2023: PDP in another bumpy ride to Jigawa government house

Except the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) puts its house in order towards 2023, it may lose like previous years. Writes BAYO MUHAMMAD ALABIRA.
The political space in Jigawa state was once more heated recently by the endorsement of the 38-year-old Mustapha, son of the former governor, Sule Lamido on Monday, February 7 2022 in Gumel by the old local council chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).It became an issue because some party loyalists felt shortchanged by the unanimous decision to endorse Mustapha by the state executives of the party for the office of governor in 2023.Jigawa is currently an APC state under the leadership of Badaru Abubakar Talmiz whose second and last tenures expire in May 2023. 
The controversial endorsement
Recently, the 22 former chairmen, out of 27, met in Gumel, headquarters of Gumel local government area under the chairmanship of Alhaji Ali Diginsa, former chairman of Birniwa LGA and currently the deputy chairman of PDP in the state. In a communique read to newsmen after the meeting by the secretary of the group, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi Karkarna, who is also the former chairman of Yankwashi LGA, he urged other interested party members to make their ambitions known, though reaffirming that Mustapha is their choice based on stated criteria. The call become significant because the opposition PDP is still considered by many as a viable alternative to the ruling APC in the state which they see to have performed far below in terms of infrastructural development, social services and  economic empowerment. Lamido is a folk hero of some sort in Jigawa state under whose leadership the name of the state was written in gold. This was due to various projects he initiated such as infrastructural developments that spread across the length and breadth of the state.
To this end, many citizens of the state consider the second coming of PDP a real possibility on the condition that it has already organised itself to present a consensus candidate acceptable to everybody and various interests groups in the party. PDP was locked in internal crisis in the aftermath of 2019 general elections when the flagbearer of the party for both 2015 and 2019, Mallam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim and his group accused Lamido of subversion and working against the interest of the party. Investigation, however, shows that the stakeholders that paved the way for Mustapha in Gumel were Honourable Muhammadu Danlawan and Hon Isa Zakari Bosuwa the zonal chairmen of the party in North-central and North- west senatorial zones of the state. Others are Isa Bello Gwadayi who is the state secretary of the party and Babandi Ala who is state financial secretary, among others.
Many, for instance, from the Lamido camp, who spoke anonymously because of the fear of political persecution feel that the endorsement should have been a little bit more discrete and delayed to a better time.Be it as it may, PDP supporters argued that these type of endorsements usually come from support groups populated by members who may not have direct party responsibilities or influence rather than the party’s leaders.A supporter of Lamido who did not want his name to be mentioned said following the unanimous endorsement of Mustapha to contest, which moral ground does anyone has to counter by saying that it’s one-sided as alleged by the Aminu Ringim camp?”The roots of this internal crisis, the accusations made against Lamido by the displaced Ringim camp and the impression that has been created in the mind of the average Jigawa citizen about Sule Lamido is what made the Gumel call outrightly controversial and also very consequential according to Analysts.”It could be recalled that the Ringim group in the PDP, which is also known as the ‘Siyasa Da Kulawa’ faction, had consistently accused Lamido of serially sabotaging the party in the state in both 2015 and 2019 general elections so as to pave way for the candidature of his son, Mustapha in 2023 which always been denied.However, according to some politicians in the state PDP, “This wild conspiracy theory which many in Jigawa and those in the Lamido faction of the PDP rather dismissed out of their respect for the person of Lamido suddenly got validated by the action of the former chairmen recently in Gumel.” Analysts said that this raises serious moral questions and even doubts about the ability of the stakeholders to organise and supervise a primary election that can be fair to all. For instance, Hon Diginsa who chaired the Gumel meeting is also the state deputy chairman of the party.The analysts opined that, “The consequences of the Gumel endorsement of Mustapha Lamido are far reaching and are already threatening the future and stability of the party. Most especially the capacity of its state leadership as is currently constituted to give a level-playing ground for others who might declare their interest to contest for the same seat.”
Although supporters of PDP are of the opinion that those who are supposed to be given open ticket to contest for governorship in 2023 general elections are many and not only Mustapha as Hon Bashir Adamu Jumbo and Dr Nurudden Muhammad, for example, may also be interested.They said that such call was better to had come from a section of the party’s supporters or interest groups in the PDP rather than the elected persons and party’s hyrachy, noting that by so doing, justice is seemed to have been trampled upon and others who might have ambitions to contest or show their interest denied.They said that PDP as a party should have embarked on reuniting its members right from the grassroot to the entire state to become one formidable family rather than throwing their weight behind a particular candidate as they did recently in Gumel.The general impression created by PDP supporters in Jigawa indicates that people need full democracy to be entrenched while insisting  that the party cannot continue to be manipulated by a single person.
According to opposing views, the outcome of Gumel meeting would affect the possibility of the party taking over power from the incumbent ruling APC in 2023 as some loyalists in Lamido’s camp may leave or sabotage the 2023 success.Investigation reveals that most people vowed that they would no longer be slaves in the party, but want equal opportunity to be given to all supporters with a view to having a collective strength to confront the APC in 2023.As it is, if PDP does not thread with caution, it would end up dancing last in the 2023 general elections because, presently there are no solid measures on ground towards achieving success  as members still doubt their hope on the PDP and it’s stakeholders in the state.
The candidates
Blueprint gathered that the 2019 general election was almost a win for the young Lamido before elites conspiracy and manipulation shifted the ballot against him.  He is however a good politician with a bright future. Also is Hon Bashir Adamu Jumbo, a four-time member of the House of Representatives, representing Kazaure/Roni/Yankwashi/Gwiwa federal constituency, first under All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and later the PDP.Jumbo, who defected to the ruling APC when he lost reelection in 2015, further defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to contest as its gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 general elections which he lost to the incumbent. He has extensive national network within the party, most especially his strong relationship with Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who is rumoured to be supporting his ambition.Next is Dr Nuruddeen Muhammad, a former minister of state for foreign affairs in Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration between 2011 to 2015. He was also the running mate to the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 general elections. It can be said that if Mustapha is Sule Lamido’s biological son, Dr Nura is his favourite political son.  


Blueprint Whatsapp