August 13, 2023

Why APC Chairman should come from Southern Borno

By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

Following the exit of Hon. Ali Bukar Dalori as Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno state, who has been endorsed as Deputy National Chairman, North of the party, the battle to take over the office in the state have started in earnest.

Various politicians who claimed to be loyalists of the party have indicated interest to vie for the vacant position as Acting Chairman.

Interestingly, most of these aspirants were drawn from Northern and Central Borno senatorial district where Hon. Dalori hails from.

Although, Dalori who held sway for that very demanding position has repositioned the party to a greater heights, by silencing all opposition parties and bringing harmony amongst all party faithfuls or followership, to the extent of winning all elective positions at the Local, state and national level during elections while in the office.

It was gathered that those who indicated interest according to sources include, but not limited to former and present commissioners in Governor Babagana Zulum’s administration, former and some present members of the Borno State House of Assembly among others.

Some of those eyeing the Chairmanship according to sources within the party include;  Hon. Mustapha Fannarambe, who had served as Commissioner ministry of religious affairs during ex-governor Kashim Shettima, now Vice- President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the present Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Hon. Sugun Mai Mele as well as his counterpart from the ministry of Sports, Youths and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Saina Buba.

Also, the present member representing Dikwa at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Zakariya Yau is not left out.

All these aspirants mentioned, were all APC stakeholders from Borno North and Central, but based on opinion sampling, they have fell short of occupying such a very exalted office, considering the political demography of the state.

This is because, Governor Zulum who hails from Mafa local government area is from Borno central, while the present member representing Dikwa local government area at the state assembly, Hon. Yau is also from the same senatorial district with the governor.

Secondly, Sugun Mai Mele who was also a former member of the oppostion Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is from Guzamala local government area where the current Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abdulkarim Lawan hails from, which is Borno North.

Another contestant, Hon. Saina Buba has been very difficult to indentify where he hails from by our Correspondent at press time, as different political pundits gave conflicting reports on his political background in the state.

Apart from this development in the party, the key positions in Government are fully occupied by either politicians from Borno North and Central. For example, the present Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Hon. Bukar Tijani who is also the former minister of Agriculture (State) is from Dikwa, while the Head of Service, Barrister Mallam Fannami is from Mobbar Council area of the state.

In addition, Zulum’s Chief of Staff, Professor Isa Hussani, is from Marte local government area of Borno North, the State Chief Judge, Justice Kashim Zanna is from Borno central, while the current Minister nominee by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Hon. Abubakar Kyari also hails from Mobbar.

Likewise, the present Vice- President of the federal republic of Nigeria, and former governor, Senator Kashim Shettima hails from Borno Central.

With these analysis therefore, our Correspondent observed that the vaccum created within the APC leadership in the state should move to southern Borno for fairness, justice and equity.

With this disposition of government, it have caused reactions from the people, especially those from southern Borno, and the only solution now is to ensure the Chairmanship position is occupied by a competent APC loyalist in southern Borno.

Recall that in the last 2023 general elections, about 60% of the total votes cast to the ruling APC came from Southern Borno Senatorial District, in addition to Jere local government and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, MMC election results where southern Borno people have over 15% population domination.

As it is for now, our Correspondent observed that, the leadership of the party is making frantic move by appointing a southern Borno man to lead the party as Acting State Chairman of APC for inclusivity and good governance.

Amongst those who the people of Borno are of the opinion to fill the vaccum for the job, or giving their suggestions, are no persons other than the former Deputy Governor, Usman Mamman Durkwa who is also the member of the 2023 Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), North East.

Others who are also capable for the seat in southern Borno and were equally suggested for the job include, the former Speaker of the state house of assembly and former Commissioner of Education, Comrade Musa Inuwa Kubo from Shani Local Government Area, Auwal Hamza who was former Special Adviser on political matters, as well as the former Commissioner and now Federal Commissioner in the National Population Commission, NPC, Borno state, Barrister Isa Audu Buratai who hails from Biu local government.

As it stands, Durkwa has an upper hand for the job over all aspirants considering his pedigree.

……… Who is Durkwa?

Durkwa, a longest serving Commissioner consecutively in the North East, was born on 2nd February, 1962 in Gatumbwa Village of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State.

He started his Primary School education at Shaffa town between 1969 to 1975.

He then proceeded to Government Secondary School, Potiskum, now in Yobe state between 1975 to 1980, where he obtained his General Certificate of Education (SSCE) in 1980.

He later gained admission into College of Agriculture, Maiduguri between 1980 to 1982, where he studied and obtained Diploma in Animal Health and Husbandry.

In his quest to further his education, Durkwa applied for his Higher National Diploma (HND), gained admission and studied Animal Health and Husbandry at the famous National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, in Jos, Plateau state between 1986 to 1988.

While in office as Deputy Governor, Durkwa was able to obtain his Bachelor of Science in Health Education from the University of Maiduguri.

Before joining active Politics, the former Deputy Governor was once a Civil Servant who had worked at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Borno State between 1981 to 1992. 

As a public Servant, Durkwa transfered his service into Local Government Service Commission, where he was posted to Hawul LGA between January 1993 to October 1995. He was later transfered to Magumeri LGA between October 1996 to January 1997.

Interestingly, Durkwa, a Unionist even when he was a student contested and won a position as Treasurer of Borno State Students Union at the NVRI between 1986 to 1988.

In fulfilment of the Mandatory One Year Service to the Fatherland, Durkwa had his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with Government Secondary School, Ogaminanna, then Kwara state now in Kogi state between1988 to 1989.

While serving his fatherland, Durkwa was not only a Corps member, but was Platoon Commander, before nominated as the Secretary Academic /Disposal Committee and Form Master/Chairman Sanitation Committee in GSS Ogaminana.

Furthermore, he had served in various positions on Committees set up by past and present administration.

After venturing into politics, Durkwa contested and was elected as Member Borno State House of Assembly, Hawul Constituency between 1996 to 1997, though that general election was annulled. He was also a Board member, Borno State Investment Company between September 2001 to June 2003.

As the longest serving Commissioner in the whole of the North East Sub region, Durkwa became Commissioner Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources between July 14th, 2003 to July 14th 2004.

Before becoming the second Borno citizen as Deputy Governor, after the demise of the former Deputy of Blessed Memory, Late Zanna Umar Mustapha in 2015 at an official engagement in Yola, Adamawa state, Durkwa consecutively, served as Commissioner Ministries of Environment, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Land and Survey, Religious Affairs and Special Education and finally Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment between 12th July 2003 to 15th October 2015.

He was also Special Adviser to former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff on Political Matters for Southern Borno Senatorial District between 5th August 2009 to 5th August 2010.

Between 5th August 2010 to 5th February 2011, Durkwa was the Caretaker Chairman of Hawul Local Government Area, where he served and completed the six months tenure as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Due to his hardwork, dedication, commitment and political sagacity, Durkwa was nominated and confirmed as Deputy Governor of Borno State under the leadership of Governor Kashim Shettima on 15th October, 2015.

Happily married with six children (two Female and Four Male), Durkwa’s hobbies include; Hunting, Traditional Dancing (Waksha- Waksha dance) in Bura language, Travelling, politicking and Farming.

The nucleus of Durkwa, therefore, anchored on absolute Loyalty, good governance, wellbeing of the poor and underprivileged in the society with every sense of divinity and patriotism.

It is common knowledge that during annual ritual, Durkwa, in his usual style, has always maintained an anonymous breath of love, care, solidarity and compassion with the lowly and downtrodden through his philanthropic gestures. His bite of philanthropy, which knows no bounds, has remained the fulcrum of his success story and the nexus between him and God.    

Re-echoing his disposition towards alleviating the sufferings of the people, which he has always ascribed as the greatest objective of government, Durkwa has continued to make a date with history through charity and uncommon leadership style.

Easily given to kindness and compassion towards sharing in the pains and sufferings of the lowly and vulnerable, Durkwa, in the spirit of giving and in keeping with his long-held tradition, had always urged those who intended offering him gifts “to channel them to charity homes and orphanages in appreciation of God’s mercies and kindness.” He had also expressed aversion to marking the occasion with public acts.

As an unassuming leader in Southern Borno Senatorial District, Durkwa gained acceptance and tremendous support from all spheres of society, and have remained unbeatable in any political calculations in the state.

He earned this feat through his open-door policy, inclusive leadership and close contact with the commoners on the streets, who are always touched and honoured by the rare privilege of meeting, seeing, feeling and interacting with his contemporaries.

Therefore, it is worthy of note, if government of the day will heed to the clarion -call of the people of Southern Borno to consider Durkwa become the APC Acting Chairman in Borno to uphold and reposition the ruling APC, because Durkwa from inception has remained committed and dedicated for the course of the party, as he has never change his membership of the party.