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Friday, 7 July 2017

politics : Governor, Senator, Minister GSM: In one family

Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim belongs to an exclusive club of Nigerian men who have enjoyed power at the peak. A former governor turned senator; he is among very few Nigerians who served as governors and subsequently moved to take a seat in the Senate.
They are the governors turned senators otherwise referred to as GS. Among this group is still a very select group of men who have traversed the gamut of political service having served as governors, senators and ministers aka GSM. Three men that can easily be pointed out in this exclusive group of GSMs are Senators Chris Ngige, Adamu Aliero, and Rabiu Kwankwanso.

 Senator Abba Ibrahim could well have been in this group, at least by proxy, given the fact that his wife, Khadijat Buka Abba Ibrahim presently serves as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Senator Abba Ibrahim’s political durability had been phenomenal. He has beaten several odds and until sometime ago sat unquestionably, as the political leader of his native Yobe State. He and Mr. Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, hold the exceptional record of being the only persons to have served three terms as civilian governors in Nigeria. No other person will ever match their record under the present political dispensation given constitutional limitations that bind individuals to two terms in office. Whereas fellow record holder, Mr. Nyame progressively slipped into political insignificance, Senator Abba Ibrahim waxed, pushing from the Government House to the Senate. Not just that, he came to the Senate in 2007 with the missus, Hajia Khadijat who remarkably served in his cabinet in Yobe State as a commissioner for transport and energy. Husbands and wives have been heard to differ on politics, but the companionship enjoyed by the Senator Abba Ibrahim and Hajiya Khadijat is one that may have enthralled some.

 As they left the Government House in 2007, the husband took a seat in the Senate to represent Yobe East Senatorial District, while the wife took a seat in the House of Representatives to represent Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa Federal Constituency of Yobe State. Undeniably, Hajiya Khadijat may have gotten a political bounce from her marital relationship with Abba Ibrahim, but only the myopic would deny her sterling achievements in her own right. A daughter of the late Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, founder of the Great Nigeria Peoples Party, GNPP of the Second Republic and famed exponent of politics without bitterness, she is reported to have sufficiently acquitted herself in Britain after her graduation in British schools and worked in British finance and subsequently in public relations. Abba Ibrahim’s political ascendancy had been demonstrated after he became one of a handful of senators to have accomplished three terms in the Senate. His record was equally matched by his wife who like him won three consecutive elections into the House following which she was appointed a minister.

 Now, like all men, Abba Ibrahim’s political durability it appears could sooner than later come to an end. An allegation in some sections of the online media of the former governor turned senator being involved in a twosome with some strange ladies may have been the first shot against him. In a country where the sexual conduct of political office holders is of little bother, the allegation made little impact on the political endurance of the governor. Even before the sex allegation, Senator Abba Ibrahim’s political ascendancy was levelling. In the Senate, the appointment of one of his former followers, Senator Ahmad Lawan as Senate Leader has considerably brought down his leverage in the National Assembly.

 In the state, the emergence of the former deputy governor, Ibrahim Giadam as governor after the death of Senator Mamman Ali in 2009 is said to be the final nail on Abba Ibrahim’s political aspirations. Both men are from the same Yobe East Senatorial District. Just as Abba Ibrahim followed on from Government House to the Senate, the gist everywhere is that Governor Giadam is also interested in Abba Ibrahim’s seat. Whether true or not, the man who brushed aside the two-term limit to serve three terms and may well overcome allegations of involvement in an otherwise toxic extramarital sex scandal may meet his end in the hands of another GS wannabe!

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