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2015 And Shema’s Options Of Challenges

| July 8, 2013 More

Prior to the seeming desire for a second term by President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina state had been touted as one of the possible presidential hopefuls from the north. That permutation may have changed expectedly. MUAZU ELEZAH in Katsina, writes on the next possible desires of Governor Shema and the challenges therein

Acursory look at the manner in which the Katsina state governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema, was thrown up for the post in 2007 presents a web of interesting intrigues.

Before the lot fell on Shema who was then deputy national chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), little or no attention was on his side as far as the governorship race was concerned.

For one, erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Bello Masari and Alhaji Iro Dan Musa were seen as the frontline contenders for the governorship seat until the then governor, who later became president, the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua insisted on Shema.

To say that Shema never indicated interest or at least, was not eager to run against the duo of Masari and Dan Musa, the latter being an uncle, was not in doubt as he had earlier desired to take shot at the senate in 2007.

Shema is serving his second and mandatory final term in office as governor. But depending on the circumstances, indications are rife that he may be considering a twin option to sustain himself in political relevance.

LEADERSHIP WEEKEND learnt that one of the options Shema is working assiduously to achieve is to take the place of current vice president, Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo in 2015. 

Although Shema has kept what could mildly be referred to as seal lip as far as his next moves are concerned, sources said the man may be angling himself for the plum job of the nation’s number two job, his qualification is not in doubt.

As a confirmation of this line of thought, the shout of ‘Nigeria Sai Shema’ rents the air at state functions that the governor attends. This, according to pundits is suggestive of a perceived call on the governor to give a shot at a higher office.

Nonetheless, Shema may have to contend with a quiet but forceful political machine of Vice President Sambo within the ruling PDP.

Although Sambo has maintained a refrained and reclusive political life lately, he is not oblivious of the deft moves by politicians particularly from his northwest zone, to unseat him in 2015.

An instance that he does not want to take chances ahead of the election year resonated in May this year when he was said to have pulled a forceful string to deflate Shema in the run-up to the election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

Shema had been endorsed by the leadership of the PDP to slug it out with the incumbent and Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi.

But a few days to the election, a strange dimension laced the race as Bauchi state governor, Isa Yuguda, indicated interest in the NGF chairmanship. 

For Shema, Yuguda’s entry into the race was a means to stop him from emerging as NGF chairman, a fear that was confirmed by the refusal of the Bauchi state governor to remain vehement in the race until the duo were asked to step aside in what Kano state governor later described as ‘advanced politics’.

The rest is history as the emergence of Plateau state governor, Jonah David Jang as the consensus candidate of the pro-Presidency governors had led to the current factionalized state of the NGF.

LEADERSHIP WEEKEND learnt, it was the political calculation in the camp of the vice president that a Shema-led NGF was an undoing; hence associates of Sambo quickly moved in and drafted Yuguda into the race.

Typical of most politicians, the governor is said to have a plan B in the event that his plan A which is to have a shot at the presidency as number two, fails. In the event that vice presidency becomes practically impossible, as it is glaringly becoming, Shema will most likely settle for the senate seat

Sources told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND that Katsina central senatorial seat which covers eleven local government including Shema’s Dutsinma local government, is likely to be the governor’s next stop as far as his moves to remain relevant beyond 2015 is concerned.

Should Shema settle for that, he is sure to meet a challenge from the current occupier, Senator Sadiq Yar’Adua, who interestingly, is in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and seeking re-election in 2015.

But one thing is sure. Shema would have no problem clinching the PDP senatorial ticket since he is the leader of the party. His likely albatross is however, the about to be registered All Progressive Congress (APC).

Although it is too early to call, the race is likely to be a fierce one considering the fact that the incumbent senator, who has got support and admirations of a sizeable segment of the electorates, has introduced what many believe as a fresh perspective to representation in the senatorial district.

Bala Ahmed Gwangwan a youth leader in Katsina metropolis told our correspondent that Senator Sadiq has got the support of both the youth and women.

“Senator Sadiq Yaradua is most likely to seek reelection and with the dutiful account of his stewardship since the past few months of his resumption in senate, he is most certainly going to give not only the governor but any other candidate a tough fight” “Through intervention in critical areas, provision of support to the electorates and his innovative representation which see him being the first senator in the history of not only the zone but the state, to visit all the electoral wards in his constituency.

 “Senator Sadiq has endeared himself to the electorates so much so that defeating him at the poll will be a herculean task” he added.

However, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA Press) to Governor Shema, Alhaji Ahmed Matazu in a telephone interview with our correspondent said his principal is pre-occupied with providing service to the state and its people insisting 2015 is not in the governor’s agenda at the moment.

“He (the governor) always say now is not the time for 2015. What is important is for him to complete his tenure and work for the people. He is not talking about contesting for any position at the moment.”

Matazu however assured that his principal will make his plans and next line of action known at the appropriate time.


Category: Bauchi State News

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