Since the emergence of the former Information Minister, Labaran Maku as the governorship candidate of APGA in Nasarawa State, the political landscape was completely altered and might never be the same again. Hitherto, the main political parties in Nasarawa State were the ruling APC and PDP.
But after the fiasco in Nasarawa during the PDP governorship primaries where Mr. Maku was schemed out of the race to pave the way for the highly unpopular Yusuf Agabi as the party’s flag bearer, the PDP, which used to dominate the politics of the state began to crumble.
Mr. Maku, who led the PDP in Nasarawa State for 4 years dumped the party for APGA to pursue his governorship ambition. The defection of Maku from the PDP took away the soul of the party; what remains now is an empty shell, who’s underbelly was exposed with the recent campaign tours of the party that could best be described as a funeral procession.
Because Maku invested a lot in the PDP, he took away with him a chunk of the party’s chieftains and supporters to APGA. Some of those who remained in the PDP are only there in the physical but their spirits are with Maku. The party recently lent credence to this assertion when it wielded the big stick and suspended over 50 party chieftains including founding members for hobnobbing secretly with Maku.
Maku’s popularity coupled with the fact that the Al-Makura’s APC failed woefully in Nasarawa State, many people in the APC saw APGA as the new bribe in the politics of the state. As such, party chieftains and supporters in both APC and PDP queued behind Maku in APGA. The remaining political parties that rejected the idea of merging to form the APC dissolved into APGA in Nasarawa State.
At the moment, APGA is the biggest and the most popular party in Nasarawa with supporters cutting across the broad spectrum of society including youths, women and the elderly, artisans, civil servants, academicians, etc.
Maku also enjoyed an inter-ethnic and religious solidarity across Nasarawa State.
Though Mr. Maku is leading the APGA, he remains the most trusted, loyal and dedicated campaigner of President Jonathan in Nasarawa State. Moreso, APGA had adopted Dr. Jonathan as its presidential candidate.
At the presidential polls on March 28, 2015, Maku deployed the entire APGA structures and supporters in Nasarawa State to elect President Jonathan and that single gesture gave the President the lead against his main challenger, Gen. Buhari.
This development was borne out of the diligent grass roots mobilisation and campaigns embarked upon by Mr. Maku for the president.
Maku launched a mass movement to elect the President because he was able to convince the people that Nasarawa never had it so good like under the Jonathan Administration. He buttressed his campaign for the president by mentioning the numerous projects sited in Nasarawa State. They include the establishment of a Federal University, the construction of the historic 2.1 kilometer Loko-Oweto Bridge across River Benue, construction Lafia-Awe-Tunga road, Lafia-Obi Road, construction of a Federal Secretariat and Central Bank Complex in Lafia, provision of 50 percent counterpart funds for the construction of primary schools, construction of a High Court Complex, reactivation of Doma Dam for large-scale mechanized farming, employment of over 5,000 people under SURE-P among others.
With these massive campaigns devoid of propaganda and hate, Mr. Maku swayed and influenced broad majority of Nasarawa people to vote for President Jonathan.
In Lafia zone for instance, the alliance of the Eggon, Alago, Migili, Tiv voted President Jonathan overwhelmingly in the election because of Maku’s campaigns for the president among the ethnic groups.
The Tivs of Keana and Awe Local Government Areas who voted massively for President Jonathan are also mainly Maku’s supporters.
In Akwanga zone, the entire Eggon community which is a stronghold of APGA, voted for President Jonathan. Majority of the people of Wamba and Karu who voted for the president are all rooting for APGA because of the success of the Maku’s grass roots campaign.
Kokona local government, which used to be a traditional home of the PDP is another bastion of APGA. The people of Kokona turned out en masse for Jonathan during the elections.
Nasarawa and Toto local governments, which responded to Mr. Maku and voted massively for Jonathan will surely vote APGA in the governorship election.
We are confident that in Nasarawa State President Goodluck Jonathan will win with a wide margin because of the ground work of Mr. Maku.
But don’t be mistaken, All those communities and groups of people who voted for the president under PDP will coalesce and vote for APGA in the governorship polls.
This, they will do cheerfully and wholeheartedly because of the unblemished track record of Mr. Maku as an astute public servant, who rose to the zenith of his political career based on performance, experience, excellence, diligence and above all, the fear of God.
Dr. Katso Ngargbu
Maku 2015 campaign network