Sokoto State: Of Hyenas and the Jackals and Tambuwal’s Options, By Usama Dandare

By Usama Dandare
The recent drama on the floor of the Sokoto State House of Assembly that led to the impeachment and subsequent replacement of the Deputy Majority leader did not come as a surprise to many observers.
It was simply a manifestation of a long choreographed drama that has been gradually crystalizing through both formal and non-formal channels of politicking. This is not a new thing in the history of the State and the so called maverick is wittingly or unwittingly involved.
The political sophistication and political awareness of Sokoto’s polity is simply at work. This piece is an attempt like many that have been surfacing to rail road both the remote and immediate causes of the drama with a view to adding the writer’s comprehension of the imbroglio while x-raying the Governor’s options as it were.
At the risk of invoking the wrath of many gladiators and the largely ill-informed amateur writers and ‘activists’ from the equally, largely un-regulated free on line media, this writer will succinctly bare his thoughts. So, criticisms and ‘brutal’ reactions often laced with half-truths will be expected.
This writer has surely gone through these waters before. Back to the subject of this piece, it all started when nocturnal meetings of dis-contents over various issues started surfacing between mainly two factions that were hitherto, existing only in the winds.
The cat was let of the bag recently a serving commissioner in the state organized what to him was an ordinary tour to promote the presidential ambition of his chosen candidate for the 2019 elections in faraway Abuja.
This is perfectly in order and constitutional. But then at an APC stake holder’s meeting over the ‘tour’, there was commotion and consequently a brawl ensued between the members allegedly supporting the sitting Governor, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and those of the former Governor and serving Senator Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.
As it happened in 1996 between Governor Attahiru Bafarawa and the then Deputy Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, the theatre of hostilities naturally shifted to the floor of the House of Assembly where the two camps had already concretized into open opposing sides and were already at each other’s throats.
Subliminally, it became open that two camps were being remote controlled by the two gladiators who from all indications, have been friends in the day and foes at night; who have been best of ‘pallies’ in front of the cameras and the opposites when the cameras are away; The case of the Hyenas and the Jackals.
It is therefore no gain saying that it is now crystal clear that Governor Tambuwal’s and Senator Wamakko’s camps are at each other’s jugulars even if the leaders are not personally, necessarily at each other’s necks. It is now high time for some us to open the debate and present an ‘expose’ of the elements at play in the polity.
It is about 2019. Obviously the governor is on a statistical probability scale where he stands to gain more or lose more on the event of any tilt and this is sacrosanct.
He is therefore expected to react ferociously with every arsenal at his disposal. After all, he has given more than enough leverage and sacrificed more to the opposing camp. He also needs a second term to continue projects he has started and secondly he is being mirrored nationally as future asset for even higher office. He can’t afford to be a paper tiger.
His castle must not be a sand castle that may seize to stand at the slightest provocation of the wind. The way governor will handle this impending political tsunami will further define his political brinkmanship and wizardry as exemplified during his fantastic tour as the nations no 5 citizen.
He exhibited resilience, sheer intelligence, political maturity and even a fearless political rascality and came out on tops. Nothing less is expected of now.
With what happened to the Senator’s camp so far, governor Tambuwal seems to have started shrugging the excess luggage deliberately loaded into the back trunk of his moving vehicle. He has started showing what stuff he is made of. This was long expected but his humility could not allow him to show the side of a lion he possesses at deliberate provocations. The daggers are drawn and the die is cast.
The fight has begun and the first round has been fought and won. Tambuwal, the proverbial ‘up starter’ has floored Wamakko, the Veteran and the Maverick against all odds and predictions. Tambuwal actually holds the four aces, to borrow from Shakespeare. He could open a can of worms that could consume Wamakko summarily.
He could disclose the huge financial liabilities bequeathed to him with alleged questionable statistics which he has been keeping close to his chest even at his own detriment politically. He could open the cantankerous and callous scandal that surrounded the momentous fraud in the ill-fated State Independent Project that has obvious repercussions for both Wamakko and his political god-son and anointed candidate for 2019, thus landing both the god-father and the god-son into the EFFCC’s net in no time.
The Governor may also decide to expose the shady and dirty deals that allegedly characterized most of the contracts awarded, paid but often not properly executed by the previous administration. He could also delve into alleged inflation of contracts, illegal diversion of funds and flagrant abuses of due process and even outright theft.
Indeed, it only takes Wamakko to tinker a little with the tail of the Tiger to court its wrath and subsequent destructive reactions. Finally, it will also take a determined and fearless Tambuwal to venture into the dungeon of a well fortressed ‘Sambisa’ of the Emperor himself. Only time can tell.
To be continued……..
Usama A. Dandare, a social commentator writes from Sokoto.