HOW ALIERO BESTRIDES KEBBI STATE
By Ibrahim Dangana
The political cup of former Governor Muhammad Adamu Aliero of Kebbi State now in his third term as Senator representing the Central Senatorial District may soon runover with his latest plot to install the next governor in 2023 and still retain his Senate seat.
In what looks like a desperate attempt to achieve these goals, the ex- governor said to be contemplating a defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) where he once perched after leaving the defunct ANPP.
Observers believe the battle between Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Senator Aliero over who succeeds the former is responsible for the current crack in the state chapter of the APC.
Leaders of the party at both national and state levels have been battling to bridge the rift between Bagudu and Aliero who want to place their ‘anointed’ candidates in good positions to grab the governorship ticket of the state.
Governor Bagudu, who chairs the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), is rooting someone as his successor, while Aliero, a two-term governor of the state, has Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi as his preferred candidate for the APC governorship ticket.
Stakeholders in the State are steadily rising up in arms against the alleged insatiable greed for power and domineering interference of Aliero in all political affairs especially election and selection of leaders at all levels of government.
“I think it is high time he (Aliero) let it go. He wants the Senate leader to pick the APC ticket against the governor’s preferred candidate, this is the source of the dispute in Kebbi,” said one observer.
Speaking on the crisis, Aliero said political calamity awaited the APC in the state if it failed to treat all members with fairness, adding that imposition of leaders is unacceptable.
“There will be severe consequences if the APC in Kebbi State fails to be fair to all. During the last congress of the party, some members were selfishly removed as leaders while others were imposed to take over their positions. We will not allow that to be,” he said.
Chairman of Bagudu’s camp, Abubakar Kana Zuru, said he was not aware of the existence of any faction in the state chapter of the party.
One group in an interraction with newsmen recently recalled how Senator Aliero was brought on board through the anti-party activities of late Senator Danladi Bamaiyi and Alhaji Garba Koko and thereafter promised Senator Abubakar Umar Argungu, Deputy Comptroller of Customs Abubakar Malam (Shettima Gwandu) and Hassan Suleiman Kangiwa to make them Governor but failed to do so.
According to the concerned group, even when the then Minister of Finance Senator Nenadi Usman begged him on behalf of Abubakar Malam, he refused to yield but instead gave the governorship ticket to his younger brother’s (Alhaji Abba Aleiro) friend Saidu Dakingari even without primaries in ANPP.
Both Senator Aleiro and Dakingari decamped to the PDP and Dakingari got automatic governorship ticket while Aleiro got the Senatorial ticket and was in Senate before he got appointed as FCT Minister.
According to sources, when Aleiro was removed as FCT Minister by President Goodluck Jonathan, he started harrasing Governor Dakingari because he wanted to be taking decisions in the state. The two erstwhile allies fell out when Aliero failed to be satisfied with the generous contracts awarded to him by Dakingari.
He wanted to remain a kingmaker and decide who holds what political position in the state at the detriment of all party members and now uses one Alhaji Sani Dododo and Alhaji Bunu Jega to challenge elders and government of the State.A similar scenario played out with the incumbent Governor who also awarded some juicy contracts to Aliero and his allies.
The breakdown in this relationship started when Aliero wanted to replace the state APC chairman with his crony but Governor Bagudu stood his ground.
Also, about serving members of the House of Assembly, Representatives and the senate supposedly sponsored by Aliero are now ruing the deal after being made to pay him millions of naira compensation for his support.
Worse still, all commissioners and other political appointees of the former governor have since deserted him for other godfathers on account of his manipulative tendencies.
The group therefore urged him to allow peace reign in Kebbi State and let the governent in power to discharge their duties without undue meddling and interference.
Already bedevilled by high unemployment, poverty and insecurity, this state needs a break from the stranglehold of power-mongers who squandered their tenures in office without anything to show for it.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the incoming leadership of APC to be elected at the March 26th 2022 National Convention may need to step in to save the state from the vicious clutches of the colossus that bestrides Kebbi State since the return of democracy to Nigeria’s shores in May 1999.
Alhaji Ibrahim Dangana can be reached on 081110017974