SOKOTO RESCUED FROM THE PRECIPICE
Sokoto governorship case has become a central issue of national discourse as a result of series of litigations instituted to actualize selfish and vendetta ends by rampaging vampires. They are composed of those who, at the sight or calling the name of Governor Wamakko, have all their feelings of malice, hatred, and all uncharitableness excited, and who adopt every expedient and avail themselves of every occasion in give exhibitions of their vehement antagonism.
That resentment culminated to the humiliation, isolation and deprivation which he was subjected to as deputy governor in the previous administration. The condition led to his resignation.
However, the unusual equanimity with which he tolerated his travails from the despots made Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko very popular across every class in Sokoto State.
The masses mobilized for his election and subsequently he was overwhelmingly elected as the Executive Governor of Sokoto State after April 14th, 2007 governorship elections against Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi of Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). He was former SSG to that administration where he had been made to supersede Wamakko as deputy governor in the management of state affairs.
Expectedly, the cabal was jolted. They vowed to either remove Wamakko by all means or make the state ungovernable for him. They instituted court cases and embarked on massive spending on media campaign to achieve any of the twin purposes. Ultimately the Court of Appeal, Kaduna nullified the election and ordered a rerun by original contestants. Governor Wamakko of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi by 562,395 votes to 124,046 votes in the rerun of 24th May 2008.
The swing of voters shows the extent of Governor Wamakko's popularity in Sokoto State. Opposition never contested this glaring fact as Sokoto elections were adjudged free, fair and peaceful.
The popularity of Governor Wamakko has become political albatross to DPP chieftains because he has in spite of distractions embarked on massive development of all sectors of the economy. They failed in media war against him, which came from all fronts including foreign sponsored advertorials. The only option is any available technicality to remove Governor Wamakko from the scene of the electorate. They have instituted various court cases in Sokoto and Abuja. The Sokoto Governorship Tribunal had earlier dismissed their petition on the basis that there was no complaint at all in respect of conduct of FRESH ELECTION. They subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal, Sokoto. They followed up with other suits in Abuja.
Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN on 22nd April 2009 in a letter drew the attention of former President, Court of Appeal, retired Justice Umar Abdullahi to imminent judicial confusion and anarchy that might arise from series of suits being pursued simultaneously by DPP on one case - an appeal in Sokoto and another in Abuja. Mischievously, DPP withdrew the Abuja appeal, but Chief Olanipekun, a shrewd lawyer got the records and filed them at the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Sokoto Appeal Court refused to entertain a Motion on Notice filed by PDP to seek reference under section 295 of the Constitution, but instead was in a hurry to deliver judgement on 23rd February 2010 when they have up to April 18 to do so. It was Francis Bacon who once said that the place of justice is a hallowed place. It is so when administrators of justice carry out their assignment with impartiality, confidentiality and decorum.
It calls for sober reflection how DPP supporters got information about judgements prior to their delivery. Before delivery of judgement of the Kaduna Appeal, members of DPP were already in celebration all over Sokoto. A week before 23rd February 2010, DPP supporters were celebrating victory all over Sokoto. Three days to that date, chieftains of DPP had evacuated their families to Abuja and other places in anticipation of their planned destruction of opponents on victory. Last week the same festive activities were palpable everywhere in Sokoto in anticipation of favorable judgement by Sokoto Court of Appeal on 16th March 2010. They boasted that they had copies of the judgment. It was later learnt chieftains of DPP were then in Abuja in full force. Whatever transpired is anybody's guess. But Governor Wamakko had reacted appropriately in a petition.
Meanwhile, the hurried nature of Sokoto Appeal Court failed to take cognizance of Governor Wamakko's petition for perceived injustice against his case. As a relief the Supreme Court decision and the Chief Justice of the Federation have reasoned to enforcement of Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to right of fair hearing to Governor Wamakko. Among other things Governor Wamakko objected to the composition of the Panel, constituted by the President of the Court of Appeal, as political interests exist that would not guarantee impartial judgement.
The decision of the Supreme Court to first address constitutional issues raised has saved Sokoto from the anarchy and carnage of the calculated attempt to miscarry justice against majority voters of Sokoto State. Security is a major consideration in meting out justice in a political milieu. We are aware that the Shiites sect is being sponsored to cause mayhem in Sokoto should the wish of DPP fail to materialize. It is gathered that recruits are coming in from Niger Republic to bolster this sinister plan. A clandestine warning is being issued to non-indigenes to leave the state immediately. We as patriots now draw the attention of relevant authorities to this desperation for power as retaliation from majority voters shall not be in the interest of the country. They have used every opportunity to foment trouble in Sokoto, using street urchins whom they arm with dangerous weapons.
Furthermore, as Frantz Fanon said, 'it has always happened in the struggle for freedom that such a people, formerly lost in an imaginary maze, a prey to unspeakable terrors yet happy to lose themselves in a dreamlike torment, such a people becomes unhinged, reorganizes itself, and in blood and tears gives birth to a very real and immediate action.' The terror of the previous administration is loathsome to Sokoto people. The ascription of Sokoto people as chickens and grains is nauseous. The brutalization of political opponents and terrorization of religious and labour leaders are major scars Sokoto people must erase. Sokoto people yearn for return of N15 billion state funds embezzled as being prosecuted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). They were inflicted by those in DPP. Sokoto people are not docile and we are sure that the President of the Court of Appeal may not like to be associated with carnage in the Seat of the Caliphate that has been noted as the most peaceful state in the country.
Garba, Sokoto Democratic Initiatives,
Abdullahi Fodiyo Road,