FORCES AGAINST WAMAKKO'LL FAIL -DANLADI BAKO
Danladi Bako came to national limelight as an anchorman of the popular NTA programme 'Mmorning Ride'. Today, he is a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Sokoto State. He speaks on the governorship ticket struggle in the state ahead of the March 2012 election.
How Wamakko was made governor
I will tell you something about the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko that you may not know. Alu, as we fondly refer to him here in Sokoto is the man of the people and a grassroots politician. We have a cherished tradition here of honouring invitation to weddings and burials ceremonies as matter of duty to humanity and obedience to the will of God. Aliyu does that on a daily basis and it is the best way to get to a Sokoto local man especially when you visit him. On every other thing, it doesn't matter how much quarrel between you and him. The day you pay him a visit you have subsided his anger.
Aliyu does that excellently. He has been Permanent Secretary, clerk to the State House of Assembly and has gone to every local government. He knows everybody and he visits everybody at home. If Aliyu's driver is ill and in the hospital, Aliyu would go and see him in the hospital. That is the kind of leader he is. Now we had a DPP candidate, Maigari Dingyadi who was just Secretary to the State government and Bafarawa's government was run by just Bafarawa, Umaru Kobo and the SSG. At that time commissioners could not sign a cheque of N50, 000 and they had a candidate, Maigari Dingyadi, PDP had Muktari. Muktari was nice but he won't do the things Aliyu did. And after five years as Minister, one cannot point out five people that we can say Muktari has installed or helped. So these are the differences between him and Aliyu.
So, as at 2007 that was where we were. ANPP was going to win because they had a good candidate and they had the masses behind them. DPP was going to come second because they have the incumbency but a poor candidate. Then PDP that was the Federal government party had low patronage in the state and poor candidate. So, it was important at the time that two of these parties needed to fuse together to be able to defeat the incumbent government at that time. So, we in the PDP merged with the ANPP. We went to beg Aliyu to come and join the PDP and took him to Baba. You can see where he was giving me national award. I went to Africa Leadership Forum in 1988. I was course Four of African Leadership Forum '88.
So, we sat down, deliberated and found out that we in the PDP cannot win this election without the support of one of the parties. We merged with the ANPP and made Aliyu the candidate and Mukhtari the deputy. So PDP and ANPP merged. Now, when we won the election, the whole idea was that when we take out the DPP government of Bafarawa, we would now sit down and organize ourselves.
We sat down and agreed that we are going to run this government and share positions. So, the deputy governor went to the PDP, the SSG was more like ANPP. The Minister at the centre was PDP; the Ambassador at the centre was also PDP. Then, PDP was given one Senate seat which Gada inherited without printing a poster. Gada won his PDP Senate election without printing one poster because of that structure of sharing or allocation since it is for us to defeat Bafarawa, we needed to share out these positions and unite. When we united, we ended up in our choice that one Senate seat should go to the PDP and two Senate seats should go to ANPP.
So, the two Senate seats that went to ANPP were given to Dahiru Tambuwal and Maccido so that Sokoto Central and Sokoto West went to ANPP. PDP took Sokoto East which was given to Gada.
Amongst the eleven Federal House seats, seven went to PDP and four to ANPP. So, Umar Bature and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal were among the beneficiaries of those seven seats that were shared to the PDP. This arrangement was since 2007 and the whole idea was that after eight years it will be the reversed. The federal House seats, seven will now go to the ANPP, four to the PDP. Then the three Senate seats, two will go to PDP, one to ANPP while the deputy governor will go to the ANPP and the PDP will take the governor.
Now, the whole matter is that the people who are contesting against Aliyu cannot wait for those eight years.
I gave you a background that as at 2007 there was no way we were going to win that election on our own. And I gave you the breakdown as to the seniority in the order of arrangement. There were three parties contesting ANPP which has a very good candidate and massive support, DPP which had SSG running and incumbency and money; PDP had the federal might and fairly poor candidate. So, we were not the senior partner, and you are not going to expect us to have fifty - fifty arrangement. That was why even in giving out seven of the House of Representatives to PDP as against four for ANPP was a fair deal and two senatorial seats to ANPP and one to PDP was a fair deal I think.
So, as at that time the complaints people were making and I mentioned to you was that Ambassador Abdalla Wali, Ladan Shuni, Shehu Wurno were all PDP. All the last four ambassadors since 1999 have been PDP, the old PDP all of them. Then the ministers, Ahmed Gusau and Yusuf Suleiman while Muktari was for five years from 2001 to 2006. So, for me I don't think that there was that level of marginalization because we were not the senior partner in the first place.
Those who brought the larger crowd and those who had a very good candidate and who had the masses and had the votes, had the driving seat. They had the steering and I thought that it was okay by that arrangement. Again it has to do with interpretation. Some people might be contented with akara and pap, some might want Quaker oath, some might want cornflakes, others might even want omelet along with it. For me I thought that the arrangement was okay. As I speak to you, the PDP arrangement of ministers has made the PDP to still be Minister, deputy governor, ambassador - old PDP; all these three are extremely important. As far as I am concerned, by my own perception, I don't think there was anything wrong with that.
The second part, as we are approaching primaries, you won't feel the heat and the noise of 'Sai Aliyu' until we pass the primaries. This is the first time we are doing primaries like this within the PDP. Way back, once the caucus and the party structure indicate one direction nobody comes to resist it. There is a general consensus but because of the nature of the unification in 2006, we had to wait to decide that at the primaries on this occasion. But normally we won't do primaries, strong primary in a party but as soon as this primary is over by 17th you will see the wave we will move towards 'Sai Aliyu'. I have a DVD that I can show you.
The new director
Also all the local government chairmen for the first time, spend money the way they want. This government is so free and infact to the point where some of us even feel that he is too laid back. He is too relaxed. Even some of these old PDP like Ladan and Shuni, should not have been absolved. All of them should not have benefited from the government if the governor is only patronizing people from the old ANPP.
The new PDP is the one that has the fusion of the ANPP and the PDP and a few others from the ACN and other parties like the Inuwa Abdulkadir, the Attorney General. He was not really a member of any of these two. He was Orji Uzor Kalu's Vice President. So, Aliyu accommodated everybody that is why we have PDP and I gave you the background as to why we needed to fuse at that time to be able to push out the last government.
Now, we did that fusion and it is in that fusion which is internal that some people are not ready to wait for the second round of the circle to complete. And they couldn't wait because as at the time of the fusion although they were ready to accept what it was, they are rebuffing it because they now have money having been Senator, bought houses in Dubai, become minister and so many things. So, the money excites them and they look forward to the next stage without qualms.
I was 2003 senatorial candidate; I won my primary landslide and I won the election also but I was rigged out, but I am not the 'wahala' type because I cannot see why I should fight or get area boys to go fighting for me due to Senatorial seat when somebody was Speaker of Federal House at 29 years and me at 49 years to 50 years should fight for Senatorial seat at that time? Let it go; I allowed it pass and since then I have not been a minister, a senator or anything. I only do my little contribution as member of the governing council of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. I ran the convocation last year November because the Pro-Chancellor was ill. I am also a member of the Cross River Basin Development Authority. I don't look for offices, I don't lobby because I don't need to. That is our attitude and the way our grand- parents in this part of the country taught us.
Also, when I go to Lagos to do television programmes, in television you do not go and beg people to watch you because they have a choice. They are sitting in their parlour and could either switch off or not. You can't compel people. So when people like you, it is because they want to as there is no way you can compel them to watch you on the television. He will just switch off the TV and save himself NEPA and go and begin something else or turn to another channel.
So, when you succeed in the way that I succeeded in getting to the minds of people in Lagos at that time with 'Morning Ride' and all the programmes that I did, it was because I had been honed, groomed and went through the mill. For me, every experience that I have got counts. I did not leave the PDP today because I was not made a minister. The person I ran with in 2003 Jabbi Kilgori, the present Commissioner for Agriculture ran for Sokoto West where Dahiru Tambuwal is today. Yusuf Suleiman ran for Sokoto East and I was the candidate for central and I actually won my own seat. Jabbi Kilgori has been commissioner of Agriculture as well as works, Yusuf has been Minister of Transport and was also in Health. I am only the one that has not and I don't complain. But in between others, I have gone with the Sultan to Prince Charles in the Buckingham Palace. That is the kind of thing you can see I cherish. I have gotten my national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) 2006, five years ago. I thank God for little mercies.
Here we have an attitude to thank God for whatever he has done for you and don't be greedy and over ambitious. The day you do, by the end of the primaries people would have spent their money and they would know that it does not worth it.
Anti-Party allegations against Wamakko
Let me for the benefit of this discussion, I will give you the answers but I might skip some areas. Firstly, anti party; remember that I gave you a background as to the relationship between all these parties when everybody that was in ANPP like Aliyu who was extremely popular, including Bafarawa, Sani Yarima and Aleiro. All of them were in the ANPP and there was that relationship. And I remember that I told you that the ANPP was the former NPN, so that tradition of all those old conservative people was still playing and their relationship has been there for the past twenty to thirty years. So, I do not think, and I know that Aliyu did not sponsor or support Abdulaziz Yari. I told you that Aliyu is the kind of person who visits people. Even when Bafarawa father died, Aliyu went to greet him despite the fact that there was a tribunal. Aliyu still went to visit him to pay condolence.
So, if these kind of relationships are interpreted to mean continuous friendship and support it is unfortunate because in our religion there is no provision for that kind. When anybody is in that kind of pressure, you do that and when he is in need like Abdulaziz coming to say ah, I am broke or in so so so and if for any reason because they have been friends for 25 years and Abdulaziz is running for governorship when Aliyu must have spent millions on the governorship candidate of the PDP who has been in office for four years, if he gives the governorship candidate for ANPP something small, about one percent of what he gave to the other candidate and the one percent gets blown out, discussed and amplified you will take it that there is no provision for Aliyu to stop talking to Abdulaziz because he is running as a candidate.
Secondly, I strongly believe that PDP regime of Zamfara with all modesty and seriousness, they needed to have upped their game. There was internal crisis in the faction which Namadi Ango was heading and there was another faction. So there were about three factions of the PDP in Zamfara. Remember they had two chairmen until the elections. So the reasons for PDP losing Zamfara are not allusive, magic or fault. May be as governor of Sokoto he would have called them and resolved the issue but there were even elders of the party in Zamfara plus General Aliyu, Tafidan Gusau and the former governor, Yahaya Abdulkareem and had many times interceded between Mahmoud Shinkafi and Rijima. So if anything, Aliyu should have been credited for assisting in trying to resolve this crisis.
Remember that I also told you about the candidate which I listed that we had in 2007 of ANPP, DPP and PDP. I am not sure whether the candidate that ran in 2007 in Zamfara for the PDP was the most charismatic and the most popular. I am not sure, I might be wrong.
Then to the second question about disqualification, I do not think that on my part because I am not going to defend what the University has said or where they have got their facts from, even if Aliyu was still a grade two teacher after Sokoto Teachers College, I will still vote for him as well as campaign for him. This is because beyond being educated, he is that humble, accommodating, intelligent and a grass root person. I don't know when any of you came last to Sokoto, but I am sure that when you saw a fly over in front of the Union Bank, you must have wondered when it happened because there has never been one there. And when you drive in front the entrance of Sokoto, the road has been dualised and for 35 years this Kontogora road had been stones and whatever but it has been asphalted.
The federal low cost used to be abandoned because the former governor saw it as being occupied by non - indigenes but all the roads have now been dualised as well as roads in the local governments by Aliyu.
So, in terms of performance Aliyu does not even need a bachelors degree to be governor of Sokoto State.
The one of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal I think the decisions were very clear that the discorded tunes about how leadership of the National Assembly (NASS) should emerge; people believe that the executive should not impose somebody or manipulate to make sure that their intended programmes are properly protected in future whenever those laws come, while some other people believe that the NASS should be a radical group that should check and balance the executive, but eventually the young men and women in the NASS were on their own to pick Aminu Waziri Tambuwal without a rancor or need for a primary. They even bought him the suit and cap he wore on the day to disguise. So, when you have thirty guys disguising their leader to pass through security check and EFCC to arrive at the chamber, you don't need Wamako to install him or do that.
So I think that the leadership of the PDP has also probably not seen it as wrong but realized that people have the freedom in a democracy to choose their leaders. And since the exercise in July there has been no crisis in the House of Reps. What we want is peace and any candidate that can give us peace and progress is accepted. Infact from all the things that has happened, it is obvious that they have chosen the leader they can work with. Even with the allocation of their House committee Chairmen, you can see that there is no rancor for a thing that used to be a crisis point. Today they have the needed peace and for once their choice. They don't require Wamako to go round the 365 members to install them and Wamako couldn't have done that if they didn't like Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
Qualification is not an issue and as far as they are concern, the matter of old PDP or not does not count; there is a circle that must be through and by 2015 anybody who wants to be a governor can come out but for now, it is aloof.
When that election of Tambuwal was on, Wamakko was in Saudi Arabia supposing he asked Aminu not to contest and he did not listen to him and went up to win the election, do you think by now that they would have being in good terms? The elders in Sokoto don't want to talk to somebody and the person will not heed. That is why sometimes people like Shagari does not want to talk and people keep complaining because when they talk behind the scene, those they spoke to will not heed.
Also this idea about Wamako doing anti - party in Kebbi is really a Sokoto affair. It is not heard there but Wamako is close to Aleiro. Aleiro was the CPC senator for Kebbi Central and PDP defeated him. So what is the import of Wamako? So this idea has been worked against. There is no indication what so ever that he was against the people of Kebbi. But there are indications where he has assisted Kebbi PDP candidates who have access to him.
So, this is just a Sokoto thing that people are trying to rub on Kebbi and the people do not accuse him of anti - party.