The Oasis Reporters

News on time, everytime


Dankwambo’s Compelling Candidature: Why It Might Be PDP’s Winning Chance


The Oasis Reporters

October 2, 2018

Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Gombe State Governor.

Unassuming and soft spoken Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, governor of Gombe State in Nigeria’s North East might just be the winning formula for the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the hope of dislodging President Muhammadu Buhari, if the 2019 Presidential would be free and fair, unlike what happened in the military garrison-like election in Ekiti State, and the face saving brazen post ‘inconclusive’ rigging to save the face of a godfather in his ancestral State of Osun.

What makes the Candidature of Ibrahim Dankwambo more appealing and nightmarish to the APC ?

While the gale of Buharimania was sweeping through the North West, North East and the Middle belt in 2015 with PDP States falling like packs of card before the All Progressive Congress, APC party of Muhammadu Buhari, Gombe stood it’s grounds and remained PDP. Gombe people saw the purposive governance that Dankwambo rendered and stood by him, refusing to buy into the ‘Change’ agenda of the APC that rather, delivered floodgates of tears to all of the Middle belt and even some of the core Northern States.

The source of tears in the entire middle belt and in Zamfara State in the north west revolved around the brigandage of the suspected herdsmen militia to displace indigenous tribes from their ancestral lands and take over for the grazing of their animals. Several thousands have suffered losses in human and material resources over the brigandage which remains largely unchecked up till this time.

The PDP has zoned the presidency to the North. In the pursuit of this, most heavyweight northern politicians who ensured that President Goodluck Jonathan lost to Muhammadu Buhari while almost putting Jonathan’s liberty at risk, have suddenly found their way back to the party, assuming that everyone has forgotten the role they played to make the Party lose.
Dankwambo remained steadfast, and remained standing, even to the extent of fending off Boko Haram Islamist terrorists from his largely agrarian State in the same region with Bornu, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Bauchi States.

Recognizing his chances in the PDP, Gov. Dankwambo has in his meek and gentle way, humbly requested that the PDP should reward it’s loyalists who remained in the party through thick and thin, especially in the face of the onslaught of the political merchants who have suddenly come back after the brick wall they were confronted with by the APC. A Party they midwifed into power by wrestling the PDP to the ground.

This issue gave the Gombe State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo some measure of dissatisfaction so much, he had to post on his Facebook page that PDP loyalists (those who have stood with the party through thick and thin) should be accorded a pride of place in the space available in the party, and that the members who recently defected back to the party should not be allowed to dominate the party’s scheme of things.

“We have sacrificed everything for the PDP. Loyalty to party must mean something”, Dankwanbo posted.

According to a writer, “In other words, the Gombe State governor would have preferred that the right of first refusal be accorded those he may want to refer to as the legitimate members of the party”.
His sentiment is undoubtedly shared by many aggrieved members of the party who as key party men and women, have chosen to keep mum and watch as the drama unfolds before making their stand known to their fellow party members.

Going by the unwritten rule of rotation informally enacted by the PDP, after Obasanjo’s eight years (1999-2007) in power, the presidential slot should rotate to the North.
It did, for Umaru Yar’adua ran and won for the PDP, but unfortunately died after three years. And his deputy, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan completed his tenure and had to run for a term. His second tenure attempt was what split the party and many stalwarts left, because according to them, it was the turn of the North.

The North people talk about happens to be multi ethnic and multi religious. Therefore in the spirit of fairness, if Yar’adua was a Muslim Fulani, just like the current president, Muhammadu Buhari, also a Muslim Fulani, not forgetting that the first democratically elected president of Nigeria in 1979, Shehu Shagari was equally a Muslim Fulani, fairness demands that the next president of Nigeria from the North ought to be a Christian from any other tribe besides the Fulani, especially as events have shown under the Buhari presidency, that It is quite possible to pursue a sectional and ethnic agenda with the awesome powers available in the presidential constitution.

For the purposes of an inclusive nation, the position should go to the Middle belt sub region of the North, failing which, the North East should take a shot first. The three other mentioned presidents are all from the North West.

This is where the candidature of Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo becomes more compelling. With the little bush burning that has become the smoldering cauldron in the significant Christian Middle belt over the internecine conflict between the aboriginal natives and the suspected Fulani herdsmen militia pushing natives out of their ancestral lands, virtually unchecked by the government, there’s no gainsaying the fact that the sub region is weary of a Buhari second chance. They could therefore be worried about yet another president of Fulani extraction in power. They may harbour the fear of an imaginary tribal agenda to exterminate them because confidence between them and Fulani natives has broken down irretrievably.

In like manner, many Fulani Nigerians may harbour a deep seated fear of a Christian from the Middle belt becoming the president of Nigeria, for they’ll suspect him of harbouring a vengeful agenda in mind.
Such thoughts crossed the minds of white South Africans in post apartheid South Africa as well as in post liberation struggle Zimbabwe and Namibia. But South Africa had a real nationalistic leader in Nelson Mandela who instead, built a rainbow nation.

Nigeria is different, and leadership has always been the bane of the country, added to the rigging culture, Nigerian politicians are averse to democratic change.

Therefore in the light of the Nigerian realities, the best shoo-in for leadership now is Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
First, he is from Gombe State, in the North East, a region yet to produce a democratically elected leader for Nigeria of Northern extraction since 1979, when the second republic commenced. In terms of deserving a slot, the North East has all that It takes now.

Since it is believed that the Fulani should be patriotic enough to let go this time and give others a chance, the best bet for the PDP is Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
He has never defected from the party. When few northerners would agree to identify with the much vilified PDP, Hassan Dankwambo stayed and weathered the storm.

In addition to that, Dankwambo happens to be a minority man from the Bolawa ethnic group in Kuwami Local Government Area of Gombe State. It is said that practically all his relatives are Christians with just him being a Muslim. Therefore the troubled Christian Middle belt region would find it easier to trust a fellow minority tribesman who has Christian family members. Very much like them.
The Muslim Fulani tribesmen would also find a co-religionist in Dankwambo, much easier to trust.

On a national scale, Dankwambo has a very pleasing rapport with the Niger Delta region of Goodluck Jonathan, the former president. He didn’t stab Jonathan in the back, or denigrate him like a few others did. Besides, Dankwambo took his first degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Master’s degree from the University of Lagos, south west Nigeria, Delta State University, Abraka for his Post graduate diploma, a state he is known to have made very many friends. Just as he forged deep friendships in Edo State, where he bagged his doctorate degree at Igbinedion University, Okada.
If the Niger Delta sees him as their own northern minority, the South East would show solidarity.

In summary therefore, Dankwambo just might be the needed elixir to reignite the flame of the PDP, a serving governor with immunity, just like President Buhari has.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *