‘How Atiku’s visit cemented Gombe as PDP’s fortress’
The recent visit by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to Gombe State has been described as a morale booster and evidence that the state belongs to PDP.
In a conversation with The Guardian after the event, former Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo on new Media, Abu-Ubaida Kuna; public policy expert, Salmanu Jakadafari and other stakeholders said Atiku made PDP formidable once again.
They maintained that despite the incumbency of All Progressives Congress (APC), PDP would reclaim the state in next year’s poll. According to them, after the PDP presidential rally, the question on the lips of even prominent APC stalwarts was, “Who will vote for Governor Muhammad Yahaya?”
Kuna noted that with the mutual suspicion and antagonism within Gombe APC and President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence on the ballot paper, the state is already back in PDP’s corner.
While stressing that Atiku is taking over the legendary 12 million Buhari vote bank in the North, the PDP chieftain added that Gombawa was yearning for a return of the Ibrahim Dankwambo era.
He remarked that with stakeholders like Dankwambo and Sen. Bayero Nafada, among other PDP heavyweights, the party is sure to reclaim Gombe with the election of Muhammad Barde as governor on March 11, 2023.
Jakadafari said Governor Yahaya rode to power on the back of eight people, who fought for him to win the 2019 general elections, including Sen. Muhammadu Danjuma Goje.
He added: “Today, however, they are the most abused in the administration of Yahaya. Most of them have been attacked and even blocked from entering their home state. None of them is supporting the governor and most of them have left APC for PDP.
“So, all the strong politicians in Gombe are now united behind Wazirin Adamawa. That is what the rally exposed and because Atiku is already harvesting from the usual 12 million Buhari vote bank, PDP is on the march again to reclaim Gombe as its strong base.”
He noted that six predominant categories of stakeholders made up the Gombe mosaic: traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil servants, businessmen/women, politicians and the masses.
“These people, in one way or another, contributed towards the coming of the present APC administration in the state. But now, the situation on the ground is that these people no longer yearn for the return of APC administration in Gombe come 2023,” he declared.