By Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna
As facts continued to emerge during the January 12, 2019 Press briefing by ten out of the eleven “Garkuwa Saidu Local Govt Coordinators for Friends of ATIKU Organisation in Gombe State”, the multifarious factors that compelled Saidu Kumo to once again jump ship from the PDP to the APC are now falling into identifiable lines.
Eyebrows were raised when one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aides on New Media, Bashir Ahmed tweeted on Friday thus: “Senator Saidu Umar Kumo from Gombe and North East DG Atiku/PDP Presidential Campaign Council has dumped PDP and joined the moving train to the #NextLevel.” Past records show that Senator Saidu Kumo was with President Muhammadu Buhari in the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP. It was said then that as the Party Secretary, he allegedly sold the party for a song, much to the chagrin of its then presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. As a PDP member who defected to the APC, then defected back to the PDP and has gone again to the APC, all within a short period of time, how much trust would President Buhari endow in him? In the press briefing by the Coordinators on Saturday, January 12, 2019, they said that they are not in the least surprised for it is well known trait in Kumo’s political character, having done the same to President Muhammadu Buhari when they were in same party. Their prediction is that it may not be too long before Kumo leaves the APC for another party. The Local Govt Coordinators called on President Muhammadu Buhari to remember “what Kumo did to him”. Tracing the political history of Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, it will be recalled that he was the Campaign DG for Gombe State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s reelection campaign in 2015.
The former lawmaker had earlier defected from the opposition party in January 2018. By March of the same year, he had returned to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, stating that he was “compelled to return to the party to facilitate the presidential aspirations of Alhaji Atiku Ábubakar come 2019.” Six months later (September 2018), Kumo was arraigned in court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering. Just as it happened to the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio who decamped from the PDP to the APC due to the squeeze of the EFCC. Suddenly, with five more weeks to the presidential election, the announcement comes that Saidu Umar Kumo has defected again to the ruling party at the federal level, the All Progressive Congress APC. But this time, his Local Government Coordinators except the Yamaltu Deba followed him to the APC.
The rest ten “Garkuwa Saidu Local Govt Coordinators for Friends of ATIKU Organisation in Gombe State” remain with the PDP, and have pledged their loyalty to the People’s Democratic Party candidates from the presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar to the gubernatorial candidate in Gombe State, Senator Bayero Nafada, the Senatorial candidates Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo for the Gombe North District and the other two districts as well as House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates. In a related development, Gombe Local Government APC chieftains along side 200 dragons APC members have officially defected to PDP yesterday Saturday, 12th January, 2019.
Receiving the defectors, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo welcomed them to the great party, the PDP saying that he was wasn’t surprise because he firmly believed that every patriotic citizen will not continue to live in a political party where democracy isn’t an issue of concern. Dankwambo added that the door is still open for the good people to come and join the winning team to move Gombe State forward again. ” I believe that whoever knows politics and democracy will not follow the sinking ship of APC, in Gombe, we have no opposition. We don’t even know that the APC is in existence in Gombe State, we are contending with no one” ,he said. He also urged the good people of Gombe State to stay focused and democratic as they did in 2015 general elections by choosing between development and deprivation.
Among the defectors were Alhaji Mannir Adamu, Mallam Babangida Turaki and 200 others.
Kuna, Senior Special Assistant on New Media to Governor Dankwambo, writes from Gombe.