A battle of familiar foes in the North Central will be reignited next February. Check out this analysis by OrderPaper’s Ibrahim Gaddafi Tanko to see who is likely to blink first between the former private sector giant and ex-lawmaker
As the tussle over who occupies the Nasarawa State Government House come 2023 gathers steam, the race appears to be taking the shape of a two-horse contest.
As in 2019, two familiar arch-rivals, incumbent Governor Abdullahi Sule, of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and Honourable David Ombugadu, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) are set to lock horns in the gubernatorial contest.
Before his voyage into politics, Governor Sule has been a private sector player who only resigned from his job as the Group Managing Director of Dangote Sugar PLC just before the 2019 State Governorship elections.
Interestingly, before his huge dive into the murky waters of Nassarawa Politics, he was at one time, Managing Director of the defunct African Petroleum.
Without mincing words, Governor Sule’s record of performance in office can best be described as slightly above average, as it has even become a subject of debate among close watchers of Nassarawa politics.
For some, using a governance performance index, the state chief executive is yet to reach the bar raised by his immediate predecessor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura; now a senator.
According to a recent report published by one of Nigeria’s frontline civic organisations, BudgIT, Nasarawa is placed as one of the states owing Local Government workers salaries totalling over 6 months. However, the State Government has strongly refuted the report which it went on to describe as untrue.
Governor Sule, however, like every other incumbent seeking a second term is latching unto the incumbency factor to return him back to office in 2023, as well as the expected support of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, incumbent National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Senator Adamu himself is a former governor of the state and many say it will be a massive slap in the face of the party chair’s Governor to be defeated in his home State.
On his part, the youthful Hon. David Ombugadu, a two-term former member at the House of Representatives would be banking on his agitation for a generational shift in leadership. His performance as a lawmaker representing the people of Akwanga/Wamba, and/Nassarawa Eggon Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
Ombugadu, who claimed to have constructed over 1000 boreholes in his Federal Constituency, provided employment opportunities in addition to several empowerment initiatives, says he is on a rescue mission to salvage the State from the years of APC’s misrule.
A major threat to Ombugadu’s bid this time around is the fact that he hails from the same local government Senatorial District as the Governor.
Observers say other zones are not ready to allow Nassarawa North to spend 12 years in government, as Ombugadu himself will want to spend 8 years in office when he eventually wins.
Many also argue that the PDP in the state is yet to put its house in order for it to win a governorship election in the state, as some of its critical stakeholders are disenchanted with the leadership style of the State Chairman.
Nasarawa APC Chairman, Francis Orogu, has also accused him of running a one-man show and ostracising them in the scheme of things in the process.
The ball has already been set rolling, as it appears to be no cease-fire case between the two political gladiators and their political parties. Whichever way, the State of Solid Minerals goes.
“The point remains clear that this state is in dire need of a political leadership that the state on the right pedestal of development,” he remarked.