BAYO MUHAMMAD ALABIRA in Dutse chronicles Governor Abubakar Badaru’s pattern of favouring children of deceased lawmakers in the state to succeed their late father, wondering why there is now an exception to the rule in the case of late Hon Yuguda Hassan Kila.
The politics of succession introduced in Jigawa state by Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, has caused a heated debate among the political top nutchers, the who is who in the state political arena as well as the political bigwigs that always dictate the tune and at times twist the pendulum to swing in their direction in effort in pursuit of their interests.
Some political juganaults in the state are of the opinion that Badaru system of replacing dead lawmakers amounts to setting a precedent that can hardly be maintained, nor can it be easily sustained by even himself or any governor that will take power from him after his tenure.
However, others are applauding the action as a welcome development aimed at uniting the All Progressives Congress (APC) as one indivisible family.
To this end, the system of succession has become a source controversy, being highly criticised by some politicians who see it as anti-democratic and denies the most qualified politicians aspiring to contest such positions. They are of the view that free allocation of political office to the sons of a deceased member, whether qualified or not breeds incompetence. These politicians view the action introduced in the state by Governor Badaru as a deliberate attempt to stop them from giving out their best to serve their people.
Those in favour of the succession pattern are mostly those close to the governor, the yesmen and women who cannot see anything wrong with the actions introduced by Badaru as an attempt to deprive others. According to this view, “most of these politicians are those that don’t have a say of their own or a stake, except what the party wants or what the governor wants or says.”
This pattern of succession started on December 31, 2019 when a federal lawmaker, Muhammadu Adamu Fagen-Gawo an indigene of Jigawa state from the North west Senatorial zone died in a hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
Fagen Gawo was representing Garki, Bubara Federal constituency in the House of Representatives at the National Assembly but died in active service or better still died on seat at the age of 65.
For the benefit of those who did not know him, Fagen-Gawo was a second-term lawmaker, an active member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and a popular lawmaker at the National Assembly.
Immediately after his demise, a meeting of the stakeholders from the state and from the Northwest Senatorial zone was convened at Government House, Dutse at the instance of Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar.
During the meeting which was held behind closed doors, it was gathered that there was sharp division amongst the stakeholders on the succession plan.
Blueprint gathered that Badaru had insisted at the meeting that the son of the deceased lawmaker should succeed his late father. The decision has set tongues wagging and voices were raised either in support or against the governor’s pattern of succession.
As the case maybe, those in support of the idea were said to have won, simply because it was the opinion of the governor. After the meeting, it was announced that one of the son of the deceased lawmaker (Fagen Gawo11) was nominated by the popular votes or popular support during the stakeholders meeting.
Following the primary that was already decided, Musa Fagen-Gawo won eventually and became the APC candidate.
In view of this, on March 15, 2020 bye- election to replace or fill the vacant seat of the federal lawmaker was held and the late lawmaker’s son, Musa Fagen-Gawo of the APC was declared the winner of Garki/Bubara federal constituency bye-election and he successfully replaced his deceased father at the National Assembly.
During and after the bye election, disenting voices from the opposition parties and few others from within the rulling APC were heard but to no avail considering the fact that all comments for and against the processes bye election had been drowned and flushed into the dustbin of history.
As it were, the declaration was final and those were against it merely spoke in hush tones but not discussed in the open. The winner has been declared and sworn in already at the National Assembly as one of members recognized by law and the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
Also another member of the Jigawa state House of Assembly representing Kafin-Hausa state constituency, Honourable Adamu Babban Bare (APC) died early January this year at the age of 57. The death was announced by the Chairman House Committee on information, Honourable Aminu Zakari Tsubut.
While announcing the death he said, “the House received with great shock the demise of our patriotic and selfless member in the person of Honourable Adamu Babban Bare, representing Kafinhausa state constituency”.
Similarly, another closed door meeting of the stakeholders in the APC level as well as those from Kafinhausa state constituency took place in Dutse, the state capital. The meeting was said to be presided over by Governor Badaru and his Deputy, Alhaji Umar Namadi. And the outcome of the meeting confirmed the son of the deceased lawmaker as his successor.
The decision was highly contested leading to internal wrangling in the state’s APC. They alleged that the young man was imposed on them by the party stakeholders and the governor. They further criticised the action saying the only critential the young man has is that, he is the son of the deceased lawmaker.
Therefore to stagemanage the intention of the state government, the bye election was organized in Kafinhausa state constituency on March, 16 2021 where the young man was declared the winner of the election. The declaration was made on Saturday, the day the bye election was held at Kafin-Hausa local government collation centre by the returning officer, Ahmed Kutama.
He said “Adamu Baban Bare of the APC polled 14,924 votes to defeat his main rival, Garba Tambale of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 8,612 votes”.
Kafinhausa is the home of the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Namadi. Politicians who criticized the succession plot pointed accusing fingers on both Governor Badaru and his Deputy Namadi for derailing the democracy in the state while some politicians had exonerated the deputy governor from such action, simply because Badaru always have his way in everything in the state.
Furthermore, Honourable Yuguda Hassan-Kila, a member representing Gwaram Federal constituency at the National Assembly also died of a brief illness on Thursday March 4th, 2021 in Abuja at the age of 65. Honourable Hassan-Kila was a federal lawmaker at the House of Representative, representing Gwaram federal constituency.
Honourable Hassan-Kila was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and was serving in the House of Representatives for the second time. He hailed from Kila in Gwaram Local Government Area of Jigawa state. Before he went into politics, he was with the Nigeria Customs Service where he rose to the position of comptroller of customs.
But this time, the family of the deceased lawmaker, Yuguda Hassan Kila are not so lucky to be given a direct ticket to succeed their father who died on active service. Despite the appeal being made by the family members as well as the relations of the late lawmaker, no sign of any favour coming from Badaru in terms of succession.
Instead, what happened immediately or few days after the death of the lawmaker was that a meeting of the stakeholders was conveyed in Gwaram, the headquarters of the Gwaram local government area led by the two terms Minister of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Bello Yusuf Maitama where they nominated Honourable Shitu Galambi, the immediate past PDP House of Representative member in 2015 who crossed carpeted to APC later.
Although no comment was heard from Governor Badaru on that decision taken yet, but rumours had it that the decision was taken in line with the Governor’s replacement plan. Even though no primary has been conducted yet, the decision arrived at by the stakeholders from Gwaram stands. Shitu Galambi is now the candidate waiting to be elected for the ruling APC in a bye election to be fixed any moment from now.
Yusuf Kwangara Birninkudo is one of such people that condemned the succession in politics. Kwangara a political commentator in Jigawa state politics, said “electorates or constituents should always be allowed to chose the leaders of their choice.”
According to him, “this type politics of succession is not democracy rather it is an imposition and such person becomes an impostor to the people rather than a representative.”
While Ado Durumi Gwaram has it that, “why not accord the family of the late Yuguda Hassan the privilege to succeed their late father as it was accorded to other politicians who died on active service and were succeeded by their sons. If they are denied the privilege, then Badaru has set a precedent that he cannot maintain which is discriminatory”.