried the day at the polls.