POLITICS TODAY

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2019: The rattled Zamfara incumbent Governor and his masked defenders

By Mamman Nasir

I laughed all through what was clearly Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari’s self-ridiculing advertorial, which exposed his desperation to change the narrative and pull a blind wool over our eyes. I’m referring to the publication on page 11 of Leadership newspaper edition of Tuesday September 18th, 2018, in which a faceless Aminu Gusau, bearing an unverifiable, even fake contact address of “157B Malali” played the role of a media spin doctor.

My response is not about a faceless, hack writer or fake contact address but to point out the cheap, white lies, factual inaccuracies, disrespect for the constitution and Electoral Act contained in the advert, in order to set the records straight.

In the beginning of the ridiculous advertorial, the faceless author harped on the importance of constitutional provisions and the Electoral Act as the basis for being qualified to contest elections in Nigeria. And he stressed that failure to meet the provisions of the constitution could disqualify aspirant or candidate for any elective office. You would think he was about to use the constitution and Electoral Act to explain why aspirants in the Zamfara governorship 2019 election stand disqualified. No, he simply goofed, abandoning the legal and constitutional provisions for ” traditional” (read, backdoor)Zamfara political consensus method. He tried in vain, to prove that the habit of some party elders and government officials to impose candidates on the people was superior to both the Nigerian constitution and Electoral Law. Then the faceless and reckless writer abandoned all decorum and caution to the wind, proceeding to attack the personality of all the aspirants that are challenging the impunity of the incumbent governor. The hack writer, apparently ignorant of libel laws proceeded to use unprintable adjectives, casting aspersion on the G-7 group members, one-by-one.

He proceeded to openly condemn each one of these seven aspirants, using very plausible, even childish claims against them and saying they all stand disqualified for the 2019 Zamfara governorship, as against his favored candidate – Governor Abdul’Aziz’ Yari. It is not surprising therefore that the rattled incumbent governor would cling to just anyone, to decampaign his rivals and in such in a crude manner, with pedestrian arguments that are in collision with Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Act.

The day the masses of Zamfara State stoned Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari’s convoy clearly indicated how unpopular the man has become in the eyes of Zamfara people. Once a leader allows his incompetence to lead to an entry into the bad book of the masses, he will automatically lose his goodwill and influence. This is indeed the dilemma of the rattled incumbent governor, who has exhausted the patience of Zamfara electorate by failing woefully in the discharge of his responsibility to provide infrastructure, empowerment and security of lives and property of the people.

The 7 prominent sons of Zamfara, who took up the case of the masses and determined to fight to the logical conclusion, towards the 2019 change into more responsible leadership are : Incumbent Deputy Governor – Alh Ibrahim Wakkala, Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, Alh Sagir Hamidu,Dauda Lawal; Engr Abubakar Magaji, Hon Sani Jaji and former governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi. These are the only formidable forces that can boldly confront the underperforming incumbent. The hack writer thought by doing something reckless as paid advert, he would have changed the narrative about Zamfara. To please his paymaster, he resorted to an ego trip, calling these agents of democratic change, all sorts of names; all as a veiled strategy for diverting public attention away from the abysmal levels of governance in present day Zamfara.

Significantly, all of the smokescreen in the faceless writer’s pedestrian advertorial failed woefully to justify the backdoor, undemocratic method that his rattled paymaster would like to exploit for his 2019 shenanigans. We have not forgotten that this is the change era and every true democrat won’t endorse any backdoor, undemocratic and primitive method called elders’ consensus. No Nigerian in his right senses will accept a political culture of the pre-change era in the forthcoming elections. We are not that backward as a nation. If the incumbent governor and his co-travellers in this stone-age politics think they can draw back the hand of the clock before our very eyes, they are seriously mistaken. We stand by the well-known democratic ethics of respecting the electorate’s right of choice, and totally reject the so-called elders/government’s imposition in broad daylight. We say no to this democratic robbery and hiring of faceless, indecorous writers to divert public attention. This time, the Nigerian voters are more enlightened than they were in 1999. Now they identify reality when they see it. They are all too familiar with the dirty antics of desperados in power and their lame-duck explanations. All these come to naught, in the face of the glaring realities before our very eyes.

No artificial tinkering with the reasoning of Zamfara masses can tamper with the power of their PVCs. No cutting corners in the current democratic system would make it easy for the rattled incumbent and his com travellers attempt to re-write history. This failed revisionism is already glaring to the voters of Zamfara. We mean the same innocent citizens who have openly rejected the imposition of a relatively-unknown hand-picked lackey as the next governor of Zamfara State. Someone should help tell the rattled Governor that this obscurantist approach to democracy is dead on arrival, especially in the spirit of the change mantra.

For Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari, his collaborators in this undemocratic mission, including the faceless Abdullahi Aminu Gusau of no verifiable address, should save our ears from the cry of blue murder against the 7 agents of change in Zamfara. The change Zamfara deserves in 2019 is finally here and any attempt to stop it would only further expose the naivety of the rattled incumbent and his co-travellers in a political misadventure with dire consequences to their own political future. We pray they remove the clog over their eyes, to see the reality we are seeing as patriotic sons of Zamfara State.

Nasir wrote from Legislative Quarters, Kaduna State, Nigeria

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