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THE SAMBO CONUNDRUM

Source: pointblanknews.com
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By: Abdullahi Garba
Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, generally acclaimed as a loyal Vice

President and a strong pillar of the Jonathan's administration is no doubt

in his trying times. His immense and monumental contributions to the

success of the Transformation Agenda and the candid acknowledgement in his

tactical endorsement by the President at the South-West PDP sensitization

Rally in Lagos, seem not to be sufficient guarantees to keep in his

well-deserved VP slot for the next dispensation in 2015. Far from being

unopposed at least two Governors and the PDP National Chairman are already

being reportedto be interested in his job. With such a treacherous

scenario playing out, it certainly cannot be re-assuring for the Vice

President who has even endured the backlash from the North for his seeming

loyalty and support to the President.
​First, Gov. Ibrahim Shema has repeatedly denied being interested in

the VP's job even when his posters and body language betray him. He has

silently been moving towards realizing his ambition by taking concrete

steps that will eventually build in his favour. His recent marriage to the

Yar'adua family is set to bolster his chances as pundits consider it an

avenue to settle whatever issues he has with the family so that a

formidable front can be established to fight for and secure the VP slot.

He has furthermore tried to silence any opposition in his State

through the Local Government election and according it massivepublicity to

shore up support and assert his total control of his Stateand the power

broker in charge. The idea is to try to draw comparison and show that

while he has electoral value, the VP who was reported to have lost in his

Local Government lacked any. This is in spite of the fact that events

leading to such electoral catastrophe are well known to discerning minds

and political pundits in Kaduna State as adeliberate attempt to undermine

the political relevance and significance of the VP.​It should be on

record that the PDP has consistently won the Kaduna North Local Government

until that fateful election. It is worthy of note that while the PDP won

in 22 out of the 23 Local Governments in the State, it lost only in Kaduna

North the adopted Local Government of the VP to the Congress for

Progressive Change (CPC) in eleven out of the twelve wards in the Local

Government Council. The Councillorship seat of Kabala ward which is the

VP's ward was however won by the PDP's Bashir Tukur. Suffice it to state

that the VP was not even present during the elections as he was out of the

country for official engagement.
​Kaduna State has been a major contributor in terms of votes to the

Presidential election as the Party from inception till date

hasconsistently remained the second largest contributor of votes second

only to Rivers State. Notwithstanding the fact that CPC marginally won the

State in 2011, the State still retained its second position as far as

national politics is concerned. It is widely known however that the

emergence and political exploits of one of the leading Presidential

contestants is very much entrenched religiously rather than in

hispolitical dexterity.
​This is the same Governor who was also reported to have allegedly

detained an indigene of the State for criticizing him onfacebook. This

young chap merely reproduced the contents of a written petition by his

adversaries aimed at exposing the ills of his government. This allegation

if true is a clear demonstration of hisintolerance and lack of respect for

the fundamental human rights of a bonafide citizen of the State, that he

is intent on hiding from the attention of his Abuja backers.

Others being tounted are Sule Lamido and Adamu Mu'azu. While Lamido has

been battling the party to remain relevant, he also has against him the

alleged looting and enrichment of certain companies being managed by his

children which has been extensively reported in the media as his greatest

albatross.
​But the PDP Chairman's exploits were the gains from the

mismanagement of the Party by Bamangu Tukur who took on several fronts and

fought the Governors who decided to gang-up against him leading to his

eventual ouster. The Adamu Mu'azu led NWC has reasons to complain of his

high handedness and disregard for due process. He too was previously

alleged to be working silently for hisown Presidential ticket rallying

round his former colleagues ex-Governors and trying to place them in

strategic positions to help him. When that was frustrated by the vigilance

of the Presidency, he now changed gear and opted for the VP slot. The

recent placing of his posters with the President along major streets in

Abuja is a culmination of the actualization of a well-articulated desire

to accomplish an ambition anchored on a deliberate plan of action. He was

also alleged to have distributed bags of rice bearing his portrait across

the length and breadth of the country, leaving pundits to guess that it

was a deft political move aimed at soliciting for future support for

himself as is now manifesting.
​In his display of total loyalty, the Vice-President concentrates

only on assignments given to him by his principal and involves himself

with those things he is permitted to delve into. He recognizes that the

President has the full constitutional powers and therefore acknowledges

the in-appropriateness of confrontations which will serve no one any good.

This was very well acknowledged by the President when in Lagos at the

South-West PDP sensitization Rally, he stated that he and the

Vice-President have promised not to disappoint Nigerians. This therefore

explains their excellent partnership which was anchored on mutual trust

and understanding that has continued to produce positive results.

​The statement by Olisa Metuh the PDP Spokesman is a message full of

wisdom. Since the President was only given a right of first refusal and he

is yet to finally declare, they could not jump the gun. This was why the

current interpretation of the outcome of the NEC meeting was conveyed and

the part played by Chief Jim Nwobodo to the endorsement deal was relayed.

​As the clock ticks towards the Presidential declaration all

thestrong and justifiable indicators point to a secured return of

theGoodluck/Sambo ticket. The ongoing undercurrents of conflicts of

interest based on inordinate ambition are the normal political brouhaha

which keeps the polity heated and exciting. The President knows those who

will assist him in the due discharge of his constitutional

responsibilities and his dreams for Nigeria. Others are merely positioning

themselves for 2019. The odds favour Sambo to continue as Vice President.

Abdullahi Garba can be reached at [email protected]

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