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Where would Nasarawa State be in 2027: APC, PDP, SDP, NNPP, or LP?

Alhassan Adamu Hussaini

Though it may seem too early to ask, yet it is pertinent and begin the conversation early enough. It is also quite interesting to understand that a journey can only be fruitful when the different routes to be navigated are clearly understood.

Nasarawa State was created from the then Plateau State by the late General Sani Abacha with it’s capital in Lafia.
In May 1999, the state got it’s first democratically elected Governor in the person of H.E. Alh. Abdullahi Adamu, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Governor Abdullahi Adamu is from Keffi Local Government in the western Senatorial District of the state.
Governor Adamu ran the state for eight years, serving his constitutionally permitted two terms.
He was succeeded by the late Alh. Aliyu Akwe Doma in a seamless transition in 2007. Governor Aliyu Doma was also of the PDP.

The late Governor Akwe Doma was from Doma LGA located in the Southern Senatorial District of the State. Governor Doma governed the state for a single term of four years.
He lost his re-election bid to the vivacious, oratorical and much loved Alh. Umaru Tanko Almakura in 2011 who ran on the platform of a rather nascent political party, the CPC. He would be the party’s lone governor across the country. Governor Almakura ran a smart campaign that came through as a wave, sweeping the entire state like never seen before and successfully taking over leadership from the ruling party’s incumbent governor. He is from Lafia LGA, the same Southern Senatorial Zone like his immediate predecessor. He was to govern the state for two terms of eight years. His CPC later merged with other political parties to form the APC, making Almakura the first Governor in the state, on the platform of the APC. He was re-elected on the same platform in 2015.

Governor Almakura, an infrastructure inclined personality, did not only transform the diverse infrastructural frameworks of the state, he took to another level, human capital development and left the state ten times better than he met it, in all ramifications and indices of growth and development. Proving he was master of the craft of politics and governance, Almakura eensure he handed over the state to H.E. Engr. Abdullahi Sule of the same APC. Engr. Sule hails from Akwanga, Northern Senatorial District of the state. Governor Abdullahi Sule is presently presiding over the affairs of the State in his second term. Undoubtedly, he will be leaving power as governor in 2027.

The question therefore ordinarily arises: who shall succeed Governor Sule and from what political platform? This question is dicey because the electioneering of 2023 threw up very many surprises in the state’s political landscape – the Labour Party/Peter Obi factor, the surge in strength of the PDP, the APC’s dismal performance despite being the ruling party as evidenced by it’s loss of three Senate seats, two Reps. seats, many State Assembly seats and the very tight gubernatorial race that was scarcely won.

There are those who would rather stay mute, leaving the answer to the above question entirely to providence. But providence in itself only works through human actions. Therefore it is not only trite, it is pertinent for permutations by pundits and hopefuls to begin. This is because the inevitable can only be delayed but can never be avoided or circumvented and fortune has no room for the indolent.

The political directions and decisions in Nasarawa state are largely influenced by the dual factors of ethnicity and Religion. Socio- political alignments, though primarily determined by personal interests, the twin factors earlier stated can never be wished away with the wave of the hand. There is also the argument of zoning which suggests a rotation of the seat of governor between the three Senatorial Districts of the state. In practice, the rotation is just a function of coincidence as each of the three Zones field gubernatorial candidates in every election season, from diverse political parties.

As it stands, the three Zones of the state have all produced governors who governed or would govern for a minimum of eight years each. Would the pseudo zonal rotation which occurs by sheer coincidence continue all by itself? Would the stakeholders and political opinion moulders from across the three Zones of the state bring their heads together and chat an organized and gentlemanly course that would inform the state’s political trajectory going forward or would they just stay put and allow “business as usual”? These and many questions are already agitating pundits and the politically savvy.

A few people from across the three Zones of the state have already started indicating interest with supporters beginning to make calls on their preferred candidates to begin muting their intentions as regards the succession of Governor Sule in 2027.

Would the Governor anoint any candidate? This is indeed is a big question and a valuable pointer to the turn of events. Would the anointed candidate, if he did anoint one, be accepted?

Dare-devils known to bare their minds open like Senator Ahmed Wadada of Keffi LGA, currently representing Nasarawa West under SDP, has since expressed his intention to succeed Sule. Is he going to the contest in SDP or is he coming back to APC where he was tactfully denied senatorial ticket in 2023 leading him to defect to the SDP where he won with a landslide? ambition before he moved to SDP.

Dr. Faisal Shuaibu the immediate past executive secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency who I also from the western part of the State is rumoured to be harbouring interest in the top job too. Infact, there are those who have hinted that he has since commenced clandestine consultations in that regard. Seen as a green-horn in political dynamics, would his far-reaching connections locally and internationally aid in bringing his rumoured ambition into reality? There are voices from certain quarters that Dr. Faisal’s brother-in-law, the current chairman of the National Population Commission is also secretly nursing the ambition of governing the state beyond 2027.
Professor M.S. Haruna, former NASENI Boss also from the western zone has also started making moves to contest the office of the Governor of the state.

Another one silent movement is the information coming around the State Accountant General, Musa Ahmed Mohammed who is also putting efforts to take seat of power in 2027. Former Speaker of the state, as PDP and now AG in APC administration. He might be a strong contender too because of his wide constituency of Former legislators and cross political alignment of PDP/APC.
Musa Ahmed Mohammed who is also from the westhern zone is seen as one stop person for APC because of his relationship with the Governor. However, time will define this if only it would work on that basis.

In a surprise development, it is quietly reported that Hon. Hassan Nalaraba Abubakar, a two term member of the House of Representative from the Southern Zone of the state, precisely Keana LGA is also eyeing the No 1 seat in the state. A lucky young politician whom fortune has smiled on twice into the House of Reps and who clearly enjoys the backing of his long standing godfather and benefactor, the former Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura, Nalaraba is to be keenly watched. His major quagmire would be the fact that Nasarawa South had enjoyed the longest number of years in the state’s governorship, four years by the late Governor Doma and eight years by Governor Almakura.

The opposition PDP has the likes of it’s two times gubernatorial candidates, David Ombugadu, the current senator representing Nasarawa South, Ogoshi Onawo and a couple of others muting the idea of succeeding Sule. Whether surprise candidates from little know political parties would throw their hats in the ring when the time comes, should be left to time.

Clearly, Nasarawa West has the largest number of aspirants and rumoured aspirants who would want to take over the seat of power than the two other zones of the state. As stated, feelers on ground are indicative of the two federal legislators from the Alago Nation, Dst. Sen. Moh’d Ogoshi Onawo, who the Alago Nation are seeing as one who can take them to the seat of power again under PDP and Nalaraba of the APC are game.

It appears many factors will play key roles in shaping the politicking of 2027. Key among these factors would be indeginous affliation, Religious influence, financial capacity, public acceptability but above all, group and personal interests amongst key stakeholders.

Mixed tones are coming from the camp of Hon. Barrister Moh’d Hassan Abdullahi, Magajin Garin Uke and immediate past Minister of Environment during Buhari’s regime, indicating he is contemplating defection to the PDP where he hopes to vie either for the governorship of the state or the Senatorial seat of the Western zone. He is one strong contender that has to be taken for serious because of his huge financial war-chest.

Ordinarily, the Northern Zone would not be expected to aspire for the governorship of the state considering that the incumbent is from the zone and by the end of his tenure, he would have spent eight years on the seat. But as it is, there is no formal and binding zoning arrangement on ground which leaves the platform open to all-comers.

Another pertinent question that would not be ignored is: would Nasarawa state people accept APC in 2027 or would they revert back to the PDP or spring a surprise like they did in 2011 by bringing on board and entirely new party?

But before going down this thought initiating conversation, would H. E Alh Yakubu Maidoya of NNPP come back to run for the No1 seat again?
His performance during the 2023 election is recorded as 5%, has he done all findings to see him coming back? Would other zones accept bringing him from the southern zone?

As we continue to observe events as they unfold, the question on virtually every lip would be: ‘where would Nasarawa State be in 2027?

. Alhassan Adamu Hussaini writes from
No 30, Nasara Estate, Phase 2, Lafia. Nasarawa State.
adamsmccef008@gmail.com

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