BY IKENNA AGU
According to a former Premier of Northern Nigeria Sir Ahmadu Bello, “No one is immune to the trials and tribulations of life”.
This is exactly the position the opposition party in Kebbi State, the People’s Democratic Party, is trying to prove by flying a kite that the testimonial that was submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission in 2015 by the Deputy Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Umar Tafida was fake.
With the turn of events in the governorship election tribunal sitting in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital, these purveyors of falsehood are stopping at nothing in spreading their stories.
Recently, they paraded some witnesses who had little or no knowledge of the issues on the table.
An age-long African saying that “Truth is one” tends to throw the camp of the opposition into turmoil as the witnesses and evidence being presented by the Deputy Governor shows that the allegations are dead on arrival.
The Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Schools Education as well as Director of Exams tendered documents to prove attendance of Senator Abubakar Umar Tafida in the mock examination of the Sultan Abubakar Teachers College.
The Permanent Secretary was represented by Director Exams, Mustapha Idris Musa.
Musa stated that the court’s subpoena they received ordered them to produce a broad sheet used for the mock examination of 1979 of their College among other documents. He also told the court that one Zayanu Muhammad Umar that came to the court and presented himself as a Principal of Sultan Abubakar College was a Vice principal and not a Principal and at the time he came and allegedly presented himself as a Principal while the substantive principal Mustapha Abubakar was in the office.
The Principal, Mustapha Abubakar, who was in a wheelchair, sent Sani Abubakar, Vice Principal Academic to represent him in case his attention was needed.
“It may interest the opposition to know that Umar Abubakar Tafida is not just a politician but also a patriotic citizen who has served this great nation in many capacities”
The original certificates of Umar Abubakar Tafida, which were presented to the tribunal, included GCE O Level Private Nov/Dec 1981, National Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Kaduna Polytechnic), Higher National Diploma in Purchasing and Supply (Kaduna Polytechnic) and Msc Transport, from Ogun State University.
The legal team of the Deputy Governor led by Kehinde K. Elijah (SAN) also said that the subpoenaed witnesses’ documents tendered have shown that testimonial issued to the deputy governor and mocks result were properly issued.
The opposition party also claimed that a classmate of the Deputy Governor, Aminullah Umar came to the tribunal and testified against him. But in quick reaction, Aminullah Umar said in a statement that he was shocked when he read in some reports that he testified against the deputy governor. He said he did not testify against Tafida.
For clarity, the testimonial in question was one of the documents he submitted to INEC when he contested the position of deputy governor in 2015 Governorship Election but was not attached in the 2023 Election.
The opposition, either by error or omission, has decided to misinform Kebbi people because the O’Level result the deputy governor attached to the form he submitted to INEC for 2023 Election had only his GCE O’Level Private Nov/ Dec 1981. Other results are OND and HND results from Kaduna Polytechnic and his Master’s degree results. What Senator Umar Abubakar Tafida is out to prove beyond reasonable doubt is that even the testimonial he didn’t attach in the 2023 Governorship Election is genuine, and that the testimonial is just the evidence of attendance of the school in question. It is quite disturbing that the information the people of Kebbi State are being fed with is that the Deputy Governor submitted fake documents to INEC.
The desperation being exhibited by the opposition is unprecedented and capable of derailing the good work already started by the APC-led government in the state.
Remarkably, Kebbi residents have shown massive support to the incumbent government as they have been on the forefront of making sure that the ship of state keeps sailing smoothly.
It is pertinent to state here that since the current administration came on board, the menacing effect of bandits in the state has been put on check and the economy has taken a positive turn.
Kebbi State is currently taking the lead in education in the whole of North West because of the programmes being implemented by the incumbent government.
Analysts have said that the current media trial being faced by the deputy governor may be borne out of the fact that with the way the APC-led government is in a haste to develop the state; the opposition is already having the feeling that it may be difficult for them to win election in Kebbi State.
It may interest the opposition to know that Umar Abubakar Tafida is not just a politician but also a patriotic citizen who has served this great nation in many capacities.
He was former General Manager with Nigerian Ports Authority and a former Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2007 to 2011.
Those who worked with him have confessed about the impeccability of his character which he has displayed within the shortest period he has been occupying the office of the deputy governorship position of the state.
Kebbi State is a unique state in Nigeria. It takes people with the tact and discipline of Senator Tafida and Governor Nasiru Idris Kauran Gwandu to pilot the affairs of such a state. It will be wise for the opposition party to follow the path of honour and play the politics of opposition without tarnishing the image of people.
- Agu writes from Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State