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INTERVIEW: Gombe APC knew it would lose governorship petition – PDP chieftain

Dahiru Kera was the Chairman Media and Publicity of the campaign organisation of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo in the 2015 election. In a short interview over the telephone, shortly after the governorship election tribunal in the state upheld the election of his principal, he said the All Progressives Congress, APC, went to court knowing it had no case.


PT: What is your reaction to the judgment delivered by the tribunal upholding the election of Governor Dankwambo?

Dahiru: First of all, let us give glory to Allah for giving us another victory and this time in the legal arena. Well, my own reaction will not be different from that of the majority of the people of Gombe State.

How I wish you were in Gombe to see for yourself the kind of jubilation in all the nooks and cranny of the state. Indeed, I am very happy and the majority of Gombe people overwhelmingly gave out their massive votes to Dankwambo in the April elections are also happy; and that is what we are expecting at a day like this. And I firmly believe that even the APC’s gubernatorial candidate will not be surprised by the pronouncement of the judgment against him and his party.

PT: What do you mean by he would not be surprised?

Dahiru: The APC candidate went to the tribunal as a loser already looking at the kind of person he was facing and what happened during the election itself.

Politically, Dankwambo and Inuwa Yahya are incomparable. While one is a national figure that has proved his mettle, the other is at best a local champion that can only claim popularity in his ward.

Don’t also forget that Inuwa Yahya accepted defeat immediately after the announcement of results, but he was subsequently pressured into approaching the tribunal. At the end of the day what happened? The tribunal itself said the petitioner simply wasted their time because he could not prove a single item among his allegations.

We knew that Danjuma Goje was pushing for Inuwa to be governor so that he would grab power by proxy.

PT: But APC were cruising to victory in most northern states except Gombe and Taraba irrespective of the individuals running under the banner of the party. What was the secret of PDP in Gombe State?

Dahiru: Governor Dankwambo performed in his first term beyond our imagination. Many transformations have taken place virtually in all the sectors of the state and that has significantly endeared him to the people.

Another factor may also be because the APC leadership in Gombe State was hijacked by some selfish elements to favour their stooges. When Senator Goje left the government house in 2011, he allegedly boasted to his supporters that he is installing Dankwambo as a successor, who would continue to do his bidding as he remained the undisputed ‘political grand master’ of Gombe State. But when Dankwambo proved him wrong, he hurriedly decamped to the APC and the same autocratic style was on display as he ruthlessly hijacked the state machinery from the erstwhile ‘legacy parties’ (ANPP, CPC, ACN) and swiftly installed his henchmen in key positions of the party, not caring whose ox was gored. And in the process it created a big crack in the party.

However, the people of Gombe both within and outside the APC, had increasingly grown tired of his messianic and intolerant attitudes and therefore irrevocably resolved to teach him and his political associates a lesson in the coming 2015 general elections.

The first shocker came in the governorship elections where a so-called APC leader was roundly defeated in his ward and local government by the triumphant Dankwambo who won a landslide victory, sweeping 10 of the 11 local governments in the state.

The governor’s victory had proved wrong the alleged boast by Goje that he would ‘dethrone’ Dankwambo. The results of the governorship and state house of assembly elections swiftly exposed the chaos, disarray and disaffection in the ranks of the APC as not less than six of the 11 chairmen of the APC local government chapters, including the state chairman, the state women leader and the state legal adviser all signed a petition accusing Senator Danjuma Goje of anti-party activities which they said was the major reason why the party was defeated in the state.

PT: What do we expect from Governor Dankwambo’s second tenure?

Dahiru: Basically, it will be a continuation of his good work for the people of Gombe State. Remember despite the fact that his victory was being challenged by the APC, he recently approved the payment of compensation to Jekadafari ward where Inuwa Yahaya, the APC candidate came from.
The compensation was paid to the people whose houses have to give way for the construction of six different roads within the area.

That has gone a long way in defining the objective policies of Dankwambo of running an inclusive government without political discrimination and bias.

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