By Dr. Yusuf Maitafsir
The adage that “Those who try to draw undue attention from the public never get it” cannot be truer at any time than now. Drawing attention to self or temporary paymasters simply isn’t easy, especially when you cannot dislodge facts to implant falsehood.
Dahiru Maishanu’s “Open letter to The Jagaban as he visits Sokoto” is one of those self-seeking pieces that seeks to give folktales in order to appease a section of the people but who know the truth.
I won’t be as foolish to talk about projects execution during the administration of His Excellency, Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. Those who know history know it and those others who seek to know will always ask. Therefore, asking if Wamakko performed in terms of physical infrastructure is like asking if the sun shone during his time. Let’s talk about Wamakko’s political antecedents; the magnitude of his political prowess. Let’s talk about the man upon whose back many have climbed to become what they are today. Wamakko was did the best he could as two-term Governor in terms of projects, welfare, human capital development and what have you. In reciprocation, the people of Sokoto, especially those in the Central Zone, elected him as Senator in 2015 and he has been serving as such up till now. At a point when Wamakko wanted to retire from active politics to assume the role of Elder statesman that he is, the people of protested. They argued that he could serve both positions. He listened.
Ever since then, ALL political figures in Sokoto and beyond have had cause to rely on Wamakko. Some of the politicians have tried to see if political life without Wamakko is worth living. They leave but come back to him. In the politics of Sokoto, I dare to say that there is no politician who, when his name is mentioned, shakes the tables like Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.
Starting with a bottom-up approach, Maishanu came to limelight (not that he has become anything to reckon with in the political atmosphere of his Yabo local government, not to talk of Sokoto state) only when Wamakko magnanimously appointed him Commissioner, and assigned him to the Ministry of Information. As the Chief Image-maker of the state, I cannot forget Maishanu at that time singing songs of praise on Wamakko’s achievements. After he was purged of the position because of his lackadaisical attitude, Maishanu went into political oblivion all these years until now that he has been recruited to do some sort of hatchet job. That’s all one can say about Maishanu.
It is therefore only important to state that Wamakko is a political colossus whose prowess has never had a dim past and does not have a dim present. It has always been aglow. As a political juggernaut, Wamakko has always been a rallying point for almost all political figures, not only in Sokoto but also across Nigeria. It is the reason that Maishanu said “…The ONLY people of reckon you will find out will be a former Governor who’s a serving Senator, the ONLY rolling stone and arrowhead of your Party in the State.” But what he failed to say (though not important) is that Wamakko is a LONE Sokoto political figure that controls multitudes of followers. At his residence, Wamakko is a controller of supporters; when Wamakko returns to Sokoto from Abuja or any trip, it takes four to five hours for a 15 minutes Airport to Sokoto city drive because of supporters who throng to receive him; when Wamakko attends naming or wedding in Sokoto, the multitudes that join his entourage cannot be fathomed. He is the ONLY Sokoto politician that enjoys this kind of popular support.
Wamakko it was who, though already had an anointed governorship candidate in the person of Faruk Malami in 2015, paved the way for Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to become governor, when the then Speaker of the House of Representatives could no longer be contained in his party. Wamakko put Tambuwal on his shoulders, but took advantage of Wamakko’s goodwill and bit his ears. It is Tambuwal’s antecedent to bite whoever backs him – Abdallah Wali, Ila Gada, name them. That Wamakko has received thousands of decampees from the PDP to the APC and still counting shows “the man-of-the-people that he is.
On projects which Maishanu said were being executed by Tambuwal, it is instructive to explain that the loans that are being sourced from banks in the name executing these projects would result to the successive administration servicing the loans for more than 10 years. Loans are being taken by Tambuwal administration almost on monthly bases with nothing to show for it.
May God save Sokoto and Nigeria by making APC win the state and the country.
Maitafsir writes in from Abuja