PDP pays price of forgetfulness in Gombe
It was the only state that survived the Buhari Tsunami in 2015. But the result of recent presidential and National Assembly election has demystified the Gombe State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Immediately the results of the election started trickling in, analysts concluded that the defeat suffered by the once impregnable Gombe PDP could be traced to its seeming forgetfulness of abysmal performance at various levels of governance in all the senatorial districts of the state.The party seemed to have neglected calls by political stakeholders, particularly the well known injustice meted out to All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains like Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, Bala Bello Tinka and others, during and after the PDP primaries.
Some former playmakers of the party who spoke to The Guardian in separate interviews after sweeping victories for APC in the three zones, especially the hitherto PDP stronghold, Gombe South, concluded that injustice has a way of paying back when it is done without considering likely consequences, especially in politics.An Abuja-based political strategist, Dr. Abdullahi Usman, who observed the elections in Gombe, disclosed how he had, in October 2018, cautioned PDP against the negative impact of allowing injustice to play out in the party’s primaries. Usman regretted that the party never paid heed to that advice, adding that the price has now been paid in full heavily.
He said: “When I spoke in October last year on the danger of allowing injustice during the primaries that saw Dr. Jamilu Gwamna denied of his political right, I warned the party but it fell on deaf ears. Today the debt of injustice is fully paid to PDP.
“Many good citizens of Gombe also wrote about the debt-driven style of leadership by Gov. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo but they never addressed those issues and by that singular act, offended the enlightened electorate of Gombe State.“In one of my warnings, I quoted Gwamna, who boosted that he would do everything in his powers to deliver APC victory at all levels. They ignored it as an empty threat, but today the results have proven that a man with supporters should not be pushed aside like PDP did to Gwamna. It is painful for the PDP but they deserved what they got.”
But a grassroots mobiliser, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim, said he saw the defeat coming long before now, remarking: “We saw it; spoke about it, but they neglected us. Bad governance and neglect of the priorities of the people caused PDP the woeful defeat, which has turned out as sweet taste of victory for APC.
“And Gombe APC’s victory is one that had come to stay because of the caliber of people in the party. Let me also add that PDP is heading to a crashing defeat in the forthcoming governorship and other elections in the state.”However, a top PDP chieftain, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Our party has become history in Gombe State. There were many of us that did not join Gwamna to defect, but we believe in his vision and felt pained at the bad turn that was meted to him within the PDP. All these also contributed to the defeat.”
PDP chieftain added: “It is on record that we asked the governor to allow us conduct free, fair and credible primaries, but he over ruled us. Today, that decision to deny the wish of the party’s loyalists at the grassroots and the most popular aspirant Dr. Gwamna the right to fly the party’s governorship ticket has not only cost us this defeat, but has equally cost the governor his senatorial ambition. The governor must enjoy the regrets, while he would be in political exile.”
Reacting to the political development in the state, Gwamna recalled that he promised to deliver the state to President Buhari with the support of everyone in Gombe state chapter of APC. While stressing that signs of victory for APC in Gombe at all levels were here, Gwamna said: “Everyone has spoken for President Muhammadu Buhari and the victory for the president shows that all APC chieftains are no betrayers to what they promised the president and Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, our gubernatorial candidate
“The totality of support from Gombites and other bigwigs of the party shows that we love the president without limitations.”He added that the fight was not over, since according to him, the sweetest part would be the defeat of PDP at the governorship, which would be the icing on the cake.
Gwamna called on Gombe people to stand firm and steady in the course towards total defeat of PDP in the forthcoming gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.However, the state’s chairman of Accord Party, Alhaji Muhammadu Garba, disagreed with insinuations that lack of good governance or performance caused PDP’s defeat, stressing that APC’s victory could be attributed to the overwhelming popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari in the north. Garba said: “Governor Dankwambo is a leader that gives every political stakeholder that level playing ground to run as his dream could carry him without interference. The governor embarked on a lot of commendable projects that he would be remembered for.”