MUHAMMAD KABIR writes on the battle for the control of the Jigawa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) between forces loyal to Governor Abubakar Badaru and Senator Sabo Nakudu
Recent political developments in Jigawa State seem to indicatethatGovernorAbubakar Badaru is gradually losing grip of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and might eventually dump the party if his recent outbursts against those opposing his government are anything to go by. Just few days ago,
Badaru was overheard warning members of the party, who now constitute themselves as a gang against his government that he will never tolerate acts of anti-party and sabotage against his administration from any quarter.
This warning was coming at a time when several reconciliation meetings failed to yield positive outcomes even as the party has already fractured along different segments, with each of the divides opposing the government as well as the governor.
Some of these reconciliatory meetings called by the governor were boycotted by factional groups, which insisted that Badaru lacked the power to convey such meetings. For instance, the factional chairman of the party in the state,
Habibu Sara, insisted that “ordinarily he was supposed to have convened the meeting but the governor went ahead to do that despite the fact that I am the recognised party chairman from the national secretariat.” It would be recalled that the factional chairman was removed following theparty’scaucusmeeting, whichwas heldatthegovernmenthouseandwas presided by Governor Badaru.
It was also at the meeting that Muhammad Umar was installed by the governor as acting chairman, while a committee was set up to investigate alleged financial recklessness against Sara. However, months after the committee was set-up, APC officials in Jigawa loyal to the governor have continued to decline comment on the outcome of the investigation alleging financial misappropriation.
Also, after a meeting last Sunday, the governor equally declined to comment on the issue. Despite the mum on the issue, Sara, insists that he remains the substantive chairman of the APC in Jigawa State as according to him, the state governor has no constitutional right to convene the executive meeting of the party.
Sara said based on the party’s constitution, he is the only person mandated to convene the executive meeting of the party, not the governor, which is why his group did not attend the meeting in the government house.
While issues over the meeting are to be resolved, another one held at the government house, which was presided over by the governor and attended by a governorship aspirant, Senator Danladi Sankara, among others federal lawmakers.
However, the senator representing Jigawa Central Senatorial District, Sabo Nakudu and his loyalists boycotted the event. Also, the self-proclaimed party leader, Farouk Aliyu, was conspicuously absent at the meeting. Other top party members absent at the meeting were the former governor of the state, Ali Sa’ad, and a former deputy governor and now Federal Commissioner representing the state at the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC), Ahmed Mahmoud.
However, the acting chairman, Mr. Muhammad, told journalists that the meeting discussed how to move the party forward and also to familiarise members with new appointees from the state at the federal level. “We digested extensively on the burning issues affecting our party, only most of the issues are confidential, not meant for public consumption, nor made public,” he said.
Also last Sunday, the party’s vicechairperson, who is seen as a loyalist to the governor, Ango Mallamadori, said anyone who is not satisfied with what the governor is doing can leave the party because they will never go against the wish of the governor.
“I want to assure you that whatever you (Governor Badaru) say we should do in Jigawa APC; consider it done. Anybody who wants to leave can leave and go away to his house to sleep.
We are through with the person and we will leave him behind. “If anyone is dreaming and wants to use the names of some people, that person should be careful because we will square up against that individual if he doesn’t follow the governor,” he said while addressing the governor and others in Mallamadori Local Government Area.
On his part, Governor Badaru, who is irked and disturbed by the happenings in Jigawa APC and the fact that the party’s structure is gradually slipping off his hands, warned that the lingering crisis if not checked may cost the party victory in the 2023 elections.
While some political observers in the state are of the view that the concern raise by the governor, shows that he may be on his way out of the party, Badaru is already boasting that he has nothing to lose if the party crashes as he is an established businessman.
No doubt, allegations of financial recklessness was leveled against Sara, but investigation by New Telegraph revealed that he was removed for allegedly shifting loyalty to the leader of a factional group in the party led by Senator Nakudu.
The governor, while inaugurating the caretaker committee, had said: “I will remain vigilant, watching those of you going to meeting with the other factional group. You have got enough of my patience and I will no longer tolerate that again.
“It is interesting to see Borno and Yobe states, ever since APC has been at the helm. It is the same thing in Jigawa but we need to take a lesson and be our brothers’ keepers, so that we will continue to lead but if we allow our personal interest to influence our collective interest, I am assuring that we are going to lose and by then my tenure has elapsed. I am a business man; I can travel all over the world without even holding a bag except for convenience.”
Governor Badaru added that “the factional group holding meetings at night, making noises, aspiring for elective seats, let them come and collaborate to move the party forward, so that when the time comes, everyone will take his share.
“We are responsible members of the party; I once sacrificed my governorship ambition to Hadejia Emirate for the sake of peace. However, God later made me the governor.” The governor charged the newly inaugurated party executives in the state to be committed to the development of the party as he assured them that they are working towards granting to them a waiver to continue beyond the constitutional limit. Meanwhile, the embattled former chairman,
Sara, while responding to the governor’s remarks, said: “We are aware that the governor has a plan to destroy our party because he has no relevance after leaving office in 2023.”
He, however, maintained that “Badaru’s plan to see APC dead in Jigawa will not work as we have politicians who can perform better than him, not businessmen, who see the seat of governance as an opportunity to promote their personal businesses.”
Sara added the meetings being convened by the APC are meant for the development of the party and called on the governor to support party members with resources to move the party forward.
“As a governor you can pray that your party should lose election just because you came to generate capital for your business, we are politicians not businessmen, all we know is politics and APC will win come 2023,” Sara added.
Speaking further, Sara said despite the injustice meted against him by the governor, he will remain a loyal APC member being the most popular party in the state. As Governor Badaru seems fed-up with the internal wrangling bedeviling the party and threatening to act otherwise,
Senator Nakudu appears to be gradually taking charge even as he is insisting that he is going to succeed the governor whether he likes it or not.
But the governor is said to have his confidence on Hassan Hadejia, a former deputy governor of the State, who is presently a serving senator as his likely successor although some people are speculating that there is an arrangement between Senator Danladi Sankara and Badaru to switch positions.
The claims and counter-claims notwithstanding, the watchword in the view of most analysts should be caution as Badaru might be the loser if he stands firmly on the side of Hadejia because the battle would be just the beginning should he go ahead to support the former deputy governor