New Telegraph

Goje Versus Inuwa: Is APC digging its own grave?

Nigerians, especially keen observers of Gombe politics know that the rift between Inuwa Yahaya, who is governor of the state, and Senator Danjuma Goje has reached its deepest low, and that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state is ostensibly being sacrificed on the altar of needless political power play.

Recently, when the news broke and became trending that Senator Goje has been suspended and far along expelled by the ward and subsequently local government executives of his party, the APC The ironies and contradictions surrounding the purported suspension, very convincingly spotlights the grey areas for ease of possible resolution if at all the expediency of political alignments and realignments toward the new administration would not come in the way of the wellbeing of the party.

But we leave that for the party to decide. However, while we leave the bereaved to bury his dead, it is valuable to bring to the fore certain dynamics which served as fuel that kept the strange fire of APC crisis in Gombe raging. It is no news that a major cause of rifts within political parties is the struggle for dominance among key stakeholders.

As it happens in Edo, so it is in Rivers. You see it in Zamfara as much as it is in Imo. It’s found in any party, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) name it! But any fair assessment of the Gombe fiasco cannot put the en- tire blame on Senator Goje who has endured covert and overt persecution in the hands of Inuwa and his aides including his official security operatives as he alleged during the attack on his convoy.

But even under an impossible political atmosphere apparently occasioned by the governor, Senator Goje continues to labour hard not merely to keep his head above the waters but to ensure that his party remains vibrant and formidable in the state.

This is why he was able to emerge victorious in an election where he was practically hounded around the country and prevented from undertaking any real campaign by the powers that be. Recall that on November 5, 2021, Senator Goje’s convoy was reportedly attacked by thugs. It was reported that police operatives stationed in the area did not make any effort to stop the chaos or at least rescue the former governor from the hoodlums wielding dangerous weapons.

It was a Friday morning while he was making his way into the state he had once presided over as governor and in which the incumbent was his former commissioner and his party man. Sadly, lives were reportedly lost. The entire party structure in Gombe was alarmed by the dimension of Goje’s political persecution in the hands of someone he nurtured into politics. Goje joined the APC in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

It was he as the leader of the party in the state who sup- ported and introduced Inuwa Yahaya’s aspiration to the people of Gombe. And even though the 2015 attempt was not successful, as Inuwa lost to Ibrahim Dankwambo, Senator Goje has been instrumental to the political re- alignments in the country that brought the administration of President Mu- hammadu Buhari into power. In spite of the iron grip and dominance of the PDP in Gombe State, Buhari won with 361,245 votes against Goodluck Jona- thans’ 96,873 votes.

As the APC leader in Gombe State, Goje led a strong opposition that wrestled power entirely from the then ruling PDP and saw to the emergence of the incumbent Governor Inuwa Yahaya in the state in 2019. He went round with Inuwa to all the 114 wards in the 11 local government areas of the state campaigning and en- sured he united the party so efficiently

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