AS the 2015 general elections draw nearer people of Jigawa are full of anticipation as to who succeeds the incumbent Governor of the state, Alhaji Sule Lamido after the expiration of his two term tenure by 29th of May next year.
The political atmosphere in the state is already heating up as suggested names of anticipated successors of the state number one seat keep popping up from the lips of political supporters and those that are keenly following the political situation in the state and the country at large.
Recent political development will make prediction difficult in the state, even though Governor Lamido said he will soon make it known to the public who could be his successor but the fact of the matter remains that whoever will emerge as the next chief executive officer of Jigawa state, may either come from the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), or the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP in Jigawa state from recent development could be touted as the possible successor to the Dutse Government House if the incumbency factor would be used as the determinant factor in who wins an election, as has been the case in many situations in Nigeria since 1999.
Although it may sound as an advantage to the PDP looking at the giant strides made in transforming the state from rural to befitting urban areas, but emerging political development in the state and the rising profile of other political movements may well swing the pendulum to another direction.
Lamido has stated that the naming of the successor would follow a collective transparent process that involves the PDP stakeholders, Jigawa elders’ forum who would scrutinize the final nominee.
He assured that in as much as his successor would not be somebody he would control but would be somebody that would come within the people with proven track record of accountability who would propel the state to greater heights than the incumbent have probably achieved.
He said the last thing he would do is to anoint someone who would be viewed as his political son, “I have never been anyone’s boy, and I would not want to make my boy to be the future governor of the state”.
Although the governor has made the declaration that his successor would come from a collectivity of purpose by all, yet some pundits believed that the successor largely depends on whom the governor prefers from the array of likely persons.
Popular amongst the possible people to be declared is the Speaker state House of Assembly, Alhaji Adamu Ahmed Sarawa, whose allegiance to the governor is total to the point that he does not mind being called ‘a rubber stamp’.
The speaker who has steered the assembly leadership since the first term of the governor was until then the majority leader of the House under the former governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki.
The speaker has been around politically and has seen it all and has never been seen shaking the hands of the governor in public as a mark of his profound allegiance and respect for their leader.
Another likely contender to the seat is Ambassador Abdulhamid Ahmed Malammadori who is also a close ally of the governor that has enjoyed the privilege of serving as Nigeria’s ambassador to Turkey since 2007.
Malammadori who is noted for his ever presence could be a proffered candidate that would come from the politically conscious area of Hadejia that so much believe that the next candidate for the governorship election should come from that zone.
Their claim is that the former governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki hailed from Kazaure emirate area while the present governor came from the Dutse emirate area which suggests the choice of the next governor to come from Ringim, Gumel or Hadejia emirates.
The ambassador also happens to be the one anointed by the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo at the function of the Jigawa First Economic Summit when Obasanjo reportedly said he would suggest to the governor to handover to Malammadori due to his commitment to the state and country.
Another contender to the exalted governorship seat in the state is Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu (Walin Dutse) who apart from being a major key player in the Jigawa elders’ forum is also the chairman of the state economic forum.
Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu was a former Minister of Mines and Power under the military regime of the late General Sani Abacha. He is also a member of the governing board of the Freedom Radio conglomerate, a business tycoon, a former member of the constitutional review draft committee and a member in the just concluded national conference.
Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu who happens to be the legal adviser to the defunct NPN in the second republic has also contested and allegedly won the state governorship elections under the ANPP in 2003 elections that ended in the Supreme Court declaring Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki as the winner.
Since 2012, the Kano and Abuja based business mogul suddenly has found footing in the state that he hardly visits, despite his royal affiliation in the Dutse emirate council. Pundits are of the view that Dalhatu found favours with the Governor after his effort to stand for his children at all the times they were in trouble with the security operatives and they have always come out clean.
Also in the line of those aspiring to be governor is Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim, the Chief of Staff to the Governor since 2007 and also the chief of staff to the former Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki.
Malam Aminu Ibrahim is popularly called ‘Kafi Gwamna’ meaning ‘Better than the Governor’ because of his political influence in the state and his closeness with the Governor.
He is seen as the most loyal figure to the governor in government as such he overlaps his responsibilities of being the chief of staff to those of protocol, security, media and chief adviser on ‘everything ‘ at the Government House.
Though he may appear humble and timid he is feared by virtually all except the Governor and a few others, he is one you cannot afford to be in his bad books.
Malam Aminu Ibrahim is known for his political eloquence, ability to convince anyone that cares to listen to him when he talks, he has a mastery of recognizing and calling people by their first names as mark of his intimidating and domineering antics.
He is seen as the architect that knitted the transfer of governance from his former boss, Saminu Turaki to the later when the then President Olusegun Obasanjo asked the former governor to hand over power to Sule Lamido.
A possible dark horse that would emerge as the governor of the state is Alhaji Danladi Sankara, a serving Senator that ousted Saminu Turaki from his senatorial position in the 2011 election and former national Vice chairman of PDP in the North-West zone.
Alhaji Danladi Sankara has never been associated to have been anybody’s ‘boy’ in spite of the fact that he is connected across the North-west region due to his stint as a former national vice chairman of the PDP and is highly respected within the state.
Alhaji Bashir Adamu Jumbo is also a serving senator and currently the Chairman House Committee on Defense who hails from Kazaure, popularly called ‘Jumbo’ because of his size and his ability to dish out gifts to people around him.
Alhaji Bashir Adamu is eloquent, and popular among all Jigawa indigenes whom they claim has a listening ear to the masses alongside all those that came to him with their problems.
His constraints may not be unconnected with the fact that the issue of emirate may take a toll on his candidacy as the former governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki is not only from the same area of Kazaure but also related with him by blood.
Alhaji Abba Anas Adamu was a member representing Guri/Birniwa/Kirikasamma federal constituency who has just declared his intention to contest the state governorship election under the PDP.
Alhaji Abba Anas has defied all odd of waiting for the governor’s anointment and not only declared himself as the governorship aspirant but also his posters have flooded some parts of the state.
The declaration is strongly believed to have been orchestrated by the national office of the PDP ever since the perception that the state governor may also declare to contest for the presidential position.
The stance by the former lawmaker was from all indication being backed and supported by the powers that be which probably gave him the leverage to make the declaration.