2023: Tension in Gombe APC over Goje’s political future

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Gombe State is currently in a political frenzy following alleged disagreement among leaders and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the political future of former governor of the State and incumbent Senator representing Gombe Central senatorial district, Alhaji Danjuma Goje. While supporters of the former governor are urging him to seek a fourth term in the senate come 2023, his opponents within and outside the ruling party, are poised to stop his return to the red chamber.
Observers of the politics of the state have been tracing the crisis to the 2019 announcement by Goje that he will not be seeking election into any political office in the future as he plans to retire from active politics soon and the alleged desire of his erstwhile godson, Hon Usman Kumo, to seek the Gombe Central senatorial ticket of the APC in 2023. “Therefore, having contested and won all seven elections in addition to being a Minister for the country, I strongly believe that Allah (SWT) has been extremely kind to me.
“I believe not many Nigerians are so lucky and blessed. It is in this light foregoing and having reached an advanced age, I wish to formally inform you that I have decided not to contest any election again. For the avoidance of doubt, I will not contest any election at all levels,” the former governor had said in 2019, sparking the ongoing debate over his political plan for 2023 among his supporters and detractors alike.
The Nation also gathered that there may be a silent political battle between the political camp of the Senator and some notable supporters of Governor Inuwa Yahaya across the state. According to reliable party sources, although both the governor and Senator Goje have constantly denied the existence of any rift between them, the truth is that some allies of the governor are bent on ending what they termed Goje’s overbearing political relevance in Gombe state by stopping his re-election in 2023.
Expectedly, supporters of the former two-term governor are not about to be beaten in the game. The Nation gathered that the APC in the state may soon be polarized if nothing is done to checkmate the gladiators in the ongoing battle for the control of the party, especially in Gombe Central senatorial district. “The current situation is that some people, who are dropping the name of Governor Yahaya, are bent on stopping the re-election of Senator Goje following his endorsement by his people to return to the senate in 2023 and represent them,’ a source claimed.
Endorsement and rejection
Key stakeholders in the state including lawmakers, traditional rulers, religious leaders and top politicians have gathered in Kumo, Akko L.G.A last June to kick against alleged plan by Senator Danjuma Goje to quit partisan politics in 2023. It had been widely reported before then that the three-term senator plans not to contest for elective position in 2023 when his current term at the upper chamber of the national assembly will expire. Goje had in December 2019 hinted at the possibility of his quitting politics soon.
In a motion moved and seconded by the stakeholders at the gathering, the people insisted that Goje must again contest in 2023. Taking turns to speak, some of the stakeholders even threatened to institute legal actions if Goje refuses to heed to their calls. A former Deputy Governor of the State, Senator Joshua Lidani, said Senator Goje’s interventions cut across the entire North East geopolitical zone, saying he played critical roles in the establishment of the North East Development Commission. He urged Senator Goje to heed the calls of the people.
Chairman of Akko LGA of Gombe State, Alhaji Abubakar Barambu, said “Our people in the grassroots have mandated me to announce their endorsement of Senator Goje to continue to represent them in Gombe Central in 2023. If he is tired, we are not tired of his representation.” Aishatu Jibril Dukku, member, House of Representatives, said Goje has contributed immensely to the development of Gombe State, North-East and the country at large. She begged Goje not to quit active politics come 2023.
However, hardly had the Kumo gathering dispersed before a group of concerned political stakeholders in Gombe State promptly dissociated themselves from the purported endorsement of Senator Goje to contest the Gombe central senatorial seat in 2023. The group, in a widely reported press release, claimed those who endorsed the senator are not speaking for the people of Gombe Central. According to them, the people of Gombe Central are yearning for a new representative to continue from where Goje will stop in 2023.
The Nation gathered that the decision by the latter group to announce their rejection of Goje was fueled by widespread insinuations that the earlier meeting that threatened Goje with litigation were he to refuse seeking the red chamber in 2023, was convened in Kumo to embarrass some people, specifically, the member representing the local government in the National Assembly, Alhaji Usman Bello Kumo, a former godson of the Senator and a chieftain of the ruling party, who is said to be seeking to replace Goje at the senate come 2023.

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