By Lawan A. Kazaure
The 18th of May, 2006 conclusions for the decampment of the then Members of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Jigawa State Chapter into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State is the beginning of another political game change in the history of Nigerian politics which Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim, the then Chief of Staff to Governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki played a key role to its actualization.
When Governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki decided to shift political base from ANPP to PDP in 2006, he saw no other person to do the job for him then Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim a shroud political strategist. This was because of the confidence he had reposed on him.
Believing that, Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim was the only capable hand within his inner political circle that will work-out modalities for the actualization of this difficult task of changing the mindset of the ANPP stalwart that were lavishly leaving in their permanent political comfort zone build to last for as many years as possible then, to move to a rented bungalow.
The mission was finally accomplished by Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim despite all odds and even at the least expectations of the PDP Jigawa chapter.
Those who partook in the harmonization exercise of the two parties in the state will one day write about the rigorous nature of the exercise. I was nearly lynched at Karshi Ward of Ringim Local Government when I was assigned to oversee the smooth harmonization of the Ward Executives of the two parties.
It is pertinent to note that All Nigerian Peoples Party was formerly known as All Peoples Party (APP) then an off-shoot of the New Era Political Association.
It was under the former the party came into power in 1999 and subsequently changed its name from All Peoples Party (APP) to All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the umbrella under which it was re-elected in 2003.
I am writing this piece in order to give a chronological account on the formation of the two strong political parties in Jigawa State and to further let those too young to know why PDP was at the beginning of the transition program suffered a re-surrounding defeat in the hands of All Peoples Party (APP) when Ibrahim Saminu Turaki of the APP became the democratically elected governor of Jigawa State in 1999.
The victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jigawa State in 2007 and 2011 was only made possible with the decampment and the total fusing of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) government under the leadership of the then governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki on the strict supervision and coordination of Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim.
Therefore, before the harmonization of the State Executive Committee Members of the two political parties and the subsequent fusing of the entire ANPP government into the PDP, it was hard to see one among the ten politicians in the state as a PDP member because ANPP in Jigawa State at that material time had already consolidated itself over the eight years of its rule and was able to have swallowed every politician of substance, thus transforming Jigawa State into one Party-State! The calamities that bedeviled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jigawa State right from its formation stage in 1999 is greed and self-centeredness which has been its ritual practice.
Even with the power at its disposal, between 2007-2015, the PDP leadership surreptitiously tempered with the initial harmonization agreement entered with the then defunct ANPP, edging out all those members from the latter from the Executive positions at all levels, thereby sowing deep suspicion and ultimately creating a division within the rank and file of the harmonized party members.
Furthermore, going down the memory line, it was on record that, in 1997 the Jigawa State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was formed under the agreement of three political associations namely:- All Nigerian Congress (ANC) led by Alhaji Ahmed Hassan Alghazali; The Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) led by Barr. Wada Abubakar Kiyawa and The Social Progressive Party (SPP) led by Sule Lamido.
At the beginning of actualizing the commencement of the transition program of changing power from the Military to Civilian Rule, the 1998 Local Government Elections on party basis was scheduled as the second test of the transition program time-table after the 1996 Constitutional Conference.
At that Local Government Councils Election held in December 1998, PDP captured 17 out of 27 Local Government Councils in Jigawa State, a feat that gave a brighter chance of capturing power at the State level come1999.
The failure of PDP to actualize its dream of capturing power in 1999 could not be unconnected with the vehement insistence of the SPP movement to have both the party chairmanship and the ticket of the gubernatorial candidate of the party thereby violating the formation principle of the party. This dictatorial posture on the agreement did not go down well with the ANC movement which apparently controls two third of the State electoral fortune at that material time.
Overnight, the ANC movement led by Barr Bashir Dalhatu went into a secret alliance with the All Peoples Party (APP) which has only won 8 Local Government Councils in the then Local Government Councils election and subsequently the APP led by Alh. Ibrahim Saminu Turaki won the Governorship election.
By 2007, Jigawa State was then transformed and consolidated into a PDP control State and this development availed the party the opportunity to enjoy incumbency factor, which resulted into an overwhelming victory at State and National level.
The aftermath of the 2015 PDP defeat in spite of the incumbency factor and the subsequent defeat of the party at 2019 general election notwithstanding the incompetency of the APC government in the State, the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) was woefully defeated without winning a single sit.
This development did not go down well with the committed members of the PDP family who felt betrayed by the party leadership and were demanding convincing answers from the leadership of the party for the disastrous failure at the polls, hence the reason for the petition written to the National Chairman of the Party with a prayers to immediately dissolve the State Executive Committee of the party as well as ensuring a level playing field to all competent members of the party willing to contest future elections that would reposition the party to face the challenges of the 2023 elections amongst other recommendations.
At its 88th meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP, an approval was granted to commence the party activities for the year 2020 congresses as well as the sales of nominations forms into the various elective offices of the party.
This decision and the one for the dissolution of the party executive’s right from the Ward to State level was seen as the right step towards ensuring a level playing field at the congresses. Certainly, this positive decision, has rekindled a ray of hope for the PDP family in Jigawa State.
Consequently, in the run-off to the Ward Congress, the battle – line was drawn as the PDP splitted into two camps – the PDP Group and the Retrogressive Group.
The former are insisting of making the PDP an inclusive party to all the people of Jigawa State which will remain focus to fight and win elections, while the latter are insisting on the status quo maintenance along with the culture of impunity inherent in the party thereby going back to its ritual practice of pouring old wine in a new bottle which is anything but democratic.
On the eve of the Ward Congresses slated in March 2020, over N57 million was spent by the Aminu Ibrahim Ringim led PDP Group for Justice in obtaining the Nomination forms for all the elective post across the 287 wards at all levels.
The circumstances behind the 16th March, 2020 Ward Congresses in Jigawa State could not be overemphasized. However, the bottom-line was that, there was a report of the Sen. Isa Hamma Misau Ward Congress led committee submitted to NWC that concluded that Ward Congresses were not conducted.
This position was further re-enforced by an INEC report on the Ward Congresses when it concluded that the two factions in Jigawa State conducted parallel congresses. In its spirited efforts to rescheduled a new date for the conduct of the Ward Congress, which is the foundation for the entrenchment of a democratic culture, leading to the emergence of the legitimate political leaders, the NWC had to for over 5 times on different occasions intimated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the commencement for the outstanding congresses in the State, stating with the Ward Congress, but to no avail, as there was no break-through in all the series of the reconciliation meetings spare-headed by the National Organs of the Party with the two factions.
Contrary to some insinuations of insubordinations against Aminu Ibrahim Ringim led faction toward the NWC’s instructions (verbal or written), a challenge is been thrown to any member of the NWC or NEC to show any documentary evidence for a memorandum of understanding endorsed by the said faction for the resolution of the crises, talk less of violating some of the terms of the agreement.
Thus, given the fore-going, the Jigawa PDP imbroglio has no doubt signified the imminent collapse of the party come 2023 judging by the indecisiveness and lack of courage of the NWC to be on the side of the true and social justice.
Suddenly to the dismay of all the faithful members of the party, the NWC descended so low by violating flagrantly the party’s constitutional provisions and its other electoral regulations/ guidelines when its unilaterally directed the conduct of Local Government Congresses and the State congress in December, 2021. No doubt, it was this act of absurdity that push the Aminu Ibrahim Ringim led faction to approach the temple of justice for a solution.
To say the least, it is contradicting, and constitutional the unilateral act of the NWC to allow the conduct of the Local Government and State congresses in Jigawa State knowing fully well that the Ward Congresses were never democratically conducted let alone for the legitimate delegate to emerge, who will in an idle manner elect the Local Government Executive of the party. Furthermore, the NWC was contemptuous of court by allowing the December 2020 illegal congresses in Jigawa State to proceed knowing fully the matter was before a competent court of jurisdiction! Therefore, as far as the PDP members in Jigawa State were concern, since the expiration of the tenure of the executives at all level in the State by May 2020 and to date, the Jigawa State Chapter of the PDP lacks legitimately elected leaders, save impostors!
Kazaure wrote in from Plot No. 4, Kanti Gra, Kazaure, Jigawa State