Kaduna based journalists,Mohammed Lawal Dogara sent us this short take on Nasarawa state politicians.We served you his observations below:
Nasarawa can rightly be described as the strongest state for Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) if only because it is the state ruled by a CPC governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, besides some other notable personalities in positions of high responsibility.
GOVERNOR TANKO AL-MAKURA
Tanko Al-Makura was in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) where he sought to run for the position of governor of Nasarawa State in the countdown to the 2011 election, but the PDP had made up its mind to present incumbent governor at the time, Aliyu Doma, for a rerun to do a second term in office and would not condone other aspirants.
In line with this resolve, the PDP did all it could to block Al-Makura out of its gubernatorial ticket, and Al-Makura who was popular among the electorate who were urging him to seek an alternative to the PDP, left for the Congress for Progressive Change.
He obtained CPC’s gubernatorial ticket easily, went into the 2011 gubernatorial election, and defeated the contestants from the other parties, including incumbent governor Aliyu Doma of the PDP, and became the governor.
Many thought at the time and several months after the election and after he became governor that Al-Makura was going to return to the PDP, but both in words and in deeds, Al-Makura has proved loyal to the CPC.
One of the things that Al-Makura said to strengthen the public impression of his loyalty to the CPC was, “I will only leave CPC if the sun starts rising in the West and setting in the East.” Al-Makura said this to demonstrate the unlikelihood of his leaving CPC to PDP since the sun which rises in the East and sets in the West cannot suddenly change its natural course and start rising and setting in opposite directions.
HON DAMISHI LUKA, DEPUTY GOVERNOR
Now the deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Damishi Luka is a grassroots politician who was an elected councilor in Akwanga Local Government Area from 1991 to 1993. He was elected into the Nasarawa State House Assembly in 1999 but and immediately nominated as the pioneer majority leader. But barely one year into his tenure in the legislature; he was appointed commissioner first in the Ministry of Agriculture and then Commerce/Industries from 1999 to 2003. He later served as a Commissioner in the Nasarawa State Judicial Service Commission from 2003 to 2005.
He was the deputy director general in charge of administration of TA’AL Campaign Organisation, the organization which handled the campaign for the election of Al-Makaura and himself as governor and deputy governor respectively in 2011.
SENATOR SOLOMON EWUGA
Solomon Ewuga is a famous Nasarawa politician who, like Al-Makura, started his current political journey from the PDP but is now in the CPC.
Ewuga who is now the senator representing Nasarawa North Senatoprial District of Nasarawa State.
Contested for the position on the platform of the PDP. But PDP leaders who were apparently uncomfortable with his profile as a man of the masses played games with his aspiration and he left to the CPC.
Ewuga is a well-known and well-liked politician who is widely regarded as a sincere man who has helped a lot of people. His decamping to the CPC was believed to have contributed significantly to the victory of Al-Makura in the 2011 gubernatorial election.
The senator is a lawyer, a former deputy governor and ex-minister whose wealth of experience as been helpful to the CPC and the people of Nasarawa State
HON ISHAQ AHMED KANA
Hon Ishaq Kana who represents Keffi ,Kokona,Karu, in the House of Representatives came into the political scene as a known philanthropist and a politician who was popular with people of his constituency.
Kana who has also been another CPC’s gain from PDP first contested for the House of Representatives for the Keffi,Karu,Kokona ,federal constituency under the PDP until PDP played its usual discriminatory game and gave the ticket to someone else and Kana had to decamp to the CPC under which he emerged victorious, winning his election by 80% of the vote during the 2011 general election. He won the election when he went underground because of threats to his life by political foes. His winning the election while at large is ample proof of his popularity among his people.
Kana’s popularity, it was widely believed, helped Al-Makura to win Nasarawa west Senatorial District (Keffi Zone) and greatly consolidated his winning the gubernatorial election as a whole.
Tanko Wambai who hails from Awe LGA in the Nasarawa South Senatorial District (Lafia Zone) contested for the Senate in 2011 under the platform of the CPC but lost, most probably because the immediate past governor of the state, Aliyu Doma, hails from the district and still enjoyed the goodwill he created among the people while he was the governor. Tanko Wambai is nonetheless a popular politician who contributed meaningfully towards the success of the CPC at the 2011 elections at all levels.
SARKIN YAMMAN LAFIA
Sarkin Yamman is a youth leader who has served the state as a commissioner. He contested for the House of Representatives on the banner of PDP. He later switched to the CPC and contributed greatly to the success of the CPC in the 2011 elections, particularly the victory of Al-Makura.
Dr. HASSAN LAWAL
Dr. Hassan Lawal from Nasarawa West senatorial district is the former Minister of Works. He got into political limelight when President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him Minister of Labour and Productivity in 2004, a position he retained in July 2007 when Umaru Yar’Adua (late) became president and up to December 17, 2008 when in a cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed Minister of Works and Housing. He left office in March 2010 when President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the cabinet.
Like the other leading members of the CPC, Hassan Lawal moved from the PDP to the CPC and deployed his enormous goodwill among the people for the success of the CPC in Nasarawa state during the 2011 general elections.
GENERAL AHMED ABDULLAHI ABOKI
Ahmed Abdullahi Aboki, also from the Nasarawa West Senatorial District, is a retired general who contested for the position of senator under the CPC. Although he failed the bid to become senator, he did much to ensure the success of the CPC in all of the elections, particularly the elections, including the election of Al-Makura to the Government House in Lafia.
No doubt the team work from the CPC leadership, elders and members which led to Al-MaKura’s victory in 2011.
The major problem facing the Governor is political crisis between him and some political heavy weight in the state. These political heavy weights complain of two things :
1. The governor is not running an open door Government to enable them render useful advice for the progress of the State,
2. The governor is not caring them along. Another problem that the governor may face is that right now senator Solomon Ewuga a popular politician representing Nasarawa North in the Senate is interested in Al-Makura’s job.
Recently, a prominent member of CPC and a member , House of Representatives, Hon. Ishaq Ahmed Kana granted an interview with one of the national dailies, where he X-rayedn Al-Makura’s administration.As a result of that the relationship between Hon. Kana and the Governor became sour.
Political analysts are of the view that the crisis in Nasarawa State may pose danger to the re-election of incumbent governor in 2015 despite the power of incumbency.