PROF. ALBASU, TOO COOL TO GOVERN
By Williams Ayooso
Even at the time that Professor Albasu Kunini Alkinjo picked his PDP nomination form for governorship race; conjectures were rife that it was at the instance of Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku, the Executive Governor of Taraba State.
Governor Ishaku is exhausting four years of his two terms in office next year. Therefore, as it is the tradition with political office holders, the need has arisen for him to entrust the state into the hands of a person that he trusts, a successor that will not only continue with his projects, but will also be loyal to him and cover his tracks in times of need.
In his first calculation, Professor Albasu Kunini was a perfect match for the job. Aside from his intellectual vibrancy, Prof Albasu epitomizes the virtue of humility, sincerity of purpose and a loyal party man. These noble leadership virtues manifest in the Taraba State House of Assembly where he holds forth as Speaker. He is able to hold a hitherto crisis laden house as one. He achieved this feat, even on the face of public uproar that he was at best, a rubber stamp and a malleable tool in the hands of the Governor. Perhaps, it was on the basis of his supple disposition, especially in favour of the Governor that he was considered as an anointed candidate.
The Governor did not only choose him, he fought many battles to sustain the arrangement. At first, he juggled the zoning card, insisting that it was the turn of northern zone of the state to produce the governor. Professor Albasu is from the zone. Governor Darius did not stop there. While he was pushing for the power shift ideology on one hand for favour Albasu, he used the other hand to push for a consensus candidacy of the party. By this means, he reached out to some aspirants in the party, asking them to drop their ambitions in favour of the Speaker.
One of the aspirants the Governor contacted, as Worldview reliably gathered, was Victor Bala Kona. The outcome of the parley, according to worldview findings, was not encouraging, as Bala Kona refused to heed the Governor’s counsel to run for senate and leave the governorship race for Albasu. This was an open secret. And as it was still been savored and bickered by Tarabans, another bombshell was dropped on the state’s political environment. It was a subterfuge. The State Chairman of the party, Col. Kefas Agbu rtd bought the Governorship Nomination Form. Before the panting and mix-glee that simmered through the political circles will wither, the subterfuge was unveiled. Yes, Kefas Agbu bought the PDP Governorship nomination form; but it is for Aminu Kotolo, it was the Governor’s directive. This was breaking news of the moment.
With this development, Aminu Kotolo, Accountant General of the state is now a signpost of the PDP consensus candidate in the contemplation of Governor Ishaku. That Governor Ishaku has settled for Kotolo as his preferred candidate is no longer news. What is news at the moment, is the reason for Ishaku’s last minute decision; his ‘maradonic’ steps that pulled down Prof. Albasu Kunini from the shelf.
Although it is a political jinx that has left even political pundits with mouth agape and hands akimbo, Worldview checks reveal that the capacity of Professor Albasu to sustain the interest of Governor Ishaku was assailed by a political group that was not disposed to the plan.
“Playing too safe, not willing to offend and not being firm in his political engagements are some of the attributes the group flaunted in convincing the Governor that the Speaker, though obedient and intellectually vibrant, does not possess the needed capacity to preserve and protect his interest as his successor”
A Government House source, who craved anonymity, told our reporter.
Governor Ishaku, as our source revealed, was also made to believe that there are certain situations that Albasu, as his successor, will not stoop to reason with him.
Another weapon that was used to break Albasu’s back was his minority status. In a clime where tribalism, religion and many other negative ‘isms’ and ‘ions’ are deciding factors for political engagements, been from an ethnic minority group can as well be a disadvantage. And Albasu, coming from a minority tribe of Kunini in Lau LGA of the State is a victim of this circumstance.
Another reason that the group put on the table, was the Speaker’s financial position. Though the Governor can pull the resources of the state to fund the campaign project of his anointed candidate, there are still instances, as many as possible, that the candidate needs to make his marks by using personal resources to push his aspiration. But Prof. Albasu, as the group argued and convinced Ishaku, has no such money. At the end, the political depth of Professor Albasu Kunini was excavated in the psychic of Governor and led bare as a politician with a weak political structure, meager resources and malleable emotional template.
These are some of the factors that Governor Ishaku was influenced to put on a scale, before replacing Albasu with Kotolo as his anointed candidate.
Whether Aminu Kotolo possesses the needed qualities that Governor Ishaku contemplated is a story for another day. The trending angle of the development is how far Governor Ishaku can go in sustaining Aminu Kotolo as his anointed candidate. On the other hand, the response of stakeholders, especially those that purchased their nomination forms to contest for same position is another factor that calls for an ingenious political approach. That means that, for Governor Ishaku, there is still much work to be done.
But bulk of the work load, is on the shoulders of Aminu Kotolo. One of the PDP stalwart, who spoke with this writer, said it all.
“He has to reach out and dialogue with as many stakeholders as possible. He should not swim in the euphoria of an anointed candidate. Governor Ishaku, as a politician, is susceptible to compelling wiles of political exigencies. He started with Victor Bala, he moved to Albasu Kunini. Now he is with Kotolo. There is no guarantee that he will remain here.”