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Yobe 2011: ANPP politics and Gaidam’s hopes

Even if you take away Gaidam’s unbeatable record of performance which most people say is unprecedented, the man’s natural appeal, charisma, humility and amenable disposition…

Even if you take away Gaidam’s unbeatable record of performance which most people say is unprecedented, the man’s natural appeal, charisma, humility and amenable disposition is likely to ram well with the electorate in a state that has been unfairly treated by past administrations. Until the emergence of the late Mamman Ali/Ibrahim Gaidam administration in 2007, Damaturu was and had for long, remained a glorified local government headquarter with not a single sign by those at the helm to reposition and repackage it in terms of infrastructure and social amenities. The provision of utilities was grossly neglected such that indigenes of Yobe became the bout of uncomplimentary comments and jests by other Nigerians.

Three years on and despite the long term neglect and its negative effect, the Ibrahim Gaidam administration has found a way out of this permanent state of underdevelopment and underachievement which condemned Yobe to a rural status. Today, Yobeans are reckoned with as part of an evolving society questing for progress and civilisation. If the yardstick for winning the heart of the people is on the basis of pure performance, then it goes without saying that Yobe as a whole, owe the governor eternal loyalty and gratitude, which is happily manifesting in torrents. The state may be laid back and very peaceful going by the record it holds as the most peaceful state and one of the very few that have not witnessed any violence of note since its creation in 1991. This notwithstanding, Yobe is active and politically sophisticated which makes  it a place to look out for issues-based politicking which will inevitably centre on developmental issues rather than the politics of old in which people’s quest for development was stifled by an outlay of apathy and docility.

Any politician who has not grasped this reality that Yobe politics has gone beyond mediocrity level will find the political turf very hostile. The capacity of Governor Gaidam’s administration to demonstrate that the little resources coming the way of the state can be managed in such a way to make development possible has opened the eyes of Yobeans to the fact that the only thing that was lacking all along was the right leadership to catapult the state to the zenith of development indices. In the past, it was easy for buffoons to stalk their way into political relevance without much scrutiny but the benchmark placed by Governor Gaidam has taken the scale very high. This explains why it is becoming near impossible for political opponents in Yobe state to make an inroad into the state with any discernible potential to unseat the governor.

That the ANPP has been the dominant party in the state ever since is instructive here. That the party has posted a commendable level of achievement in the last three years is another plus for it to put a claim to another term to take the state to the next level and to finally catch up with the first generation states having bypassed its peers already.

It is in the context of my belief that a second term for Governor Gaidam is already in the kitty that I rationalize the position of his Chairmanship of the ANNP’s National Convention Committee at this critical period of an election year. That the governor is making a huge success out of the national assignment is another demonstration that Gaidam’s level of achievements in Yobe has been recognised and is seen as transferrable to the party’s desire to reach out to Nigerians and make an impact in the 2011 elections. It is instructive to note the peaceful manner and rancour-free leadership in which the Gaidam committee has worked so far. All the contentious issues that have bedevilled such assignments in the past and brought about some dislocations were dealt with with dispatch this time around and the amity and camaraderie inherent is a pointer that the ANPP is on the threshold of a historic deliverance.

Some of the noticeable headaches in the run off to general elections included lack of transparency in the way and manner party members were unfairly treated leading to discontent and potential anti party activity by renegades within the fold. The structures put in place by the convention committee which ensured level playing ground is seen nationwide as key to the kind of unity needed to prepare the party for the battle at hand. If other stakeholders could play their own parts as transparently as Gaidam has done at the convention committee level, then the sky will be the limit for the party now and in the future. For Yobe and the ANPP, Gaidam’s input is critical as we approach 2011.              

BK Ahmed wrote from 114 Kashim Ibrahim Road, Maiduguri.

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