Home » Elections 2011, State News, Zamfara » Zamfara: Shinkafi Declares for 2nd Term

Zamfara: Shinkafi Declares for 2nd Term

Zamfara State Governor Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi last weekend declared his intention to seek re-election in this year’s gubernatorial polls. Imam Imam reports

The in-thing in the political environment in Zamfara State in the last few months is to gauge how many people attended any given political rally. Political parties and aspirants to various political offices test their popularity by the number of supporters who turned up at their events.

Last month, supporters of the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), led by their leader and former Zamfara Governor Ahmad Sani Yarima, thronged the state capital with thousands of supporters drawn from within and outside the capital to round up their activities for the year as well as mobilize the people to their cause.

Knowing fully well that the ANPP event was well-attended, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Saturday deployed the entire arsenal in their armoury to outnumber the ANPP. The event was the formal declaration of Governor Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi’s intention to contest for second term in April’s gubernatorial election. The party was not disappointed as supporters from the 14 local government councils of the state, as well as PDP loyalists from neighbouring states all came out to show their solidarity to the governor.

The large turnout of people was significant in many ways, at least to the top echelon of the PDP as well as members of the state Executive Council who had feared that the party may not draw large number of people to the event. However, to Shinkafi’s henchmen, it was mission accomplished as the large turnout of people not only signified a show of strength, but reassured them that all is well with their man as they battle hard for 2011.>
As early as 6.00am on the fateful day, buses filled with party supporters from the 14 local government areas of the state trooped to Gusau, the state capital en route Yankara, the border town between Zamfara and Katsina states to wait for the governor who was scheduled to arrive the state by 4.00pm. All the vehicles had banners proclaiming their support for the governor and his second term ambition. The inscriptions on the banners include: MAS 2 Term MAS Welcome HomeIt is MAS or no one else,” 2011 here we come,” among others.

The atmosphere in Gusau was charged throughout that day. Security sources told THISDAY no fewer than 1,000 regular and mobile policemen were deployed round the town, while plain cloth security operatives were also busy in search of trouble makers. At Yankara, the sleepy border town in Katsina State, shops were closed as residents watched the convoy of the governor pass by. The busy Zaria-Gusau-Sokoto road, which passed through Yankara was effectively blocked by cheering youths dancing and shouting party slogans. The whole town was thrown into a party mood as residents poured into the streets to have a glimpse of what was happening. At a point in time, and fearing any breakdown of law and order, police reinforcement were sent from neighbouring local government areas like Maska and Funtua in Katsina State to complement the efforts of those already on ground.
By 4.00pm when the governor and his entourage arrived Yankara, the whole scene was turned into a jubilant one. Clad in a white kaftan with Babban Riga and Damanga cap to match, the smiling Shinkafi, visibly bewildered by the large turn out of people, came out of the car to wave and thank the supporters who had defied the windy harmattan weather to welcome him and his deputy Mukhtar Ahmad Anka. From there, the procession headed for Gusau. A journey that ordinarily should last 30 minutes, however took about two hours due to the snail-speed with which the vehicles were moving.

In Gusau, with more supporters already waiting for the governor, it was carnival-like atmosphere. At the venue of the declaration to receive the returning delegation were Katsina State Governor Barrister Ibrahim Shema, Deputy Governors of Niger (Musa  Ibeto), Jigawa (Ahmed Mahmud Gumel) and Minister of State for Health, Alhaji Suleiman Bello. Others were former Director General of National Security Organisation (NSO) Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, former governors of old Sokoto State Garba Nadama and Yahaya Abdulkarim, Ambassador MZ Anka, Colonel Bala Mande (rtd), former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Tijjani Yahaya Kaura, two serving Senators from Zamfara, Hassan Muhammed Gusau and Sahabi Yau, members of the House of Representatives Hon Bello Matawalle, Hon Dahiru Zubairu, Hon Sani Takori, House of Assembly members among others.

Speaking during the event, Shinkafi said I am overwhelmed by the large turn of people to this important gathering. It shows the kind of relationship between us and the people of this state. Your support and encouragement has been the main source of motivation for this administration. The little we have achieved in the past three and half years were due to your unrelenting support and guidance. As we adjust our belts in preparation for our second term in office, I urge you to intensify your prayers and offer positive advice that will enable us build a State we will all be proud of.

I am here before you today to inform you that the screening committee of our dear party for the North-west geo-political zone has cleared me to contest again this year. I want to formally inform you of my desire to seek contest another term of four years as your governor God willing.

As you are aware, we have embarked on a number of quality projects but could not be finished due to time constraints as well as the little down turn in the source of our finances. I want to happily inform you that if given the mandate for the next four years, I will complete these projects and add others to the list he added.

In a speech at the event, the State PDP Chairman, Ibrahim Mallaha, said from all indication, Zamfara has finally found the messiah it was waiting for. He said he is confident the love shown to Shinkafi by the people will be reciprocated after the party wins the election. Mallaha said events of the past few months have shown that the PDP is the only party to be reckoned with in Zamfara.

“You know our aspirant (Shinkafi) and he knows you very well. Shinkafi has been to our hamlet, he has been to our villages, he has been to local government areas and we all know how he has transformed our state. Today, PDP is the only party in Zamfara and we will prove that much during the election,” he added.

Speaking to THISDAY, Zamfara PDP Secretary Musa Zubairu said: “We are all overwhelmed and it is a demonstration of the people’s firm belief in what this administration is doing. We have touched virtually all aspects of governance, and this is just our first year in office. Our best is well ahead of us. Personally, I was not surprised by the large turnout of the people here because in life you reap what you sow. His Excellency’s (Shinkafi) first priority has been the people of this state. All the projects executed have been the ones that have direct bearing on the people. So if they come out in their thousands to identify with him, I think they are only being grateful because he has not let them down in the last three and half years.

Never in our history have we seen such tremendous achievements. Be it in the area of housing, education, water supply, healthcare delivery, rural development, roads construction, infrastructural development, to just mention a few. The good thing is that this administration has not shown any sign of relenting in its efforts. We will continue to see the good work in the years to come.

On his part, a member of the House of Representatives, Matawalle said virtually all sections of the state are represented at the gathering. As you can see, people from all walks of life have identified with the aspiration of the Governor. At this gathering, you have politicians, students, market women, non-indegenes as well as members of different religious backgrounds. I have been in this state all my life, but to be frank with you, I have never seen a large turn out people at any declaration like I have seen today.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the welcoming ceremony, the State Commissioner of Education, Ibrahim Danmaliki, said the gathering marks the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between the Governor and the people of the state. According to him, lots of rumours have been bandied about by the opposition claiming the Governor is not popular, but the gathering has proved otherwise. You can see for yourself how popular the Governor is. The crowd that gathered from Yankara to Gusau is unprecedented. With what was achieved in the last three and half years, the Governor and his administration is growing more popular. His acceptance rating has hit the roofs and personally, I believe there is no going back from here. It can only get better and better for all of us.

-ThisDay

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Posted by on Jan 4 2011. Filed under Elections 2011, State News, Zamfara. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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