By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Egos were bruised when long-standing patrons who for long dictated the pace and pattern of policies and politics were buried after the governorship elections last weekend.
A Hurricane is a huge storm that normally clears almost every physical impediment on its way.
Hurricane Buhari had been long in formation. When it made landfall two weeks ago, it comprehensively removed the hands of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP from the gears of governance at the presidency and parliament.
It was such a comedown for a party whose officials not too long ago boasted that they would rule the country for an uninterrupted 60 year stretch.
Unlike most hurricanes that lose momentum and savagery as they go inland, Hurricane Buhari after two weeks was not less savaging as indications showed from the governorship and state legislative elections at the weekend.
Governor Sule Lamido, one of the nine men who first conceived the idea of a national party in 1998 and which eventually crystallised into the PDP, had until few weeks ago stood like a colossus in Jigawa State and had virtually run the opposition out of town.
Reflective of his towering political image in the state, Governor Lamido had boasted of delivering the state to the PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2015 election, President Goodluck Jonathan.
In the end not only did he fail to deliver the state to his party, his candidate also failed to grab 25 per cent of the votes.
All three All Progressives Congress, APC, Senate candidates also rode on the coattails of Buhari’s victory to win the three Senate seats for the APC.
Those who thought that the National Assembly election was a fluke for the APC candidates in Jigawa State, would have been shaken to the roots with the phenomenal results that emerged from last weekend’s governorship election which saw Governor Lamido’s chosen successor lose out in the contest to Buhari’s man.
Alhaji Ibrahim Ringim, Lamido’s chief of staff for eight years and before then, chief of staff to his predecessor was thrashed in the election that many had before the advent of the Buhari phenomenon taken as a shoo-in for the governorship.
The defeat of Governor Lamido’s man was despite the governor’s acclaimed ranking as one of the best performing governors of the 2007 to 2011 set.
It was not just in Jigawa. In Benue a state that the PDP had steered almost unchallenged fell like a pack of cards to the APC last weekend.
The development in Benue was, however, not too surprising given the difficulties of the PDP in navigating the rough terrains set by the outgoing government’s inabilities of paying salaries to civil servants in the public service dominated state.
Despite past waves of the Buhari phenomenon, the PDP had almost always deflected the waves from berthing in Katsina and Kaduna Government Houses. However, last weekend, the PDP embankments easily collapsed on the strength of what some psephologists attributed to the restraining influence of the card reader.
Gen. Buhari had before now almost always had a problem winning the governorship for his party on account of the internal divisions among his local supporters in his home base.
However, this time, the general had cleaned his home of all such challenges and was able to make a near clean sweep of the governorship and almost every electable office in Katsina State despite the sway of an incumbent PDP governor.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Governor Ibrahim Shema has in his two terms just like his predecessor, the late Umaru Yar‘Adua been acclaimed for his excellent performance in office.
It was particularly bad for the PDP in Kaduna State where the party lost to the APC despite being the government in power and being the home state of the incumbent and outgoing vice-president, Arc. Namadi Sambo.
The result was particularly remarkable as the PDP failed to mobilise the votes from its traditional strongholds in Southern Kaduna.
It was a sweet revenge also for Buhari in Bauchi when he recovered the state after what associates claimed was the political treachery of the outgoing governor of the state, Isa Yuguda who after coming to power on the coattails of the Buhari phenomenon in 2007 decamped from the former All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.
Buhari’s conquest of the political space, however, still remained what some allege to be a sectional wonder. The South-South and Southeast remained almost unaffected by the ravaging Buhari phenomenon.
Despite the APC’s strength and structures in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States, the party was unable to make significant gains in the elections that were according to almost every account marred by violence and were allegedly manipulated.
Reflective of the PDP’s determination to create a fortification against the Buhari phenomenon in the Southeast, Vanguard learned of the mobilisation of some of its national officers to the region in the days before the election.
Fighting off the attacks
One of the national officers, Chief Olisa Metuh, was reportedly well engaged in fighting off the attacks by the APC in Imo State and that from the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State.
Remarkably, the difficulties of the PDP in Abia State where APGA was yesterday seriously facing off a challenge from the PDP was largely removed from the Buhari effect.
In Adamawa State, the Buhari hurricane also ravaged what was left of the political weight of the former anti-graft czar, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who moved from being a failed presidential candidate to a failed governorship candidate.
Remarkably, the PDP for the first time lost control of the state to another party on the wave of the momentum for Buhari.
For some inexplicable reasons, Buhari failed to win the presidential election in Nasarawa State despite having an incumbent APC governor in office two weeks ago.
However, Governor Al Makura, however, recovered to win the governorship for himself last weekend putting some fibre to his own political mettle.
An exceptional survivor was Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State who survived penultimate’s rout of the PDP across the state to stage himself for a second term inauguration on the platform of the PDP.