In a test of popularity, through an online poll that attracted 2,243 votes, Mr Faruk Malami Yabo of All Progressives Congress, APC, has again proved his mettle by defeating other aspirants within APC and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, eyeing the exalted position of Sokoto State Governor.
Aspirants in the poll include former Deputy Governor and Water Resources Minister, Mr Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, serving Senator, Mr Ibrahim Danbaba, Mr Abdallah Wali, and Mr Ahmed Aliyu.
Others were Mr Yusuf Suleiman, Dahiru Yusuf Yabo, Mr Abubakar Sanyinna, Mr Abubakar Gada, Mr Ahmed Yushe’u Kebbe and Mr Lawal Bashar.
While the stage is gradually getting set by the breaking of each day, these aspirants seeking to occupy the Sokoto State Government House come 2019 are already indicating interest with their posters flooding most roundabouts within the state capital.
In answer to the question "who becomes the next Sokoto State Governor", if the gubernatorial election were to hold today and one of the aspiring candidates listed is to be chosen? 4% of the respondents with 86 votes said they would vote for Lawal Bashar while 118 votes went to Ahmed Yushe’u Kebbe.
Ahmed Aliyu had 110 votes, Abdallah Wali, and Abubakar Gada with 123 votes each, Dahiru Yusuf Yabo polled 126 votes, Abubakar Sanyinna has 131 votes, Yusuf Suleiman polled 132 votes, with serving Senator Ibrahim Danbaba having 136 votes.
Former Deputy Governor and water resources Minister, Mukhtar Shehu Shagari came second with a total votes of 145, while Faruk Malami Yabo topped the poll with 1013 votes, marking 45% of the total votes.
Sokoto, seat of the Caliphate, like most states of the federation, will certainly be an interesting political battlefield come 2019.
This is simply because nearly all the heavyweights in the game of politics might be in the ring fighting fiercely to achieve the golden belt.
As the game hots up, incumbent Governor, Mr Aminu Tambuwal is said to have entered into a secret agreement with a serving Senator from his senatorial district, Ibrahim Danbaba, who recently defected to PDP in order to become his anointed candidate and eventual trusted successor.
The poll is significant, because naturally, Nigerians would ordinarily have expected that, the Seat of the Caliphate will be greatly affected by the decamping of the Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, but instead, the soaring popularity of Yabo seems to be making the State one of the strongest hub of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recently, 12 members of Sokoto State House of Assembly, who refused to move with Tambuwal to People’s Democratic Party (PDP), bought governorship forms for Yabo and while presenting the forms, Sani Alhaji Yakubu, who spoke on behalf of others, told journalists that they contributed the funds in order to support a Governorship Aspirant who could unseat Tambuwal, saying "the APC needed to reclaim its mandate in 2019 to save the State from its present “bad, difficult and critical” condition."
Yabo, described by many as a seasoned and experienced technocrat, served as commissioner for Finance under former Governor Aliyu Wammako and he is regarded as one of the biggest political heavyweights in Sokoto. A professional accountant of repute, credited with the improvement of the state’s internally generated revenue.
Yabo studied Public Administration at Bayero University Kano and also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration (MPPA) from the same University. He attended Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government where he studied Public Financial Management; and University of Manchester, Manchester Business School where he studied International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).