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Sokoto: When the blame games failed

By Mansur Ibrahim Rigasa

There is the truism that failure, like the proverbial golden fish, has no hiding place. This reality explains the inability, even failure of commercial media commentators to twist the story of Sokoto State under Tambuwal’s watch.

In the last few weeks, I have noticed how the commercial media commentators on Tambuwal’s payroll struggled to push down the throat of innocent Nigerians a narrative, that their paymaster has been doing so well as a leader, only that a select number Sokoto politicians are after him.

This time the media hacks of the PDP governor used a more subtle means – the social media – out of fear – that if they use the mainstream media there would be an intellectual backlash that could ridicule their client.

The targets of these social media goons were all so familiar, especially Senator Aliyu Magatakardan Wamakko – the last man standing in the political struggle to rescue Sokoto from the shackles of Tambuwal’s focusless, underperforming government. The rest are all President Muhammadu Buhari appointees from Sokoto State and I believe they are all capable to defending themselves.

What was mind-boggling about that mischievous social media campaign was how Tambuwal and his footsoldiers attempted to willy-nilly turn the truth on its head.

But let us examine a few from the list of the legacy of incompetence that forced Tambuwal to unleash his social media goons on Wamakko.

On a scale of performmane, it is becoming increasingly difficult to rate the Tambuwal administration. No tangible infrastructure can be linked to his administration, no outstanding healthcare or educational sector overhaul can be successfully linked to him. As for security, Tambuwal has since bungled the goodwill of stakeholders and we now hear of killings in droves. Only recently an unprecedentedly 70 innocent voters of the governor were cut down by bandits and Tambuwal did not tell the world what he will do or has done about a tragedy in his domain. No one dares to ask questions about what exactly the governor is using the State’s security vote for.

In case Nigerians have forgotten, here is the governor who used millions to acquire a mansion for the Sokoto Sultanate in Abuja, at the very moment the children of the poor were learning in public schools on the bare floor! I will be glad if anyone can convince me that the word ‘priority’ in governance has not acquired a new name in Sokoto under Tambuwal’s watch.

But the bottom line is that the new propagandist strategy of Tambuwal has now turned into a failed revisionism. Neither the governor nor his commercial commentators can obliterate the truth. So living in denial is now impossible.

Significantly, it is necessary to look at the ‘timing’ of this failed change of narrative. The whole country is marking the five years anniversary of our democratic journey. On this historic moment, we would see accountable leaders reeling out their development projects and records of spending. For Tambuwal and his footsoldiers, the best diversionary tactic is to drag the name of prominent President Buhari political appointees in the mud. This, in their warped view, has the potential to distract the attention of Sokoto people from calling out their leader. They thought a string of sound-bites in the media should keep majority of the observers of Sokoto busy for a while. This seems to be an idea already dead on arrival as Sokoto voters are asking daunting questions about accountability and performmane by the State government.

We need to question the entire tissues of lies in the Tambuwal’s commercial media commentators wild claims. One of the white lies was the claim that the governor had once cut short an international trip to condole with one of the communities attacked by bandits. Expectedly, the writer could not even concoct a date that this happened.

Another white lie in that social media campaign was claiming that Senator Wamakko along with the rest of Buhari appointees, including the Presidential Task Force (PTF) Secretary are the problems of the governor. So, the insecurity occasioned by banditry in Sokoto today could be hung around the neck of this appointee? It is common knowledge that even the Ministry for Police Affairs could not have jumped in to rescuing Sokoto without presidential approval. And question is: has Tambuwal sought the cooperation of any or all of these illustrious Sokoto sons, even before the banditry grew from bad to worse? Or is this failed revisionism also designed to tarnish the good image that these illustrious sons of Sokoto have built over the past decades? At any rate, isn’t Tambuwal the Chief Security Officer of the State? When did lamentations and buck-passing become solution to socio-economic challenges in the developing world?

Tambuwal’s hirelings tried to spread a lot of misinformation in the write up and I will now proceed to set the records straight.

First and foremost, banditry in Sokoto began when Tambuwal was in APC with all those illustrious Sokoto sons mentioned in the write-up. Even when they were all in APC, Wamakko has always donated twice what Tambuwal was giving as contributions to Sokoto people in times of need. A few examples would suffice.

In Rabah local government in particular, Senator Wamakko donated twice the amount that Tambuwal’s government gave. Wamakko went a notch further by assisting with food stuff, clothing and blankets among other essentials.

Elsewhere, in places like Goronyo and Sabon Birni they still value Wamakko’s donation because the Senator’s own has surpassed that of the State government in its entirety. It still beats me hollow how Wamakko’s one-man squad fight against poverty could not be surpassed by a whole State government despite the resources at her disposal. Anyway, it is still a question of experience, planning and strategy.

Again, the minister of police affairs is not up to a year in office but the Tambuwal’s foot-soldiers wanted to turn him into a whipping lapdog, while banditry has thrived for years. It sounds so ridiculous to say he has frustrated Sokoto government, which has been in place for more than five years. Who will believe this baloney?

As for the PTF Executive Secretary, he was sworn-in just last week and has not officially kick started his schedule. This begs the question: in what way is he sabotaging Tambuwal?

Wamakko was appointed Senate committee chairman on Army less than a year also. How could he have been able to sabotage Tambuwal, when he could not be said to have even fully settled down?

Both Gobir and Dan Baba are yet to mark one year in office as chairman and vice chairman of their committees respectively. How could they have been sabotaging Sokoto government?

It is abundantly clear that this is not a party matter and it is simply about Tambuwal’s lack of administrative skills and and growing incompetence.

Lest I forget, the author of that blame game against Wamakko and other illustrious sons of Sokoto State in Buhari’s government is no other person than Tambuwal’s Commissioner of Commerce – Bashir Gidado. And I wonder just when he will pay attention to the urgent need to bring back the lost glory of Sokoto’s commerce, killed by Tambuwal’s lack of proper prioritising. May be the people of Sokoto will soon hold the Commissioner to account due to the series of reported meetings between his governor and foreign investors. The Commissioner will do well to tell us the resultant impact of Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) on Sokoto treasury right now.

On the whole, it is obvious that no artificial tinkering with the reasoning of the people could bury the glaring incompetence of the Tambuwal’s government five years on.

Mansur, a public affairs commentator wrote this from Kaduna

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