2023: Sokoto will be tit-for-tat; but can Wamakko outwit Bafarawa and Tambuwal?

PDP's Umar Ubandoma will be squaring it up with APC's Ahmed Aliyu in Sokoto. Behind the scenes, however,  former governor Aliyu Wamakko will, in 2023, seek to get back at his predecessor and successor, Attahiru Bafarawa and Aminu Tambuwal, respectively, following the event of 2019
adminDecember 15, 20227 min

PDP’s Umar Ubandoma will be squaring it up with APC’s Ahmed Aliyu in Sokoto. Behind the scenes, however,  former governor Aliyu Wamakko will, in 2023, seek to get back at his predecessor and successor, Attahiru Bafarawa and Aminu Tambuwal, respectively, following the event of 2019.

Who succeeds in this battle at the ‘Seat of the Caliphate?’

Wamakko
L-R: Former Sokoto governor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko and APC 2023 Governorship Candidate in the State, Ahmed Aliyu


The North-Western of Sokoto State is unarguably headed for another interesting political contest ahead of the March 11, 2023, Governorship elections, given the array of political fireworks and nomadic tendencies being displayed by key actors across the state’s different political divides.

The impending fierce contest, no doubt, will see to the resurrection of an unending rivalry between two arch rivals and former governors in the state, Attahiru Bafarawa and Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. While the duo can be described as former political soulmates, the latter, who was Bafarawa’s deputy, ditched his job in Government House ostensibly to pursue his governorship aspiration and became the former’s successor after a bitter battle for supremacy.

Bafarawa had motivated impeachment proceedings against Wamakko, leading him to switch initially to the now defunct All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) before former President Olusegun Obasanjo railroaded him to join the governing People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the eve of the party’s primary. The plot was said to have been hatched to torpedo Bafarawa’s anointed candidate, Maigari Dingyadi, under his special purpose vehicle at the time, the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), in 2007.

 

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Since the 2007 political squabble between the two leading lights in Sokoto politics, they have remained politically apart, with the duo throwing tantrums at themselves at every opportunity. A case in point was when Wamako, at a political forum, accused Bafarawa of being a non-indigene of Sokoto which led to an unsavoury exchange of words between the two during an unscheduled meeting at the airport shortly after the 2019 elections.  An election that was narrowly won by Bafarawa’s favoured candidate, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

Interestingly, Tambuwal, who had in 2015 rode on Wammako’s back to Government House, later jumped ship from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to his former party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). A move his then deputy and staunch loyalist of former Governor Wamako, Ahmed Aliyu, could not swallow, leading him ultimately to resign his position as the number two citizen in the state. He would later pick up forms to contest the 2019 elections against his erstwhile principal and narrowly lose out in the controversial polls.

With the 2023 elections around the corner, Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress is back to the trenches again in a confrontation that seems to be the mother of all battles; leveraging on his statewide acceptability and popularity, he enjoys having been around the corridors of power for some time now.

 

READ ALSO: Katsina 2023: Will incumbency work in favour of APC’s Umar Radda?


Aliyu, pioneer Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund, will also be banking on the deep pockets and massive political structure of his political benefactor, Wamakko, who though not contesting the elections, has taken it as a matter of priority to re-assert his dominance in the politics of the state.
The Wamakko camp is also quick to point out numerous flaws of the Tambuwal-led administration, which political pundits posit are germane and weighty enough to serve as a springboard that might put a stop to the PDP’s continuous stay in government.

However, a major tar in Aliyu’s white linen is the belief that he lacks the capacity and balls to assert himself on policy and governance issues, as he will largely dance to the whims and caprices of his promoter and be puppeteered by him. The holders of this view say the state is too important and critical to be subjected to the apron strings of a godfather seated within his comfort zone in Abuja.

 

Wamakko
L-R: Saidu Umar Ubandoma, PDP 2023 Governorship Candidate and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto

On the other hand, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has as its flagbearer, Saidu Umar Ubandoma, a technocrat who prides himself as someone with the know-how to sustain some of Governor Tambuwal’s enviable legacies. His supporters are also quick to point out that having served as the State’s Finance Commissioner during the governor’s first term and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in the second term, he is well acquainted with the nuances and workings of government that if utilized will catapult the state to become a reference point among its contemporaries.

 

READ ALSO: The Southern Taraba Battle: How far can Governor Ishaku go?


A private sector player before joining government. Ubandoma has had a swell time traversing different commercial banks in the country and holding different portfolios in the process, which has earned him the reputation of being a prudent manager of Human and Material resources coupled with a plethora of professional certifications acquired both at home and abroad.

An avid team player, Ubandoma is said to have found a special way of relating in an excellent manner with his colleagues in government and the ordinary man on the street, thus marking him out as a gentleman imbued with outstanding humility.

Ubandoma, whose running mate, Sagir Bafarawa, is the son of the former governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, will also enjoy the privileges of flying the flag of a party in power at the state level, with the machinery of government readily available to serve and protect his interest; in addition to having the backing of two ‘excellencies.’

 

READ ALSO: Omo-Agege: Deputy Senate President to Governor; do the odds favour him?

 

The candidate’s greatest baggage, however, is the notion among the political class that he is a gate-crasher in the political theatre who has come to reap from where he never sowed. They say he is running faster than his shadow by trying to seize in a jiffy the trophy they have jealously worked towards for years.

They are also quick to add that private sector-inclined personalities usually spend their first terms largely learning the ropes in purely political settings, thereby slowing the process of governance with the citizens at the receiving end.

The choice is, however, up to the electorates to either flow with the private sector-groomed Umar Ubandoma or the politically-nurtured Ahmed Aliyu. They will also determine who laughs last between Wamakko and the duo of Bafarawa and Tambuwal.

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