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By Zailani Bappa

The great people of Bakura have finally spoken. It is the voice awaited nationwide to decide who owns Zamfara politics today. It all started like a teaser. The Bye-election in Bakura Constituency slated for end of last October was ordinary to the ordinary Zamfara person. It is one of 24 such unit elections in the state in terms of Democratic representation.

However, every cloth has its own tailor. The People’s Democratic Party in the State had the seat before it’s representative died. (May his soul rest in perfect peace). In ordinary parlance, the election to fill into the vacant position is best left for the people of that unit to decide without a political fuss. But that’s not how it was allowed to be. It was inadvertently catapulted into an object of statewide show political prowess, drawing a national face to it by the All People’s Congress in the state.

Yes, as the build up to the elections gathered, which was later re-scheduled to the first week of December, the APC, led by former Governor Abdulazeez Yari bounced from surface to the gutter, drawing the attention of the World to this election in utmost confidence of winning the competition. It was an opportunity for them to show the world that the APC was still in control of the State political terrain. After all, they say, the PDP did not win the election but was in power by the fiat of the Court verdict. It was an opportunity granted by God to show the World that the APC holds the four aces and will still win an election anytime in Zamfara State.

As the campaign to hold the elections built up, Abdulazeez Yari and his team jumped from one APC state to another seeking confidence, support and cash. They bulldozed the state with a lot of dirty antics and many wrongs. They campaigned dirty and nasty. The Matawalle-led PDP kept its cool. After all, the whole thing is temporary and the elections would soon be over. As the campaign curtain began to draw, Yari invited dignitaries including state Governors, serving Senators, serving Ministers, National Assembly members and heavy political stalwarts all for the tiny Bakura Constituency elections. Matawalle must be intimidated, he must know he’s not in control, Yari promised.

The first blow against this discredited despot was that all these dignitaries failed to honour his invitation. When they came, they unleashed mayhem at Bakura town and environs in the name of rounding-up their campaigns. Their thugs slaughtered two known PDP supporters, injured many and burnt property. This was in spite of the law as the Police had earlier announced a suspension of all campaign rally and imposed a 24-hour curfew to forestall any possible breach of the peace. Still, the Matawalle led PDP kept its cool to avoid loss of lives. 

Now, the D-day came. The day of reckoning was here. It was a day to decide, not only the Bakura election, but who now triumphs in a free and fair contest in the state between the loser APC and the so-called Court winner PDP. Both Parties were fully represented at the constituency. The votes started and ended peacefully. But, alas, INEC said the elections were inconclusive as they cancelled the votes of 14 polling units with more than 11,000 votes at stake. Even then, the PDP was leading with more than 2000 votes. As the 14 wards where the votes were cancelled also represent a stronghold of PDP, the Yari group became beaten-up and fully neutralised. 

INEC then, declared Wednesday, the 9th of December as Re-run election day to conclude the inconclusive. To save its battered pride, the APC called a Press Conference and a withdrawal from the race citing reasons from the absurd to the laughable. 

Now, today is the D-day. Elections held peacefully with all political parties participating except the APC who made good its promise not to be there. The Bakura people made a decision. A decision that will go down into posterity as a final straw that broke the Camel’s back. The APC lost woefully to the PDP and, tail between the legs, the APC run out of sight.The PDP has won. 

However, the Bakura bye-election contains very many significant lessons. The major lesson to learn and imbibe is the need for the APC to accept the Will of God. Everyone has his own time. And the Will of God is that Matawalle today, is His choice and that his gladiating political prowess and structure is now built and is shining like the lone northern star, permanently fixed in the firmament. 

Bappa writes from Gusau.

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Zamfara state police command Ayuba Elkana has held an interfaith peace dialogue with the members of various religious groups across the state.

According to the Zamfara police spokesperson SP Shehu Muhammad the dialogue became a priority after the recent Sokoto blasphemous incident which resulted in the killing of Deborah Samuel a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education.

In a remark during the meeting the state police commissioner Ayuba Elkana according to Shehu express appreciation to the religious leaders for working harder to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order I’m the state as a result of the Sokoto incident.

Shehu further said, the CP encouraged them to continue to preach for peace and religious tolerance among their followers and also called on the parents and guardians to monitor their wards, especially their activities on the social media on the daily basis.

While assuring the leaders of the readiness of the police to always ensure security of lives and properties of the citizens, Shehu said he always warned them to desist from taking laws into their hands and urged them to intimate the security agencies for action.

Leaders of the various religious organizations thanked the CP for organizing the interface and assured him of their support and cooperation at all time.

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A pro-Governor Matawalle social media organization (Matawalle Media Crew) has organized a one-day interaction on how to use the social media platforms to raise more support for the Governor and his government.

The event took place at the conference hall of Jaiz Hotel Gusau and was well attended by hundreds of social media handlers from across the (14) local government areas of the state.

Some guest speakers at the event including Dr. Mikailu Barau, Dr. Aminu Lawal Tsafe and Dr. Anas Sani Anka expressed the need for the members of Matawalle social media crew to explore creativity, critical thinking, skill for effective communication as well as collaboration in the course of theirpractice.

They have also urged them to use their various social media platforms to influence the government in taking critical decisions that are good for the people, especially issue of WAEC/NECO.

They also warned the members not to be using social media to be creating hostility for the oppositions, noting that the recent reconciliation between former Governor Yari and Matawalle camp is good enough for all social media handlers in Zamfara to learn some lessons.

The Executive Secretary of ZAMCHEMA Dr. Abdulkadir Shinkafi stated that many of them who belongs to the category of youths within the government structure of Bello Matawalle are doing their best to continue to support initiative like that of Matawalle media crew with a view to promoting the government.

The Secretary of the crew Rufai (UB) explained that the motive behind organizing the interaction is to avail members of the crew the opportunity to get themselves more equipped with ideas and wisdom from the spokespersons considering their in-depth knowledge and years of experience.

Certificates of participation were issued to those that participated in the interactions and also goodwill messages were passed to the members and organizers of the event by some politicians and well wishers.

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Zamfara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has held its mini congresses for the election of local government, state and national delegates.

According to the statement by the party spokesperson in Zamfara Malam Yusuf Idris Gusau, the delegates that will emerge will take part in the Party’s primaries for the seats of the President, Governor, state and national assembly.

The delegates’ congress which took place at Aisha Memorial Conference, Hall, Maradun was attended by Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle, members of the National Committee of the party, INEC officials and security agencies under a peaceful atmosphere.

Idris further said the exercise held simultaneously in all the 14 local government areas of the state after the flagg-off in Maradun, the country home of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

During the event, governor Matawalle stressed the need for peaceful coexistence, which he noted is responsible for the growth of the APC in the state.

He thanked the people of Zamfara for their support and prayers in ensuring the success of his administration, urging them to continue to support the APC and its candidates at all levels and assured that more dividends of democracy will continue to come their way.

In his welcome address, the state APC Chairman, Hon. Tukur Umar Danfulani expressed satisfaction and happiness especially with the unification of the party in the state.

He pledged to always carry all members along with fairness and justice as his guiding principles.

The chairman thanked all the stakeholders, especially the state’s party leader governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle and the national leadership of the party for bringing together all leaders of the party as one big family and expressed confidence in the ability of the unity to sustain the chances of the party in the forthcoming 2023 elections.

In his remarks, Chairman and team leader of the Screening Committee deployed to Zamfara by the APC National Secretariat, Hon. Babagana Tijjani Banki said his team is overwhelmed by the support the APC is receiving in Zamfara.

He described the coming together of former governor Yari, former Senator Marafa and governor Matawalle as the best thing that happened to the APC at both the state and national levels in recent times, urging the stakeholders to consolidate on the feat.

The Committee Chairman, Hon. Babagana Tijjani Banki said all the 103 delegates from Maradun local government were elected on consensus by the APC Constitution.

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