Bafarawa: The Story of an Expired Political General By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, a former Governor of Sokoto State is a Politician of high-level mental alacrity known for outspokenness and courage. However, his lack of ideology, political and intellectual humility, respect for party supremacy and contentment ‘ll make a good thesis for a Doctorate Degree Scholar.
In 1999, Bafarawa was elected Governor under the platform of the defunct All Nigerian People’s Party, ANPP. He was re-elected in 2003.
As 2007 polls gathers momentum, Bafarawa declared his intention to govern Nigeria. However, his party leaders, the ANPP, advised him to step aside as their party Presidential ticket would be presented to the peoples General, Muhamadu Buhari.
Dissatisfied with his Party’s decision on the candidature of Buhari, Bafarawa formed the Democratic People’s Party, DPP to contest for Presidency in 2007. His then Deputy, now Sokoto Governor, Magataka Aliyu Wamako declined his invitation to join DPP by staying put in the ANPP. Vindictive Bafarawa did not only decay Wamako, he ensured that he was balkanized from the ANPP, using state resources.
When ANPP shut the door on Wamako, he had no choice to look for a new platform. He joined the PDP and eventually got the party ticket to contest for governorship seat in 2007 election which he won convincingly. Wamako won by walloping, mauling and humiliating the candidate sponsored by his Boss, Bafarawa under DPP. Wamako did not only win the Governorship seat, he delivered all the senatorial, Reps and State Assembly seats in the state to the PDP. Bafarawa was mercilessly hammered by Wamako.
In late 2008, a court of appeal sitting in Sokoto, citing gross violation of the provisions of 1999 constitution of Nigeria and 2004 electoral act, voided Wamako’s election and ordered for a rerun election. Then, Bafarawa was happy. On the Election Day, Wamako sings victory song as Bafarawa was politically decayed. Wamako won while Bafarawa’s stooge lost.
As 2011 general elections was gathering momentum, unstable Bafarawa dumped the party he formed, the DPP and cross-carpeted to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN to contest for Presidency. Having critically and painstakingly x-rayed Bafarawa’s idiosyncrasies, ACN figures tactically avoided him by giving their ticket to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
It is worth echoing that In 2011, Bafarawa did not win any Senatorial or Rep or State Assembly seat for the defunct ACN in Sokoto despite his claim of being the generalissimo of Sokoto Politics.
As expected, Bafarawa left ACN in anger and returned back to the ANPP, a platform he had earlier disowned. The Supreme Court verdict that sacked Wamako in January 2012 provided a fresh opportunity for Bafawa to prove his worth but again, Wamako taught him the political lesson of his life. ANPP won about 5 out of the over 300 wards in the state of the caliphate.
When ANPP merged with ACN and the Congress of Progressives Change, CPC to form the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bafarawa joined the fray.
However, as the Esaus and Jacobs in Abuja were oppressing Wamako for being revolutionary in thought and in approach, leading to his suspension from the PDP, he pitched tent with the APC.
Ideologically, Wamako, being a Politician, did nothing immoral and immodest as he could not be without a Political Party.
Shockingly, Bafarawa expected the leadership of the APC to place him above Wamako, a sitting Governor. Hierarchically, APC leaders told Bafarawa that his agitation is conventionally impossible as he wouldn’t have accepted such if he’s in the position of Wamako.
Curiously, covetous Bafarawa kicked. He rejected the offer of a senate, two reps and 8 state assembly tickets allotted him. His desire was to be dictating the string and button of the Caliphate politics. He wanted it all. Bafarawa turned deaf ear to the plea of APC leaders that he should make sacrifice, temper mercy with patriotism and for the sake of the “Change” the APC stands for, forgive and forget whatever unjust Wamako may have done to him in the past and embrace him.
Interestingly, greedy Bafarawa, with some expired political juggernauts, on Saturday 25 January, to the dismay of the constituency of progressivism he claims to represent, announced his defection from the APC to the PDP. What a decision!
Nonetheless, while I wish Bafarawa luck on his newly chosen platform, may I ask him that does he think that Wamako’s Deputy, Muktar Shagari who has declined his boss’ invitation to join the APC, ‘ll handover the Sokoto PDP structure to him? Does he think that Shagari, being the most senior PDP political office holder in Sokoto, ‘ll be taking instructions from him?
Affirmatively, the scenario that made Bafarawa dump the APC for PDP is set to play out in the PDP for he will never bow to Shagari. Yesterday, it was Bafarawa vs Wamako battling for the soul of the APC in Sokoto; tentatively, it will be Bafarawa vs Shagari slugging it out for the soul of Sokoto PDP tommorow.
Lastly, Can the PDP restore the lost grip of the expired politician in the person of Attahiru Bafarawa in Sokoto State? Time will tell!
Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye, Magodo, Lagos
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