Zamfara State like any other state in Nigeria is warming up for 2023 general elections in the country to effect positive changes in its political landmark. This write-up attempt to x-ray the political gladiators gunning to change the face of politics in the state. Among those in this political game include personalities like the present Governor His Excellency Muhammed Bello Matawalle; former Governors Abdul Aziz Yari, Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi; Dr Dauda Lawal Dare, Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, Muktar Shehu Idris and to mention but a few.
The incumbent Governor Muhammed Bello Matawalle has been piloting the affairs of the state and would like to test the acceptability or otherwise the level of his performance during his first term in office by bidding for a second term. The question on the lips of many Zamfarans and other interested Nigerians is whether the political dynamics that gave the Peaples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate victory in 2019 will repeat itself come 2023. Time shall tell.
Among prominent politician in the state and one-time Governorship candidate in the 2019 Governorship election in Zamfara state is Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare. Dr. lawal has made a name in the Banking/Financial sector of this country. His benevolence in the service of Zamfara State, Nigeria and community in general knows no bounds. He is a force to reckon with in the politics of the state. He is a brilliant scholar with sound educational background. A graduate of prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Dr. Dauda Lawal holds B.Sc. and M.Sc Degrees in political science and Hononary Degree from Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. Dr. Lawal has a great zeal and passion to serve his people, the people of Zamfara State. He has overtime demonstrated this passion with a number of people oriented projects as part of his social responsibility, such projects include projects for educational, social and religious purposes too numerous to be given mention here. He is a philanthropist per excellence and highly detribalized Nigerian.
Zamfara State is blessed with a lot of natural resources such as a rich agricultural land, which with proper management can grow crops all year round. The establishment of Ginneries for cotton processing as well as textiles factories testify to this. The State is also blessed with abandon mineral resources such as Gold, Limestone, Copper, Zink, etc. accounting for about 60% of Nigria’s total mineral deposit. The State is also blessed with human resources. Given the potentiality of the State in both natural and mineral resources, it is in dire need of the right leadership to grow the State through proper exploitation and management of these resources/ potentials.
It is in this regards that the likes of Dr. Dauda Lawal readily comes to mind as madeleader who can turn around the fortune of Zamfara Satate given his antecedents as an achiever if given the opportunity come 2023.
However, at the national level, political giant like the immediate past Governor Abdul Aziz Yari and his camp deserve the support of the people to gain national positions given his political weight. His political un-doing in 2019 was the attempt to impose an unpopular candidate on the people. That notwithstanding, the outstanding role played by Right Honourable Abdul Aziz Yari in reconciling the aggrieved members of the party (APC) recently tend to make up for whatever his political miscalculations of the past, hence he deserves commendation.
This write up or any write up about Zamfara politics will be incomplete without mentioning such political heavy weights like Distinguished Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa. Marafa is a man with political vision. He is well known during his eight years in the Senate for his courage, integrity and articulation and used to be described as the conscience of the senate during his two terms as Senator. One would not forget in a hurry his boldness and outspokeness on the floor of the Senate during the Eight-assembly. Today, opinion poll in Zamfara State tend to support his return to the Senate as he might serve the interest of the state more as a third term Senator than him as a Governor. For instance, if the presidency goes to the South, he stand the chance of becoming the senate president. Senator Kabiru is therefore a political asset not only in Zamfar State but Nigeria as a whole.
The former Governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi, is a rare gem of politicians with an impeccable character. Till today he remain the only Deputy Governor who succeeded his boss to become the Governor. In Zamfara EAST Senatorial District, Mamuda Shinkafi has a solid base capable of winning for him a senatorial seat if he so wished. He is a politician with high humility and integrity. The like of him are not readily found in Nigeria.
The first Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Ahmed Sani Yarima appeared to be nowhere. He appeared to be having issues with his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its members in Zamfara State as evidenced in the initial refusal of the revalidation of his registration. In my opinion Yarima should remain at the background as an elder statesman to be advising the younger politicians that may still find his political advice relevant.
In my view, Zamfara State has been APC State since 1999 and this can only be sustained if the party maintains a level playing ground, ie, internal democracy where every member is an equal stake holder. This is the only way to make the recent reconciliation process not only workable but sustainable.
Engr. Bello Sani Gusau is a retired public servant.