Defection: Wamakko Shuts Down Sokoto for Buhari, APC
Former Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko appears to be the clear winner in the first round of the war of supremacy between him and his estranged political son, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who abandoned the All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday.
Wamakko, accompanied by his own APC loyalists from the state in the National and State Assemblies, stormed Sokoto to the warm embrace of hundreds of thousands of supporters that stretched over eight kilometres from the airport to his Sokoto residence.
Sokoto was literally shut down as the surging crowd came out in a show of solidarity with Wammako, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC, dwarfing those pulled by Tambuwal during his defection.
Immediately the plane carrying the senator landed at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, motorcyclists ran onto the tarmac to offer a guard of honour.
And from the airport to the town, traffic moved at a snail speed.
Wamakko, addressing the huge crowd, told them to remain steadfast in their loyalty to the APC.
He said those who recently defected from the party are “wasting their time as politics is local and we have our base at the grassroots where we all came from, to take APC to greater heights.”
The Northern Senators Forum (NSF) chairman said he was not in the game of abusive or hate speech politics, but stressed that “the contest is not between me and Tambuwal but APC and the almost dead opposition PDP.”
He added:” I am confident that APC is second to none in Sokoto State because all strata of people are with our great party. I am sure that even people in and outside Sokoto know it all.”
“ Our journey, as ever, is synonymous with service delivery, good governance, peace, stability, security and the advancement of economic prosperity through the provision of infrastructure as well the fight against corruption.”
He said the current political trend would not in any way affect the giant strides of the ruling party.
“You can see it yourselves from the unprecedented crowd cutting across all sexes, ages and statuses.”
“APC is a party for all and working for all. We are determined to protect your mandate at all levels without any negative recourse.”
Earlier, the state APC Chairman, Alhaji Sadiq Isah Achida described the party as “a beautiful bride” loved by all.
“Sokoto is for APC, Wamakko and President Buhari.”
Also speaking, Senator Ibrahim Gobir from Sokoto East Senatorial District said they were confident of the political resilience and determination of APC members to resist attempts to cause them to defect.
“Today, we have two senators, seven Reps and 12 state lawmakers with us ready to work for the victory of the party come 2019.”
Speaking on behalf of the Reps, Musa S. Adar, berated Gov. Tambuwal and scored him low for trivialising politics.
He accused Tambuwwal of betraying “ the trust of Sokoto people.”
Bala Kokane who spoke on behalf of the immediate past commissioners, described Wamakko as an impeccable political hub and man of the people whose vision cannot be doubted, especially in moving the party towards prosperity.
At the rally were Deputy Governor Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Tanzania Alhaji Sahabi Isah Gada, Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi, former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Morocco, Abubakar Shehu Wurno, former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman among other notable politicians in the state.
Abu Bunza, who monitored Wammako’s arrival wrote on Twitter: “I knew Wamakko’s homecoming will be mad today. Those that were busy celebrating Tambuwal’s defection know nothing about Sokoto’s politics.”
One of the harvests of the rally was the switch to the APC by a former minister of sports, Yusuf Suleiman, who was a PDP governorship aspirant in 2015.
The former governor had said, earlier in the week ,that those writing off the APC following Tambuwal’s defection and 18 members of the State House of Assembly to the PDP should wait till this weekend when he would return to Sokoto and see who is in control of the state.
Over the last few days, a lot of Sokoto residents had been expressing support for President Muhammadu Buhari openly, chanting pro-Buhari slogans.
Women and youth in particular displayed their joy amidst “Rarara’s” musical songs “Masu Gudu, Su Gudu” (meaning those who want to go, can go).
Similarly, posters of President Buhari, Senator Wamakko were displayed in many parts of the state capital.