Gombe: Goje Vs Kumo


The political crisis rocking the Gombe State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should be a cause for concern, as it will affect the rate of progress of the state.

For those who have been following the political history of the state, especially the decades-long relationship between Sen. Muhammadu Danjuma Goje and his political anointed son, Usman Bello Kumo. It came as a surprise when Goje declared recently that he would be retiring from active and elective politics at the end of his third tenure in the Senate of the National Assembly come 2023. Unfortunately for the APC in Gombe State, this crisis spring up at a time when many of their followers are grieving over Goje’s declaration to quit active politics and its obvious and grave consequences on the party’s success, going forward. Undoubtedly, for the party, it calls for worry when their brave general who has fought several wars and won in the battlefield decides to bow out; it, necessarily, demoralizes other soldiers at the frontline and consequently affects the next dimension of the war.

Senator, a former state house of assembly member, former minister, two-term governor of Gombe State, and third term senator, is a political general and a brand that has, apart from having successful political outings over the decades, trained many politicians not only in Gombe State or the North-East geopolitical region but in the entire country, Nigeria. For many who may not know, he was very instrumental to the successes of the APC in the 2015 and 2019 elections and political realignment in the country that brought the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Senator, as APC leader in Gombe State, has led an opposition that wrestled power from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and saw to the emergence of the incumbent Governor Inuwa Yahaya of the APC in the state.

It is glaring, that Goje’s bowing out of active politics has more to it than meets the eye; and its ripple effects on the political permutation in the state will surely be overwhelming especially for the ruling party in 2023.

Today, if you look at all the political office holders in Gombe State under the APC, right from the person of the governor himself, his cabinet, National Assembly members, you will discover that they cut their teeth under Goje’s political tutelage, including Kumo who has spent virtually all of his life learning politics and clutching on every opportunity made available to him by Senator. Consequently, in all sense of judgement, all APC members in the state owed Goje some respect and they should as much as possible protect his hard-earned reputation in the court of public opinion rather than doing the contrary as is currently being exhibited now.

Obviously, many political commentators believe that, Kumo is shooting himself in the foot by fighting his political godfather. Of course, if their observations and views hold water, the reason for this would be best known to him.

Notwithstanding his reasons, the views of a vast majority of the public that the former two-term governor is being betrayed by his benefactor is not the least flattering. Though politicians see it as an inherent part of the game but its obvious that when someone betrays you after you have trusted and helped him, it is, as our society views it, the true reflection of the character of the betrayer.

To set the record straight, it was Goje who picked him and appointed him as a secretary in the state electoral commission as a fresh graduate. Goje also appointed him as the caretaker chairman of Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State before he gave him the nod to contest election to become the substantive executive chairman of the same local government area.

Is this Goje’s offence?

When Goje was about leaving the Gombe State Government House as governor, he, against all odds, gave Kumo a ticket to contest election for the Akko Federal Constituency in 2011. Seemingly, he gave him all the support he needed to be elected as the member representing his people in the National Assembly. Surprisingly, it was in spite of all these lifelines Goje accorded him that he contested the Gombe Central Senatorial seat against Goje in the 2015 general election.

However, he was defeated by his political benefactor, Goje.

It was gathered that Kumo, who seemed to have realized his mistake of fighting his political godfather in the past, organized his family, friends, governors, religious and traditional leaders to, on his behalf, beg Goje for forgiveness. And what do you expect from someone who laboured to bring Kumo up?

Goje forgave him and supported him to stage a comeback to the House of Representatives in 2019.

As before, there is a renewed war between Kumo and Goje and their political allies in Akko LGA. The questions on the lips of many of us begging for answers are:
What has Goje done wrong to deserve all these and how many times does Kumo want to call his family, friends, governors, religious and traditional leaders to beg for Goje’s forgiveness as his boss?

But no one should shy away from the truth that when you betray someone, you will later find out that you have ruined yourself.

Finally, the writer claims he is not an APC member, but as a concerned citizen, he is compelled to crave the indulgence of Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya to use his privilege to weigh in on the foregoing crisis. This is because, whether he likes it or not, his silence will be construed as an approval and as far as politics is concerned, Goje is certainly not someone that should be treated in such a manner because what is good for the goose, is good for the gander.

The writer posited that his utmost concern, however, is that the whole crisis is going to affect not just the APC but the state in general.

He concluded that it is instructive to remember that a stitch in time saves nine

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