Political uncertainty in Gombe state has continued to increase after prominent members on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform defected from the ruling party to join the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
The trend which began late last year as continued unabated even in the new year.
The latest defection is that of the state Director General of the PDP campaign organisation, Bello Bala Tinka, who left the party for the APC last week, having once alleged being “frustrated”, although the PDP claimed that he was chased out having violated the party constitution by picking the gubernatorial ticket of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP).
Other high profile politicians that recently dumped the PDP in the state are Saidu Umar Kumo, Abubakar Atiku’s campaign coordinator in Gombe State; Jamilu Isiaku Gwamna, a frontline Governorship aspirant of the PDP who lost at the primaries; a political ally of the President and one time Minister during Buhari’s military regime, Ambassador Yarima Abdullahi.
Others are: Senator representing Gombe South, Joshua Lidani; Hon. Mohammed Gidado; Abdulkadir Hamma Salleh, former Governorship aspirant of the PDP; Dr. Ahmed Gana, Executive Secretary of GSPHDA; Adamu Yaro Gombe, one time PDP chairman in the state; Abdullahi Jalo, former National Deputy Publicity Secretary of the PDP; Nasiru Gafaka; Garba Barambu; Ibrahim Ayala; Adamu Dishi; Abdulkadir Baba Saleh and Baba Sani Sakali, Gombe State PDP Youth Leader.
The defections are motivated primarily by political manoeuvring ahead of the 16 February 2019 presidential election, though the defectors have cited Buhari’s achievements as reasons for their decision, some feel it was purely as a result of frustration and their quest for power.
The development followed months of cold war between the governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and party stakeholders over the procedure that led to the choice of the party gubernatorial flag bearer, Sen. Umaru Nafada, his deputy Charles Iliya and some candidates vying for other elective positions. But perhaps the immediate trigger, according to analysts, is the calculation around the country’s general elections in February 2019 which is tilting the way of APC.
The situation has seen analysts making predictions on the fate of the PDP. Some have said the defections may lead to a humiliating defeat for the PDP in the state while others insisted that the scenario in 2015 was similar, yet PDP weathered the storm and emerged victorious.
Some analysts say most of those defecting are eyeing political appointment so they had to leave for a platform they feel will likely win the presidential election.
“Everybody is just interested in what benefits them. This is all about their selfish ambition to acquire position”, an analyst, Auwal Dogo told our Correspondent.
“I don’t want to guess how the defections will determine which party will win the governorship and get more seats in the state assembly”, he said, adding that “But I see Buhari winning the presidency”.
The Director General of media and publicity of the PDP, Dahiru Hassan Kera said a similar situation happened in 2015 when Senator Danjuma Goje and some top politicians in the state dumped the PDP and opted for APC yet PDP coasted to victory.
Leadership gathered that in 2015, Goje led prominent politicians like Senator Umar Nafada; Hon. Shuaibu Galadima, member House of Representatives, Buba Dankasa, Malam Ibrahim Zamfara
Shehu Ibrahim Namadugu (S.A), Salisu Maiburodi, former PDP Chairman Gombe LGA, Tanimu Usman (S.A), Nasiru Aliyu deputy PDP state chairman, Idris M. Mahdi Commissioner Water Resources, Christy Silas Member BoT of PDP, Sa’adu Hassan (S.A), amongst many others to APC yet, PDP won the gubernatorial seat.
Kera said instead of having nightmare and waisting energy on the defection, the party is busy strategising on how to win the election in the state.
The DG recalled that not long ago some top members of the APC including some members of the state Assembly, like Hon. Maigari Jungudo, Hon. Usman Haruna, Hon. Babangida Turaki , Alh. Maniru Adamu, decamped to PDP, stressing that “they have been playing active role in the PDP since their defection.”
Kera also said the performance of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo will also ensure the electorate vote for PDP “massively in the governorship and presidential election”.
Kera, who also cleared the air on the defection of Tinka said the former DG was sacked for allegedly violating the party’s constitution.”
According to him, even though PDP knew Tinka was a mole working for the APC, the party did not sack him earlier, he willingly shot himself by picking the gubernatorial ticket of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), which was in contravention of the party’s constitution and it was based on that he was sacked.
“The reports going viral that Bala Tinka decamped from PDP to APC was false, because he was already the candidate of DPP, so it is more logical to say he defected from DPP to APC”, he said.
Kera, who also condemned the recent visit of Tinka to the Acting Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu, said the “visit was suspicious and it confirms the speculation that the APC is planning to work with the security agencies to rig the forthcoming election.”
“We were reliably informed that Tinka has assured the President that with security backing, he would employ the same mechanism adopted in 2015 to ensure APC victory in the state.”
Kera said apart from picking the ticket of the DPP in contravention of the PDP constitution, there is also a strong evidence indicating that he has been working silently for the opposition APC, especially with his recent outbursts against the current government and the candidate of the PDP.
He noted that his sudden visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock and to the newly appointed IGP, after he was relieved of his appointment clearly confirmd that he has been working underground to sabotage the victory of PDP in Gombe state.
“We are aware of his scheming to help the APC rig the election in the state.”
He said though the party leadership and Dankwambo were in the picture of his plans and scheming against the PDP there were some level of hesitation in sacking him because the party was avoiding unnecessary tension
“The party’s hesitation in sacking him was to avoid unnecessary tension. However, we were on top of the game, we treated him with long spoon and allowed him to remain as the DG knowing fully well that he would finally nail himself.”