Kebbi 2023: Will Malami Run? - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Kebbi 2023: Will Malami Run?

Malami


The Daily Crucible | Wednesday, March 23, 2022

By Dahiru Maishanu

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has not so far, spoken or indicated any loud, clear actions or signals that can be conclusively deciphered as an aspiration or scheming to contest the 2023 governorship election in Kebbi  state. 

Yet, the expectations,  craving, fear and apprehension about his candidacy, have been thick in the air and all over the place in Kebbi state. It is prevalent and pervading in the rumor mills, open and hushed discussions on the streets in Birnin Kebbi and other urban centres in the state. The topic is also dominant among the low and high political circles. Naturally,  there are among these groups, those who are happy and excited as well as,  those who are gripped with fear, discomfort and hate in their hearts. 

“If dreams were horses”, the old adage goes, “beggars will ride.” Among those who have jitters and sleepless nights over the prospects of Abubakar Malami throwing his hat into the ring in the contest for the most coveted office in Kebbi state in 2023, are the political upstarts and dreamers who are hoping that, by chance or fortunes, the pendulum might swing their way.

Such apparent wishful thinking should not however, be dismissed as baseless. This is because so far, all those currently aspiring to take over from governor Abubakar Atiku  Bagudu are considered by pundits as no more than mere political neophytes and jesters and therefore, it can be anybody’s game. With a big masquerade like Abubakar Malami to contend with, the dreamers will know better than to continue in self delusion. 

There are other groups to who the Minister of Justice is a nightmare. They consist of the men with the long knives, members of the clan of the cabals, the jaded, spent war horses and political carpetbaggers who are refusing to accept that their time is long over.  Among these set of political gladiators, plans are variously  being hatched night and day, to checkmate Malami, by hook or crook, should he dare  to take up the gauntlet for the contest.

 To the self-styled political establishment, the godfathers and imperial lords of the manor, Malami is a spoiler out to disrupt the well accustomed old game of their exclusive charge of the political barometer of the state, and the sharing and cornering amongst them, the political spoils in the manner of victorious warriors sharing the spoils of war.

Regarding the 2023 elections for example, they have already shared out to their members, those of them that will become the governor and deputy, those that will be going to the Federal and State Houses of Assembly and those to be given sundry “lucrative” key appointments. Under the arrangement, members of the enclave are angling for the victory of a particular presidential aspirant from the Southwest to pave way for the emergence of one of them as Senate President. 

In spite of their present state of  vegetation,  the self acclaimed “shakers and movers of Kebbi politics”, are still possessed of an amazing tenacity, and portent political scheming. Though  now feeble and denuded of their yesteryear political muscles, they still wallow in the false garbs of the invincible. Under this delusion, they have been long in their devices and machinations to bring down the soaring political kite of the Minister. 

The throwing of darts of venom began when they were running helter skelter in desperate efforts to scuttle his going onboard the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari way back in 2015. They woefully failed in that project, as Malami went on to be given the covetous portfolio of Attorney General, Minister of Justice.

Not a people to easily give up, they thereafter, went into league with persons of similar interests in other parts of the country  to engage in strident media campaign of calumny and vendetta with all sorts of odious and spurious allegations aimed at rubbishing his integrity or, sow the seeds of discord and distrust between him and his principal, the President. 

The latest In the traducers’ arsenal in the vain scheming to block his path of progress particularly to the Kebbi Government House was the use of their presence and influence in the National Assembly to insert the patently unconstitutional Clause 84(12) in the new Electoral Act.  Talk of the child of destiny or, a classical case of the proverbial “cat with nine lives”, a competent court of law has dismissed the clause as ultra vires, null and void. 

With that verdict, not a few people in the state have heaved a sigh of relief and jubilating that, the coast  is now cleared of any visible impediments if, indeed, Abubakar Malami SAN, Minister of Justice, Attorney General of the Federation is decided on taking  a shot at yet another plumb job of governor of Kebbi state.

Considered in all facets of deponent, the situation of Kebbi state is a sad commentary. With its endowments of abundant human and agricultural resources, vast and assorted but largely untapped mineral deposits the state which should ideally  be one of the most economically and socially vibrant states in the federation is being rated on the index of development by the United Nations and national statistics as among the most backward in the country. 

The simple, rational and empirical explanation for the unflattering and pathetic scenario of Kebbi is simply that, the land and the people have been held down and tied to the strangulating stakes of poverty, illiteracy and insecurity by the calamity of the chain of cruel, garrulous, insensitive and retrogressive,  self-seeking political elite that have been exchanging the baton of leadership between them, in the last twenty three years of democratic rule in the country. 

Kebbi state is in dire and critical need for a paradigm shift. There are pressing and urgent requirements for rejuvenation  and refocusing to usher in much needed social and economic progress and development. The long suffering masses of Kabawa are yearning and poised to seize the next opportunity to elect their leaders to  go for those  that have demonstrated empathy and understanding of their aspirations and those with the track records of integrity, altruism, capacity and honest commitment in service. 

Consisting in the main, of the beleaguered downtrodden masses and a number of the progressive segments, there is currently,  a groundswell of goodwill for Abubakar Malami in all parts of the state because  many perceive him as one of the potential game changers in the political leadership. The huge confidence in Malami’s capabilities derive from the assessment of his superlative performance as a Minister in the Buhari Cabinet, the unprecedented number of Kebbi indigenes he assisted in securing federal appointments in the past seven years and, the spectacular records of his NGO, Khadimiyya in uplifting the condition of women, youth and the poor in general at the grassroots. 

The detractors of Malami are very much aware of the immensity of his political assets and thus the reason why they are scared stiff of his challenge in the political turf. But, precisely, that appears inevitable in the countdown to 2023. 

The Question now for the Minister’s camp to answer: Will Malami Run?

Maishanu, a former Commissioner for Information, Commissioner for Solid Minerals and Natural Resources in Sokoto State, writes from Abuja.

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