2019: The Lawal Dauda Tsunami in Zamfara
By Fatima Taurus
It is obvious that for more than a year, history has been beckoning on Lawal Dauda as a highly desirable governorship material for Zamfara State. The reason is simple: He has helped hundreds of thousands of people (and still counting) to rebuild their battered lives. Secondly, the incumbent governor Abdul’Aziz Yari is so frightened by the towering political influence of Lawal Dauda and confused as to how to stop this moving train.
For now, the incumbent governor has hired hack and faceless writers, like one Abdullahi Aminu Gusau, whose clearly fake contact address was given as No 157 B, Malali Kaduna, to indulge in an infantile personality attack against Lawal Dauda and others on page 11 of Leadership newspaper of Tuesday 18th, 2018. The hack writer, who tried in vain to convince his readers that incumbent Governor was the best choice for Zamfara, relied heavily on very undemocratic point of view. He argued shamelessly in favor of a “tradition” in Zamfara politics in which party elders connived with government officials to impose unpopular anointed candidates on Zamfara voters. The hack writer has conveniently ignored the point he raised in the opening of his sponsored propaganda, that any candidate who falls short of the provisions of the Nigerian constitution or the Electoral Act stands disqualified. He jumped this fact and engaged in a self-righteous argument outside the Nigerian constitution or even the Electoral Act.
Any way, this much should be expected of any underperforming governor, whose ship of political goodwill has since started sinking.
It follows logically, therefore, that as a drowning man, an obviously rattled Governor Yari has resorted to pedestrian media campaign against the formidable Lawal Dauda, using a faceless name and an unverifiable address.
Most observers of Zamfara politics have already scored the incumbent very low, politically. The other day someone told a foreign Hausa radio service programme that Governor Abdul’Aziz’s popularity rating in Zamfara is hovering between 35% and 40% because of the heartbreaking indices of development. He gave familiar examples with the worsening insecurity in the State under Yari’s watch and the inability of the administration to evolve viable strategies for reducing the menace. He then raised tough questions about why the State has remained the most backward in this country in terms of schools examination indices; collapsed healthcare delivery system; ravaging poverty and biting unemployment. All over Zamfara, one gets to hear all forms of lamentations on daily basis. What the incumbent governor could do, at best, was to forfeit his position as Chief Security Officer of the State, as the insecurity of the State reached boiling point. This was an embarrassment to the people of the State who voted him in, to protect their lives and property as provided for by the nation’s constitution. So, When the going gets tough, Yari would forfeit his role as Chief Security Officer? How heartbreaking!
It was disturbing to read newspaper reports that the same incumbent governor, whose biggest record of performance was a deficit in infrastructure, needless foreign trips and failure to articulate viable development policies and programmes is the one to anoint someone as his successor. Impunity at its highest level is imposing a candidate on the innocent Zamfara voters, whose financial power has been drained by payment of ransoms to kidnappers. Didn’t Senator Saidu Dansadau lament the loss of over N2 billion to ransom for kidnappings? In any case, what would the incumbent tell the people, is the basis for imposing his lackey, a former Finance Commissioner on the people? Why should he divert attention from dismal performance using taxpayers’ money for needless paid advertorials designed to attack very popular candidates like Lawal Dauda? The questions are endless, because it is evident that incumbent Governor Yari, who could not add any value to the lives of the electorate is inventing new antics to sway the tide of public rating of Lawal Dauda. Someone should kindly tell him this political revisionism is already dead on arrival.
Going forward, Lawal Dauda is a moving train, as far as the governorship race in Zamfara State is concerned. The incumbent governor should take a second look at his failed revisionism and bow out honourably by allowing Zamfara voters to continue with their very cordial relationship, with Dauda Lawal ahead of 2019. The first warning from Zamfara masses came just a few days ago when they threw pebbles at him, right inside the State capital. This is a moment of decision for masses of Zamfara, who are pitching their tent continuously, with Dauda Lawal and Yari should stop playing the proverbial Ostrich in the sand dunes and let Zamfara be. I rest my case for now.
Fatima wrote from Abuja and can be reached at email@example.com