2019 Polls: How Buhari rescued APC from total defeat — Ex-Gov. Bafarawa
Former Governor Dalhatu Bafarawa is among those who ensured that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remains in power in Sokoto State, at least for the next four years. Ahead of the general elections, Bafarawa was on the road, campaigning for the PDP and Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s re-election. Bafarawa says, in this interview, that but for the intervention of the Federal Government in the electoral process, the PDP would have defeated the All Progressives Congress (APC) with a wide margin in the Sokoto governorship election.
The PDP won the election with just 345 votes.
Congratulations on your hard-earned victory. The APC really gave your party a run for your money.
It is you outsiders that think that what happened during the election was magic. It was not magic. There is no magic in politics. We actually wanted the presidential and National Assembly elections to be held differently, not at the same time or date.
The National Assembly elections were successful for the APC because it took advantage of the presidential election; specifically, it rode on the back of President Muhammadu Buhari. I say this because here in the North, there is nothing you can use to convince the people against the Buhari candidature. People are thinking APC is on ground in Sokoto, it is not true. APC has just about 25% followership in Sokoto. I don’t want to generalize.
I prefer to limit my view to my state, Sokoto. The Buhari bandwagon really helped APC. If the elections had been held separately, there is no way they would have won a seat in the general elections.
The bandwagon effect of the Buhari victory really gave them the impression that they would win subsequent elections, particularly the governorship. In Sokoto State, there are two political parties. It is not PDP or APC as you may have assumed.
The main parties in Sokoto are Bafarawa party and Wamako party. When Governor Aminu Tambuwal left Wamako camp and joined me, the implication of that action is that you may begin to compare the Bafarawa eight years in office with his successor’s eight years in office.
And that is one of the reasons I decided to devote all my energy to support the governor to bring about all the good things I started to fruition, but which my successor destroyed. You can see what we did in our time in terms of road construction, the improved standard of education, construction of new blocks of classrooms, the infrastructure we brought to the health sector, the new Government House we built, etc.
People obviously didn’t forget all that. I spent almost four months with the governor, and assured our supporters that the governor was mine and their candidate and that giving us their support, the governor, just as I did then, will also do and more.
That was the first time in my political life that I will be going out to campaign. While I was in government, I never campaigned.
I told the people to “let my achievements campaign for me.
That was it.
That assurance motivated the people that with me, the governor will be re-elected. So, there is nothing so special about the victory.
See what Bafarawa did for eight years and also see what Wamako did for the same number of years and let there be comparison. The records are there for anybody to see. Unfortunately, most of the achievements were rubbished by my successor.
They wanted to make sure Tambuwal did not return so that the good work we started then would not return; fortunately, the electorate, the people knew what we did then and so they wanted continuity; now, they have got it.
In the first election before it was suspended, the PDP was ahead with over 25,000 votes but because of the intrigues, they were committed to delivering Sokoto to APC, they started cancellation of votes so that, at the end of the day, they ended up cancelling votes in about 136,000 polling units.