2019: Wooing Muttaka Rini for Zamfara Governor
By IDRIS SALISU
As the 2019 general elections draw near, in Zamfara State the political gladiators have started jostling to occupy its governorship seat. Aspirants within the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and that of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have started gearing up for a showdown in the fierce battle to succeed the incumbent Governor Abdul’azeez Yari Abubakar. This ultimate showdown is what political observers now describe as a potentially lethal clash of the titans that is likely to significantly affect the outcome of the governorship election in a state.
The pioneer three-term member of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, elected under the defunct APP and later ANPP from 1999 to 2011 and now Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs serving since 2011, Muhammad Muttaka Rini, is among the top contenders touted for this position on the platform of the APC.
Muttaka Rini is one politician in Zamfara whose name rings a bell in the present political dispensation of the state. He is also an astute politician whose unwavering struggle for true democracy placed him high among politicians in Zamfara State and eventually earned him both political recognition and respect by all. It was therefore understandable when the teaming populace from across the state started persuading him to come out and contest for the governorship seat of Zamfara come 2019.
Rini, a veteran on politics from the North-West zone, was believed to be one of Ahmed Sani Yariman Bakura boys – the powerful former civilian governor of Zamfara state. A true democrat, Rini was a product of the political school of thought of the former governor, along with incumbent Governor Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar. Both the two were regarded as strong commanders of the former civilian governor Ahmed Sani Yarima who strategized so well as to ensure the then ruling People Democratic Party PDP was brought down to its knees in the 2011 gubernatorial election that made Abdul’azeez Yari Abubakar of ANPP the governor of the state.
After the 2011 political revolution in the state which led to the ANPP victory, Muttaka Rini emerged as a force to reckon with, in Governor Abdul’azeez Yari’s kitchen cabinet – as Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, the position he holds till date.
Born 53 years ago, Rini started his primary school in Rini town, Bakura local government area. He attended Government Teachers College for his Grade 11 Certificate, and then proceeds to College of Education Sokoto and Usman Danfodio University (UDUS), Sokoto where he obtained National Certificate of Education and B.sc in Education (Biology) respectively.
Indeed, the moves by the teaming populace of Zamfara state, urging Muttaka Rini the dynamic and ebullient commissioner to join the governorship race is driven by the fact that his entrance into the political landscape has made him to perform vigorously in the discharge of his duties, thereby bringing him closer to the people of the 14 local government areas.
The bold and firm actions of Rini have not only made him popular but has made him to be loved and identified by the people of the state as one of the few politicians who hold the firm supremacy principle of his party, the APC.
His remarkable performance under his Ministry as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs could be gleaned from the fact that none of the 14 local government areas of the state was left out in the provision of physical projects; consisting of roads construction, electrification of numerous villages, provision of portable drinking water, construction of hospitals and clinics equipped with drugs and personnel as well as his consistent welfare programmes for both individuals and groups. Undoubtedly, all of these became vital tool which made Rini more popular and well-respected in the political landscape of the state, hence the resolve of many politicians and Civil Organizations in all parts of the state to drum up support for him to contest for the Zamfara governorship come 2019.
Muttaka Rini, also remained committed to the development of the people of the state while also maintaining his closeness to people regardless of their different political affiliations. With massive goodwill, he has therefore continued to build more political structures in the entire state to complement his already existing active and vibrant political structures in all wards of the 14 local government areas of the state.
Currently, different kinds of posters bearing Muttaka Rini portraits and urging him to yield to the call of the people to contest in 2019, adorn all parts of the state – an indication of the acceptability of the leadership qualities of Rini, who is an independent-minded politician.
As the clock ticks towards 2019, the pressure of the people of Zamfara continues to mount on Rini, begging him to accept their calls to contest for the governorship to succeed the incumbent Governor Abdul’azeez Yari Abubakar.
According to political watchers, Rini’s visible chance to emerge as the governor of Zamfara state come 2019 followed the massive calls from various groups, civil societies, Ulamas (Islamic Scholars) and prominent politicians of the state, who are clamoring for him to come out and contest. Indeed, Rini was receiving on daily basis, floodgate of groups of people who are trouping to his Gusau residence day and night and even down to his office to show their support for his governorship contest in 2019.
While some pundits believe that though he has the financial strength to prosecute his project, some political heavyweights in the state may be conspiring against him. Some analysts are also of the opinion that Muttaka Rini has the most extensive political structure among his fellow contenders and by all compelling standards and benchmark appears the candidate to beat.
Many are of the opinion that he is the only aspirant whose popularity and acceptability cut across party affiliation despite some forces that may be against his aspiration. While some believe that he still has a lot of work to do, others are of the opinion that he remains the only person that can enjoy the sympathy and support of both party officials and the people of the state who believe in him of how he achieved marvelously both in the struggle at party level and he turns his ministry (Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs) into a viable ministry, and also how he succeeded in collaboration with all 14 councils Chairmen in ensuring all developmental aspects has reached down to the doorsteps of the common man of all the 14 local government areas of the state.
Many political observers are of the view that Rini is indeed a favorable contender in APC, who is likely to get the nomination ticket and because of his popularity even amongst the PDP followers many look up to him as the best amongst other contenders that can protect and promote the interest of Zamfara people when elected governor in 2019.