By Hashim Suleiman
For every serious democrat and pundit, it should be clear and perhaps told that Nigeria’s democracy is growing and such also requires growth in strategies for winning elections. We cannot be in a rush to forget the major factors that made PDP loose elections after 16 years at the helm. Such major factor was arrogance and a feeling of nobody matters including those who clearly had goodwill and voters to bring on board. They jumped ship to the APC and the rest is history today.
Let me remind us all of the political events of Jigawa state that produced Alhaji Muhammad Badaru as governor, destined definitely but the processes are worth being reviewed. Everyone in the state has attested to the fact that Pharm. Hashim Ubale Yusufu alongside the current governor of-course had nursed the party from UNCP, APP, ANPP, ACN and finally APC. Prior to the 2015 elections, the Pharmacist looked all clear and good to clinch the ticket of the party for the governorship elections, however, sometimes politics tilts a little away from calculations and could fall on dark horses but one that would not be surprising at all.
As a Democrat who understands loyalty to causes as the only way to benefit from it, he stayed back in the party and continued to Labour for it despite not given any federal or state appointment as compensation for hard work. He continued to manage his supporters with the resources at his disposal until 2019 when he gave another shot at the number 1 job in line with the principle of never give up spirit. Again even though he lost to the incumbent at the primaries, he continued in his loyalty stead and still there supporting and drumming support and understanding towards the government of Badaru.
Against such backdrop, I had to sit back to understand the saying that once you Labour for politics, it sure has a way of paying back even if not directly. We are approaching a very turbulent political period for the APC where Buhari is going to be very less of a factor. Where there are going to be much more need for strategy and goodwill. Because even though the APC has done well, we should not forget the mindset of rent seeking of our citizens who feel the APC has truncated their cheap ways of making money without understand the party’s motive of entrenching hard work and legitimate earnings.
The mindset of such people makes them vulnerable to whatever kind of campaign the opposition parties will come with and you cannot give a chance to that. I have said it in many other write ups I’ve done that we are going to be faced with an election that will leave pundits with so much difficulty predicting outcomes of elections at different levels up until the day of elections. The electorates have become wiser than in 2019 and that’s how the trajectory will continue to rise until when our democracy will grow to an enviable height where only acceptable and credible people will emerge from political processes. No one should take anything for granted in this coming season especially if they are serious about winning.
Having said all these, let me narrow such scenarios to Jigawa State where it’s has been very difficult for pundits like us to understand who might likely become the candidate for the governorship. The argument for the Hadeijia Emirate to be considered for never been at the number one seat is heating up with names like Pharm. Hashim Ubale himself being mentioned amongst other people like Ibrahim Hassan, Kashifu Inuwa, Mohammed Babandede at the top of the list. One may not be able to easily predict how it could pan out especially with a governor like Badaru who is top notch in information management.
However, whichever way it goes, one thing that is sure is that the goodwill and political capital that Pharmacist Hashim can bring to the table is unprecedented and cannot be toiled with. A case study is the President Muhammad Buhari who continued to contest without people understanding that his political capital had continued to increase until it became a jewel that Tinubu and co utilized to actualize the 2015 electoral victory against an incumbent.
My advise to the APC in Jigawa therefore is that of caution and management of the Hashimiyya bloc with utmost sincerity and openness. After all, the principal has proven to be someone who understands dialogue and compromises when necessary. All actors have to jettison acts like betrayals, envy and hate and inculcate a team spirit so as not to repeat the mistake of PDP in 2015 that made their house crash on their heads for not respecting party members who had clear goodwill to bring to the table. Conversations, dialogues, consultations and engagements are the way to go for APC in Jigawa but in all of it, the Hashimiyya bloc is indeed very critical.
May the best man win!
God bless Jigawa state and Nigeria!