Dismantling Bafarawa’s Misadventure:Challenge before Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko
In 1999, the innocent, urbane, self-affecting and gentleman, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sarkin Yamma Sokoto), a seasoned, accomplished and well-educated civil servant made a dangerous and very costly mistake in his novice political sojourn. He innocently but naively, sleepwalked into the avoidable trap of the maverick, very poorly western educated but notoriously sleazy smuggler-cum-rent seeker “political contractor,” Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa (Garkuwa Sokoto?).
Together, they joined forces to plunge the innocent and good peoples of Sokoto State into eight years (1999-2007) of horrendous, miserable and catastrophic misgovernance that was worst than what existed in that part of the world in the pre-Caliphate (i.e. pre-jihad) periods.
An amateurish; largely slightly western educated youths of Sokoto State were handpicked, bankrolled and rigged into the State House of Assembly by the despotic emperor Bafarawa. Their constitutional job was to “supervise” the despotic Emperor Executive Governor Bafarawa. Those so-called members of the Sokoto State House of Assembly hardly had or could muster enough courage to “supervise” the Executive Emperor Governor Bafarawa while holding fort in the Executive seat of government for the eight straight miserable years of locust!
Those eight miserable years (1999-2007) represent the darkest era in the political history of the legendary Sokoto Caliphate. This sad event took place under the despicable leadership of Attahiru Bafarawa, whose only qualification, knowledge and idea of leadership is to loot the Sokoto State government treasury while invoking the name of Allah and the Talakkawa. Allahu Akbar! But Almighty Allah cannot be deceived by any mortal; no matter how powerful and rich he thinks of himself. The truth now prevails in Sokoto State after eight years of test, which Almighty Allah puts his servants through. Alhamadu Lillahi (All thanks be to Almighty Allah)!
The Sokoto Caliphate was until 1999, known as the epicentre of courageous and exemplary good governance, which encapsulate highly responsible, incorruptible and accountable and broad-minded leadership. For instance, for over 200 years since the successful legendary Jihad, under the pioneering exemplary leadership of the legendary Sheikh Usmanu Dan Fodiyo of blessed memory (and his disciples spread all over the entire Caliphate), this part of the World inspired and shaped governance of the entire geo-political terrain of the enviable Sokoto Caliphate and indeed, the past and present modern Nigeria and a large chunk of the West African sub-region. This however, sadly changed with Bafarawa’s entry and manipulation of the politics of the area during the period under review.
The avoidable mistake made by Wamakko in joining the evil pretender, Attahiru Bafarawa, led to setting the pace of history and development in all facets of lives of the innocent and good peoples of Sokoto State into stagnation, isolationism and irrelevance as far as Nigeria’s national politics was concerned. For example, the State tragically and sadly moved from the position of being at the center and prime mainstream position of Nigerian national politics to a mere “patch” and inconsequential Opposition State. For eight good years (1999-2007), Sokoto State was relegated to the backwaters of Nigerian political leadership and politics by no other per than the despicable and ego-centric Bafarawa.
Furthermore, the pace of educational, social and agricultural growth and development in the State was truncated. The only items and acts of governance that were on the agenda of statecraft were: over-priced capital projects for metropolitan and rural roads constructions and other irrelevant vanity capital projects that have no immediate and long term benefits to the citizenry. They were conceived and implemented largely to fatten the local and foreign bank accounts of the despot Bafarawa and his large army of miscreants.
These largely vanity capital projects (real and fictitious) consumed over 90 percent of all the State government’s capital budget allocations during the inglorious tenure of the cabal Attahiru Bafarawa. By the time of his disgraceful departure, he had built for himself, the fattest individual private portfolio of real assets, financial instruments and liquid cash ever looted by a single individual public office holder in the entire history of the State.
Therefore, it is the constitutional responsibility of Governor Wamakko, the Sokoto State Assembly and Judiciary, with active mobilized civil society (including the elders) to substantially recover the looted funds belonging to the good people of Sokoto State; that have been pauperized by the eight years of misrule of the demagogue Attahiru Bafarawa. The looted funds that have been laundered in the forms of shares, landed properties and other financial instruments being held by proxies and family members in Nigeria and abroad must be recovered and returned to the rightful owners – the good peoples of Sokoto State that were betrayed by the Emperor Bafarawa.
Attahiru Bafarawa, a rabid interloper in the corridors of power at all times, is presently facing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly turning his two gubernatorial terms into occasions for self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment using looted state funds . For example, it has been alleged through a number of petitions before the EFCC, that, his eight years of misadventure in bad governance in Sokoto State enabled him to illegally acquire very expensive fleet of flashy bullet-proofed limousines, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs/Jeeps).
For instance, the Sokoto State Government has an on-going case with Attahiru Bafarawa before a Sokoto High Court for an unfair deal that saw him as a departing serving Governor auctioning himself expensive Sokoto State government-owned bullet-proof Executive SUVs/Jeeps at give-away prices.
Similarly, it has been alleged through petitions before the EFCC, that, while a serving Governor of Sokoto State he acquired very expensively and tastefully furnished mansions to be found all over the exclusive choice places: from Sokoto, Kaduna, Abuja, Lagos and London and to Saudi Arabia. And recently, in Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. United States of America ( USA). He is in the competitive shameless league of other public treasury looters; his contemporaries in some the other misfortune States of the federation.
His final act before his disgraceful fall from his self-propelled Olympian height: he looted the Sokoto State treasury to found, register and lavishly funded a political platform (i.e. Democratic Peoples Party - DPP). The DDP was founded solely for his use to advance his inordinate ambition; vanity political game plans and egoistic fantasy of joining the list of political party owners and presidential contenders’ “me too” list!
Never mind his belated blackmailing of former President Obasanjo. He is recently all over the place, telling those who still want to listen to chicanery, that former President attempted to induce him with N1bn for him to abandon his newly formed political platform (DPP) and join the ruling Party. Also, in addition to the monetary inducements, the political and economic fortunes of Sokoto and Kebbi States respectively, will be surrendered to him!
The question to ask Bafarawa and his supposed inducers is: Are these States cheap exchangeable commodities to be traded in the undemocratic political market place of Nigeria in this 21 st century? I think Bafarawa has gone bizarre like his good friend, former governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki; who shares the same character traits with him.
Remember, the latest in town is that “Senator” Saminu Turaki is busy conversing for tenure elongation for President Yar’Adua even before the take-off of the yet another attempt to amend the 1999 Constitution! Please, don’t be surprised if you hear that Bafarawa is among the financiers of this laughable enterprise in political recklessness and madness!
His trumpet is now blown by a compromised section of the Nigerian press, hired ghost writers (including the hitherto hostile Elendureports.com website, now compromised and in full control of the maverick) and the Voice of America (VOA) – (Bafarawa) Hausa Service!
With all these arsenals of modern manipulation, Bafarawa still feels he is on top of Nigerian politics and from his perch on the roof of Mount Olympus, he can do and undo in pursuit of his personal aggrandizements. His first victims were the innocent and good peoples of Sokoto State. The early casualty was his naïve deputy, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. Wamakko suffered untold indignations from the evil hands and mind of the depot and maverick Attahiru Bafarawa.
For instance, early enough in the journey of the life of the misadventure in bad governance of Sokoto State, Aliyu Magatakarda was sidelined and ignored by the maverick Governor Bafarawa in running the affairs government of Sokoto State. Wamakko was maligned, marginalised and later, eased out of the government.
Wamakko paid a heavy price for his naivety, short-sightedness and miscalculation of joining the gravy train of the cabal, despot and treacherous Bafarawa. What the despot and cabal Attahiru Bafarawa visited on Aliyu Wamakko throughout the period he served as his deputy, was never witnessed in the entire history of the old and the modern Sokoto Caliphate.
Furthermore, the ways and manner of Bafarawa’s ill-treatment of Wamakko were never in the character and behaviour of the God fearing, innocent and good peoples of the old and the modern Sokoto Caliphate. However, in 2007 God in His Mercies gave Aliyu Wamakko the chance to be drafted into becoming the Gubernatorial Candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He jumped and grabbed it.
This time (2007/2008) around, unlike in 1999, Wamakko won both first and the second re-run election in a clean manner. In the 1999 gubernatorial election, he and his co-traveller Bafarawa were alleged to have rigged and bought the result of the election from the INEC Sokoto State office, the then Sokoto State Police Commissioner; the Sokoto State Director of State Security Service (SSS) at the going market price.
Just compare the situation in Sokoto State with what happened between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the 2003 general elections and its aftermaths. There is no significant difference. Vice President Atiku Abubakar was the bitter victim at the end of the day and similarly, Wamakko was left in the cold.
When they were challenged at the then Election Tribunal in Sokoto and the Court of Appeal in Kaduna, they were alleged to have played the same game; paid-off the judges and the case became history. These actions led to the brutalization of the innocent citizens of Sokoto State, whom Bafarawa despotically ruled with contempt and disrespect.
Wamakko again, suffered another set back. This time around, his tormentor once again, picked him up and challenged his victory at the 2007 election. Bafarawa and his DPP took Wamakko and the PDP to the Election Tribunal in Sokoto. They failed. Not mannered to yielding to God’s wish, Bafarawa rushed again and challenged the judgement at the Court of Appeal in Kaduna. He won in a mysterious verdict.
The election was nullified and Bafarawa was triumphant once again and felt on top of things, albeit, temporarily as the result of the Appeal Court ordered election re-run on May 24, 2008 showed the contrary.
By Almighty God’s providence, the good peoples of Sokoto State returned Wamakko back on the saddle of leadership in Sokoto State at the Appeal Court ordered election re-run that took place on Saturday, May 24, 2008! They, previously the hoodwinked gullible electorates, have bitterly learned to avoid sleepwalking into yet another catastrophe that they would have to face with DPP in power in the State.
The Sokoto State and electorates from other states of the federation, tired with the disrespectful and treacherous behaviours of Attahiru Bafarawa and anything associated with his personality, gave him and his DPP a one-way ticket to political eternity in the wilderness of the Nigerian political jungle!.
For example, it was reported and alleged that Attahiru Bafarawa made a contemptuous remark that the good peoples of Sokoto State are like hungry Chickens. All you need to get them into submission to your desires is to sprinkle some grains of corn on the ground and they will all rush to fill their hungry tummies and forget about everything!
It was also alleged that Attahiru Bafarawa displayed utter contempt and disrespect for the elders in the State; including the venerable former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari (Turakin Sokoto) and His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III, among other respected citizens of the State.
Some watchers and analysts remarked that both the gullible Sokoto State electorates and Wamakko got what they deserved from the maverick Bafarawa. People also likened the situation to Almighty God punishing Wamakko for his mistake of joining an evil force and hence deserved what he got from the despot and cabal.
But also, people believe that Almighty God in His Mercies, paradoxically and providentially, entrusted now, the challenge of upturning and cleansing this curse visited on the good and innocent peoples of Sokoto State by the demagogue Attahiru Bafarawa on the shoulders of His Excellency Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. What a twist in life.
Ironically however, Bafarawa has become a victim of his own good and or bad press! Having successfully intimidated and fooled gullible Nigerians who are innocently ignorant of his antecedents; particularly in public discourse, the likes of Bafarawa and his fellow co-travellers, now live vulnerably in their self-created false egoistically Olympian bubbles; incapable of self-critique and unwilling to acknowledge the reality that their time is now gone and that they should hide their ugly faces in shame for the rest of their lives.
But people say this is how divine power of Almighty Allah works. This world is just an ordinary laboratory to test ordinary mortals like us. It is now the turn of Wamakko and Almighty Allah is watching him just as we, his fellow mortals, are watching. May Almighty Allah guide Wamakko to the right path and keep all evil-minded people away from his task of cleansing the misadventure of bad governance left behind by the cabal Attahiru Bafarawa. Amen.
Wamakko must earnestly and genuinely begin the methodical rebuilding of the State establishment, its economy and above all, the welfare, happiness and progress of the hard working, peace loving and God fearing peoples of Sokoto State. May you succeed in flying colors where the cabal Bafarawa woefully failed, but succeeded in fooling the innocent and good people of Sokoto State for eight harrowing years! Amen.
Attahiru Aliyu Ahmad Sokoto
Monday, May 26, 2008