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Bauchi 2015: Battle Of The Senators Across Emirates

| February 13, 2014 More

As the race to Bauchi State Government House heightens, PEMBI DAVID-STEPHEN takes a look at Senators Abdul Ningi from the central portion of the state, Suleiman Nazif Gamawa from the northern part of the state, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed from the southern part of the state as well as other senators who seek to get the nod of the people to govern them. 

The gubernatorial poll in Bauchi State may be a year away, but the battle line has long been drawn, with politicians from both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to occupy the office. If anything, the contest promises to be exciting, as well as intriguing, as senators, believed to have the capacity to wrestle power using one advantage or the other, are in the race.

Bauchi, a state with uncommon permutations and combinations, has an interesting scenario, as far as the forthcoming gubernatorial election is concerned. Unlike most states where religion, zones, local governments or ethnicity are major deciding factors, in Bauchi, emirate councils are very vocal and influential stakeholders. After all, the state has six emirates; more than any other in Nigeria.

Bauchi Emirate, with Bauchi, Toro, Alkalari, Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro, Kirfi, Darazo and Ganjuwa local governments, is the largest. Katagum Emirate, comprising Katagum, Zaki, Gamawa, Shira, Giyade and Itas Gadau, is second. Misau Emirate has Misau and Dambam, Ningi Emirate has Ningi and Warji, while Jamare Emirate has just Jamare.

It is interesting to know that Katagum, Jamare and Misua emirates are usually together, making it nine local governments, while Bauchi with eight, is at home with Dass, also making it nine. The determining emirate is always Ningi, where the votes can swing either way. Given the above standing, it suffices to say that the state on a unpredictable balance of power equation.

The South cannot boast of being the majority, neither can the North. The tussle is centred on the support of the Central zone. No zone can lay claim to having more advantage than the other.

Presently, though, there has been increased clamour by all the zones to produce the next governor. In all, there are two parties in the run to occupy Isa Yuguda’s seat; but the focus is on the men who wish to fly their parties’ flags at the forthcoming guber poll.

While the people of Bauchi South, having produced all the state governors from 1999 to date, are bent on clinching the ticket, their Central zone counterparts are busy plotting to get the ticket. It is only fair to conclude that the people of Bauchi North are strategising to outdo the other two also.

However, it is pertinent to note that the Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro regions, regarded as the ‘minorities’, are likely to go with any candidate from the Northern part of the state, because of their frosty relationships with all those from the Southern part of the state who have ruled the state – who, it seems, have failed to patronize them. None except the state’s Second Republic governor, Tatari Ali, had a better relationship and understanding with.

The focus is on Senators Abdul Ningi from the central portion of the state, Suleiman Nazif Gamawa from the northern part of the state, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed from the southern part of the state are some of the men gearing up to be governors in a state where the stakes are high.

Senator Abdul Ningi

The deputy leader of the Senate is one candidate with the strength to go all the way. He comes from Ningi-Central Zone and is well respected. Ningi will have one thing going for him when the chips get down: He is very articulate and firm on issues.

Weakness He comes from the Central Zone, an emirate with just two local governments – Ningi and Wurji. Besides the debacle posed by his region, his headache will be picking his running mate. If he settles for anyone from the Southern part, the Northern zone will not be comfortable and vice versa. The polity may not like to have someone who is hanging in the balance.

Senator Suleiman Nazif Gamawa

Nazif was first elected Senator representing Bauchi North in the National Assembly at the 2007 polls, on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), until 2011, when he vied for the seat of the governor. He was also member of the House of Representatives, between 2003 and 2007. Nazif is a native of Katagum, in Gamawa local government, Bauchi North.

The former lawmaker is very intelligent and has tremendous network through which he gets things done in the state. He has been among those credited with dousing the tension within the state chapter of the APC, having succeeded in bringing the warring parties to some degree of understanding – a factor which culminated in the election of a caretaker committee for the party in the state.

Nazif has a very good relationship with the people of Bauchi State and the nation as a whole; thus, he is considered a grassroots mobiliser with an aggressive campaign strategy. Without doubt, he is a force to reckon with in the APC and has a record to be proud of, as far as Bauchi and national politics is concerned.

Weakness The young and dynamic water resources engineer’s only weakness, as far as the race to Bauchi government house is concerned is that he has no godfather.

Senator Abubakar Maikafi

Maikafi who hails from Bauchi South, is a member of the ruling PDP and the Bauchi Emirate Council. He was also a Federal lawmaker between 2003 and 2007 and was a deputy governorship candidate in 2007.  Quiet and resourceful, it can be difficult to know what he has planned out.

Weakness Maikafi’s weaknesses are his reserved nature and an evidently low profile.

Senator Mohammed Mohammed

Comes from the Central Zone-Misua Emirate, served as Senator between 2007 and 2011 and was also a Second Republic minister. He is a career accountant and the present interim chairman of the APC in the state.

Weakness Age is not on his side.

Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed

Mohammed, who is also the Kauran Bauchi and the FCT Minister, comes from Bauchi South. He has enough resources in his war-chest to finance his campaign. Mohammed is a member of the ruling PDP and though no one can tell if he is a close ally of the either the present governor, Yuguda or the new chairman of his party, Mu’azu, it is evident that he is in the good books of the president. From the look of things, the party chairman, Mu’azu, will certainly play a major role in deciding who gets the party’s nod.

Weakness Comes from the same zone as both Yuguda and Mu’azu.

Senator Babayo Garba

Garba, a serving senator and member of the PDP, comes from Gamawa – in the Northern zone of the state. He was once the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly and former deputy governor.

Weakness Garba’s limited exposure and his ‘local politician’ tag may be factors against him.

Dr Yakubu Lame

Lame was a serving Senator in 1992, on the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC), a former minister of police affairs and a former secretary of the Northern Union. Lame vied to become a senator representing his constituency in 2011. The man who hails from Toro, in Bauchi South, has remained an active factor in national politics.

Weakness Lame has been tagged an ‘Abuja politician’ and largely considered to have no worthwhile support at the grassroots, where it counts most.

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Category: Bauchi State News

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