By Dr Buhari Danmallam
It is often insinuated that to be a qualified Nigerian politician, you must have the qualifications of a PhD in Lies and Deceit (Karya da Yaudara); Masters in Thanklessness/Ungratefulness (Butulci); Degree in Broken Promises (Karya Alkawali ko Rashin Sa); and some Diploma in Inhumane Relations (Rashin Daraja Jama’a), etc. In Nigeria, although there are exceptions though, the best of politicians is one who exhibits these attributes in the sphere of his politicking so much that when he says black, he actually means green. Also in Nigerian politics, disillusioned obedient servants have seldom been victims of politicians with those qualifications described above to the extent that the result of such trust, loyalty and obedience, in most cases, is rejection, dejection and ejection.
This exquisite but short treatise is about a man who has been totally loyal; a man who has served with quinine dexterity. He served as Special Adviser to former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Barrister Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from 2011 to 2015. He was then appointed as Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development in the same 2015.
When Tambuwal declared to contest the 2019 presidential election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was this man’s loyalty that attracted Tambuwal to the man’s trust to hold the governorship ticket for Tambuwal in the event he lost. Tambuwal lost to Atiku Abubakar and the man gave back the ticket without imbroglio. Tambuwal survived the political imbroglio that would have resulted if he chose to entrust that on someone else.
Who the Man is
The loyal man is Manir Muhammad Dan Iya.
In what seemed as pay-back, Tambuwal in 2019, nominated Dan Iya as deputy governor as well as supervisor of the local government ministry. However, as Tambuwal’s tenure approached its terminal point and he again entered the race for the presidency, Dan-Iya prepared to succeed him by declaring to contest as governor of the state. And as prescribed by law, Dan Iya resigned as Commissioner for Local Government. The art of political hocus-pocus is that not only was his aspiration approved by Tambuwal, Dan Iya’s Expression of Interest Form was paid for by Tambuwal. His Manifesto tagged, “The Simple Agenda” had Tambuwal’s input. But unknown to Dan Iya, he was not the governor’s favoured man, and in spite of his assurances on Dan Iya, Tambuwal could not tell him the truth, though bitter it would be.
The day Tambuwal broke the hard nut on Dan Iya’s head was when, a source says, all aspirants were invited to Government House by the governor. Though he invited them, he walked out of his office and proceeded to the venue of the primary election, which was to take place that day. Tambuwal left the aspirants with a clique of power brokers who told them of the governor’s choice. At the venue of the primary, nothing was on the agenda than endorsing the governor’s anointed – former Secretary to the Government of the State, Saidu Umar. Dan Iya swam to the gullible mouth of the “Black Shark”.
But not Dan Iya alone, Sagir Bafarawa whose father, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa stood by Tambuwal when he fell out with Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, also had ambition to contest the coveted seat of the Caliphate. Indeed, Bafarawa Jnr was the first to resign as Commissioner and the first to buy the Expression of Interest Form. Feelers have it that it was Tambuwal who also paid for his form. He was promised the ticket, especially when it was thought that the position would be zoned to Sokoto East. He was tactfully denied the ticket and was asked to be running mate.
The same promise was made to former Minister of Water Resources, Mukhtari Shehu Shagari. It is also insinuated that the governor promised he would hand over power to him and that Tambuwal paid for Shagari’s Expression of Interest Form. Failing, he issued a statement describing Tambuwal as a serial liar and threatened to leave the party.
Enter the While Shark
Tambuwal pushed Dan Iya to contest the Sokoto North Senatorial seat along with the White Shark. The White is Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. The thought was not only unfathomable by political observers but also unthinkable by Dan Iya’s supporters. The political peering is disastrously a miscalculation or so it seems. Wamakkos political credentials are too huge for Dan Iya to contend with. Tambuwal has definitely pushed Dan Iya to the White Shark to be consumed. Wammako’s political prowess is incomparable to any politician in Sokoto. Wamakko is a force to reckon with in determining who becomes what in the politics of Nigeria, Northwest and Sokoto. Everyone knows; Tambuwal knows.
For Dan Iya is swimming in the tidal wave of political turbulence – that of denying him PDP ticket and the second, pitching him with an incomparably popular politician, a political giant, (Wamakko, The White Shark) that will swallow Dan Iya at the polls.
Danmallam writes from Abuja and is reached at email@example.com