ZAMFARA 2011: SHINKAFI WON'T RETURN â€“ ABUBAKAR, ANPP ASPIRANT
It is no longer news that Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, member, House of Representatives, is attempting to unseat his in-law, Governor Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi of Zamfara State.
What is news is that Abubakar has won prominent Shinkafi's cabinet members to his side. Since last week, some cabinet members have been moving over from the governor's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Abubakar's All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Shinkafi was in ANPP before defecting to PDP after becoming governor.
Those who decamped were Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Na'Alla Isah Mayana; Special Adviser on Animal Health, Garba Mohammed; Special Adviser, Office of the Governor, Kabiru Janyau; a former commissioner in old Sokoto State, Ahmed Umar Dangaladima; a House of Representatives aspirant, Alhaji Muktar Shehu; Idris Koguna and Special Adviser on Private Sector, Sanusi Garba Rikiji.
ANPP's woes started with the defection of Shinkafi in January 2009 after serving as deputy governor to Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima. That action left the ANPP with deep scars. The defection along with ANPP's state executive committee left the ANPP's National Headquarters, Abuja with no option than to constitute a caretaker committee headed by Abubakar with a mandate of three months. This was later extended by three months and the subsquent election of a new executive headed by Lawali Abubakar Kaura.
Abubakar told Daily Sun that the defection of Shinkafi was a blessing to ANPP: 'Zamfara is ANPP territory and no one can penetrate the minds of the masses to win election without a strong ANPP structure. The former structure in the state and with the manner it is being run, we might not get to the Promised Land. That is why we work for the actualization of my gubernatorial ambition and also for the development of the party in the state.
'Zamfara ANPP is getting stronger despite harassment and intimidation to party members. I decided to join the race to the Government House, Gusau, as a result of the call by supporters of the party. I have derived lots of experience and also achieved a lot from my stay in the National Assembly. The first experience I derived is meeting with various people of different calibres and various shades of socio-political and religious backgrounds from across the country to discuss issues regarding politics and legislative matters.
'I have also benefitted from the knowledge I acquired which I did not have before. I have become familiar with the roles and functions of the legislature which sum up to serve as additional credentials for me.
'The defection of Shinkafi and the legislators from ANPP to PDP has even added some advantages to our party, ANPP. Since their defection, our party has known its real members from pretenders. It is just unfortunate for a governor and legislators who were elected on the platform of the ANPP to betray the party and the entire people of the state who entrusted them with their mandates,' he added.