Kebbi 2015: Dakingari’s legacy and friendly enemies within

By Max Gbanite on 15/10/2014

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There are image-damagers who very often masquerade as the voice of concerned party foot soldiers or defenders of party discipline and virtues, which in their bid to score cheap political points bring their leaders to ridicule; and, this is exactly the manner-of-missiles directed at His Excellency, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, the Executive Governor of kebbi State, by friendly-enemies within his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The same enemies are clawing on straws in a futile attempt to foil the consolidation of the positive legacy the governor has bequeathed to the state. In circumstances like this, men endowed with sense of impartiality cannot stand aloof and watch the destruction of one hard working individual.


The bone of contention is the PDP’s 2015 gubernatorial ticket in the state; and the apparent popularity of Gen. S Y Bello (Rtd.), which is scarring the living day light out of his opponents in the race. Instead of engaging in a genuine campaign to strategize and position their preferred candidates for possible victory, they resort to name callings and character assassination to win the sympathy of kebbi State PDP members; unfortunately for them, Peoples Democratic Party in Kebbi is known for carrying-out unhindered scrutiny of potential aspirants for any position.


In a bid to disorganize the party in the state and hand over the structures to the opposition All progressive Congress (APC), one Ibrahim D Usman has assumed the mouthpiece of the internal opposition to Gov. Dakingari. Instead of resolving minor disagreements within the available party structures, he preferred the pages of the newspaper to damage the party; damage the governor; and damage Gen. S.Y. Bello; this, indeed, is a misadventure taken too far.


In a widely publicized piece on the DailyTrust newspaper, September 14, 2014, Ibrahim D Usman exhibited the huge jitters that have cascaded the internal opposition within the party. He derogatorily made reference to the gubernatorial ambition of Gen. Bello without recourse to the unalloyed-nation-building credentials the same Bell has under his belt. Instead of supporting Gov. Dakingari to ensure the election of this exemplary son of kebbi State, the likes of Usman are busy pressing the destruct button to drag the state backwards.


 This is a case of wrecking the system if one is unable to have their way. However, they will have to contend with the determination of the performing governor and the progress consolidation agenda, and prepare to contest with Gen. Bello in the battle ahead. Again, if they are self-deluded into thinking that the duo of Bello and the governor, will chicken out and hand the party structures over to them in their bid to draw the state backward; they must be consulting with political neophytes. At this point, it is noteworthy to state that they did not even spare former Governor Muhammed Adamu Aliero in their misguided vituperation. This is not the way to move their great party forward in the state.


The people of kebbi State are blessed to have Gen. Sarki Yaki Bello, as their son. This is a man of distinguished accomplishments; a Prince who dropped his princely-babanriga and all the privileges of that title to become a soldier-warrior; a true soldiers-soldier and, a first class intelligence-infantry-officer.  A trained lawyer with Nigeria Bar accreditations; at the rank of captaincy, made his mark at the office of army provost, prompting his boss then, the Army provost Marshall, Major Gen. Sani Sami (now retired), to refer to him as the ‘most brilliant officer in my command”, at the time Sani Sami made that comment, he did not even know that Bello was his kinsman from Kebbi State. Today, the same Gen. Sani Sami (rtd.) is the emir of Zuru, and he cannot be one of the emir’s that is not happy with the governor’s radar-sighting of Gen. Bello as his successor. Bello went on to become a Military Attache’ to our embassy in Washington DC, while there, he delivered a paper at the Institute of World Policy, that earned him the respect and admiration of Americans, and British experts attending lectures with him; he went on to become the Military Assistant to the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Bamaiyi Rtd.(a fearless-soldier); the same Bamaiyi likes the idea of a Bello as the next governor of Kebbi, his state. Gen. Bello went on to command the Military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta during the height of militancy-insurrection; his swift actions led many to surrender and embrace the amnesty offered by the late president, Umaru Yar’Adua; and his fair play and manner of approach in tackling the turbulences earned him the admiration of both traditional ruler’s, and the pseudo-generals commanding the various militant-terrorists during that era; and they still discuss him with awe till date.


He later became the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 division. While at that division,

his handling of the ‘Osisikanku’ kidnapping menace in Abia State was one of the best efforts made at subjugating kidnapping in any part of Nigeria. He did not only destroy the ‘Osisikanku’ criminal-clan but exorcised Abia State of kidnapping and other insurgency-inducing-crimes. During his tenure as commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and GOC of 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army, he combined intellectualism, prudence and professionalism in ensuring that innocent Nigerians were never harmed in the course of duty, and within his area of command.


The real situation in Kebbi State is that the current governor has looked around and within Kebbi State and, decided that for the good people and the state to move to the next level of transformation and industrializations, that his successor must be someone who has demonstrated enough clout within the country, and international community; and has the ability to take the developmental-foundations of his (Gov. Dakingari) to the next level. The governor knows that Kebbi state needs a person that can attract the much needed foreign investment for the farmers, a person the international community knows and trusts; and as a result, he searched thoroughly within his party; and came to the conclusion that amongst those qualified for the position, that Gen Sarki Yaki Bello best fits this calculus. The governor’s political opponents and friendly-enemies are scared that Gen. Bello will never compromise on merit if he is eventually elected by the good people of the state; but they can count on him to be a team player who will carry everybody along.


For a Governor that achieved so much in the agricultural sector and a leading light of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, ensuring the election of a successor with capacity to sustain his great landmarks will not be a misplaced priority. Is this what the detractors of the Governor referred to as “his anointing a successor?” It will be unpatriotic for the sitting Governor to overlook capable citizens of the state in his quest to entrench his positive legacy.


I urge His Excellency to remain steadfast in his great mission in Kebbi State and implore the citizens to continue to extend their unalloyed support to his administration. The coach of any football team understands the abilities of his players both collectively and individually. He is in a better position to determine who to play at any position and when it is necessary for substitutions to be made. It will help the PDP team in the state to keep trusting in the wisdom of the coach and his ability to make the right decisions in the overall interest of the party. The umbrella is big enough to accommodate all discerning members of the party. One thing the party followers must appreciate is that Gen. S Y Bello is a team player, and a systems-man who will never allow any structure or power base in the party to be marginalized. His experience and training has automatically prepared him for the task ahead.


The contending factions should bury the hatchet and support this illustrious son of Kebbi State. He will never betray their confidence; he is a man we respect, and Kebbi State should be commended for giving a prince like him to our military to serve our country.


Submitted by: A.U. Max Gbanite; Strategic Security Expert, Defence & Security Analyst;


Posted on October, 15 2014

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