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Kaduna State: The Demystification Of A Political Godfather


The Oasis Reporters

October 17, 2018

Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna, reputed to have established the framework for ending the religious unrests that once bedeviled the state by granting Chiefdoms to Southern Kaduna communities.

Nature has a way of smiling at people at different times. This happens more often in the political sphere not on account of excellence, pedigree or wisdom, no, it happens because the voting population yield their trust to these characters. Sadly and regrettably so, they betray the trust or put in another way, they simply take the people for granted.

This is the scenario people call the Buhari Storm which swept across the land back in 2015 depositing political debris in characters called leaders everywhere along the political shoreline.
Needless to say, that it is what is described above that brought us the inept government of Malam Nasiru El Rufai under whose watch the people of Kaduna State have travailed for almost 4 years now.

Similarly, at the national level, had Nigerians foreseen what they have passed through, there is no way they could have even thought of giving President Muhammadu Buhari the mandate to superintend over the affairs of this nation given the abysmal record. The beauty of democracy is that it has circumscribed a time frame for every government.

This post takes a look at the demystification of a political godfather in Sen Ahmed Makarfi. Of late, Sen Ahmed Makarfi by virtue of our votes was governor of Kaduna State for two terms and as is usual with former governors at the expiration of their second term, he arranged his transition to the Red Chamber as Senator and again served for 2 terms because we gave him our votes. He did not need out votes to be appointed Caretaker Chairman of the PDP after a rancorous legal engagement with another Caretaker Chairman in Sen Ali Modu Sheriff until the Supreme Court ruled in his favour.

At the last PDP convention in 2017, the current PDP Chairman emerged consigning Sen Ahmed Makarfi to a temporary retirement. You can trust that they actually never truly retire, they only go to their political laboratory to strategize on what next to do.
Sen Ahmed Makatfi decided to go for the big one which is the presidency.

Recall that the PDP in Kaduna State was almost as dead as a dodo except for the stubborn PDP enclave in Southern Kaduna. While the PDP was in distress, the political godfather in Ahmed Makarfi didl little or next to nothing to keep the PDP afloat in Kaduna State. Other people did. When the time was ripe, Sen Ahmed Makarfi came out from hibernation to seek for the ticket of the PDP to contest for the position of president. Recall too that in the last local council polls, the godfather could not produce a single councillor or chairman even in his Makarfi Local Government Area. This outcome which was general across the whole of Zone One I thought was indicative of Sen Makarfi’s dwindling political fortunes. The only thing he has succeeded in achieving is in applying a stranglehold on the makeshift Exco of the PDP particularly at the State level. It is common knowledge in our kind of politics that once you have the Exco of the Party, any party for that matter, you are technically a Garrison Commander who’s orders must be obeyed.

Even as Sen Ahmed Makarfi was eyeing the PDP presidential ticket, he was also deliberately and systematically manipulating the politics of Kaduna State to satisfy his whims and caprices. Anything that was to pose a danger to his personal interest was and is still vigorously contested.

After an MOU was entered into between the Reformed All Progressive Congress (R-APC ) and the PDP which in the case of Kaduma State provided a sharing formula of 60% positions of the Exco to be retained by the PDP and 40% to be ceded to the R-APC, this was a bitter pill for Makarfi to swallow. The leadership of the PDP in Kaduna State surreptitiously undertook a campaign of blackmail against Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi and the R-APC. Makarfi used his front line troops (the State PDP Exco) under the command of his principal stooge in the PDP State Chairman to conduct primaries at all levels without factoring in the Interest of the R-APC as provided for in the MOU.
How can this be fair and equitable?

It is a fact that no sane individual in Kaduna State can contest against the contention that Sen Ahmed Makarfi desires to make an (Animal Farm) out of our dear State in the pursuit of his own personal interest. Unknown to him and his stooges in the PDP Kaduna State Exco, the people of Kaduna State have since moved on politically. After muddling up and calibrating the lead up to the gubernatorial primaries which ended up producing the outcome he was desirous of, he took off to Port Harcourt the venue of the PDP presidential primaries.

I raised a fundamental question regarding Sen Ahmed Makarfi’s strategy of fighting simultaneously on two fronts at the same time in an earlier post that even the Americans with all their military might could not achieve that feat even after they claimed they could during the cold war. Their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan brought this truth to the mind of the most mediocre military thinker. While the conduct of military operations is quite straightforward except in counter insurgency, politics is quite a different ball game entirely. The assumed political godfather of Kaduna State went to Port Harcourt to meet serious CONTENDERS not PRETENDERS to the ticket. He should have known that he stood no chance and I did expect him to withdraw from the largely uneven contest and to support another more serious candidate but as the American anthropologist Von Ranke aptly captured it “He who overcomes is divine, some people see their ruin right before their own eyes but they go into it anyway” and so it was that after counting the votes, the supposed political godfather of Kaduna came a distant seventh. Had he simply withdrawn from the contest much earlier he would have added some value to his political future assuming that he still has one left. Of the 103 delegates from Kaduna State, votes I am sure he was convinced he will get, only about 12 votes accrued to him. The news is making the rounds that upon realizing that the godson his machinations installed as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Kaduna State did not vote for the godfather he was livid, the rumour added. Upon realizing that he had lost the contest in Port Harcourt, the godfather boarded the next available flight back to Kaduna heading back to his Zone One for the senatorial ticket which he had planned to grab if he loses out in the presidential primaries. He arrived too late because the Senatorial ticket had already evaporated well beyond his reach.

The Hausa adage “Idan za ka gina ramin mugunta, ka gina shi gajere” meaning if you are digging a pit against your enemy, do not make it too deep as you may well fall into it.

I am blaming the gullible political leadership of my Southern Kaduna people for the turn of events in the politics of the State particularly as it has to do with the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries. How could my people have turned their backs on a more viable and capable hand and preferring someone else who at best is most likely going to be a stooge of the godfather. I worry a lot about the manner the politics of Southern Kaduna is going. Our people have become hostages to some characters, bodies or organization which at best busy themselves feathering their own nests while the lives of our people are largely untouched. How could the so-called PDP stakeholders and Elders forum organize the bazaar which the gubernatorial primaries was to use people who hardly knew their left from their right to collect monies from all the aspirants pooling all such monies for sharing after the betrayal of trust. If such bodies or organizations, religious or cultural ever had any mandate to negotiate for our traumatized, maligned and neglected people, they have failed to negotiate anything of worth that is beneficial to our people. It is a tsunami-like disaster that has befallen us. I thought we have values which we hold dear to. I am mourning the flight of decency in our political behavior.

May God Almighty help us to lift up our heads once more so that we can be able to look those we have duped in the face.

To God Be The Glory

Written by Col. Dauda Gora (rtd)

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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