For those who have been closely watching the current democratic setting, Sokoto is one of the many states of the Northwest that are lagging behind in the distribution of appointive offices at the federal level.
The situation is really discomforting in the 2019 democratic space. Sokoto has already been suffering from a lack of any grip on a senior federal government director’s position, permanent secretary or chairman of a federal parastatals.
To cap it, the failure of the ruling APC government to appoint politically savvy ministerial appointee to check-mate savvy politician in the league of a former rebellion speaker of a National Assembly in the class and type of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, an incumbent governor, became the deciding factor for the APC to lose the Sokoto gubernatorial election with a narrow margin of a flimsy 342 votes, after a clear success at both the Presidential and National Assembly elections a fortnight earlier when it landslides a victory of three senators and nine out of 11 House of Representatives members. A desperate battle followed another fortnight later where APC lost the wider margin by only defeating the incumbent PDP by with a smaller near significant margin of 16 house of assembly seats against 14. The gubernatorial election ended up with a loss of the seat by an unthinkable 342 votes which has to be challenged at the tribunal. The battle for 2023 should start from 2019 and should start at the National Assembly and the subsequent constitutional ministerial appointments. We should cheery pick from our first eleven legislators and savvy politicians who should be battle ready to carry our proud APC flag and borscht it at the Sokoto Government House with the dexterity it requires. Appointeees by the party leadership who will see the party beyond 2019 and far beyond 2023 for the party to be relevant in another decade. Appointees who will maintain the legacies of President Mihammadu Buhari, especially in areas of security, economy and fight against the menace of corruption and other societal ills afflicting the region and the country in general.
Significantly, it is obvious that Tambuwal will eventually be defeated at the Elections Petitions Tribunal on account of his current votes margin, which is yet a proof that he is hanging on a cliff. There is undiluted hope that this could be the outcome of the ongoing trials at the tribunals.
We strongly suggest that the leadership of our party should focus seriously on nominating a leader at the National Assembly by cherry picking from the first eleven amongst our experienced cognate members who have demonstrated patrotism and were obedient to party directives and so demonstrated it. It opens an opportunity to look far Northwest of the Northwest region at states thst do not have incumbent government’s officials in place at least for now, and strengthen the party and placate its followers so that the strength of the party will not only be maintained but strengthened for the 2023 battle.
We strongly suggest to the leadership of our party to start considering the choice of savvy politicians who were returned for the fourth time to the National Assembly like Hon. Musa S. Adar from Sokoto state as an appropriate nominee for the position of House Leader. A cursory look at Hon. Musa S. Adar’s performances in the 6th to 8th Assembly will reveal to any political historian that this Hon. member has all it takes to lead a house of first amongst equals. He has demonstrated it by leading a like-minds group in full support of the ideals of President Muhammadu Buhari at the 8th Assembly where a rebellion placed a speaker of the house at the detriment of a chosen member. This like-mind group was able to check-mate the house throughout the 8th session and did not suppirt any derailment of government bills.
Talking about opportunities, it would not be bad to start with the recent zoning of the seat of House of Representatives leader to the Northwest. It is indeed an opportunity to start encouraging candidates from Sokoto . For instance, Hon Sarkin Adar, a quiet but hardworking member of the House for many years, will be an appropriate choice for the position of House leader.
Sarkin Adar as an illustrious son of Sokoto state needs the full support of all people of goodwill within the ruling APC and even opposition PDP in the House, to make his mark as a principled lawmaker.
The undeniable truth is that the Next Level means a new sense of political or democratic direction for Nigeria under the change mantra of President Buhari. We should begin to demonstrate a clear sense of readiness to move to the Next Level in political, practical and principle terms. By this I mean considering the choice of Sokoto voters – Hon Sarkin Adar. When it comes to House leadership, the Next Level should be hinged on the First Eleven logic, to avoid pitfalls of the past when we had people less proficient and less articulate. Therefore, Next Level should be a break from the inglorious past.
It is evident that the time has come to do away with the avoidable mistakes of the past. This is a time for healing the wounds of the past and the zoning of House Leader to the Northwest offers great opportunity for making amends.
It is the hope of Sokoto voters that this dispensation would offer a new lease of life to their democratic expectations under the Next Level spirit.
No one in Sokoto State, except perhaps the opposition, would raise an eyebrow over the choice of an experienced lawmaker like Hon Sarkin Adar for the House leadership. I can bet with my last dime that any decision along this line would set the pace for an unprecedented democratic strategy of cooling off and lay the foundation for a better reward system in the ruling APC.
Ainu is chairman of defunct CPC in Sokoto state