The age-old grip of the People’s Democratic Party in the Gombe South Senatorial District has been broken by three APC candidates who emerged victorious at the just concluded National Assembly election.
This is coming as a shock to most people, because since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, the four local government areas that make up the Gombe South Senatorial District, otherwise known as the Tangale/Waja, have always voted for the those that vie for political offices under the People’s Democratic Party.
The Tangale/Waja is home to tribes like Chamawa, Dadiya, Tagale, Waja, Wurkun, Tula, Lunguda, Awak, among others
However, in the just concluded National Assembly elections, all the three National Assembly seats went to the candidates of the All Progressives Congress.
The Senate has been won by Colonel Amos Bulus, while Shongom/Kaltungo Federal Constituency was won by Mr. Simon Elisha Karu and Mr. Victor Mela is representing Balanga/Billiri Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives in Abuja.
The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Gombe State, Mrs Naomi Joel Awak, said the trick applied by the party was in choosing the best from the contestants at the primary election.
“Those people are well educated and well exposed. They know their left and right, they have studied and known what their people want. All of them are new on board and they have been participating in politics, though not fully, but, by the time they decided to participate, they did very well. They did very well and won the primaries, they did well and won the general election. They are learned, they know what is right for their people,” Mrs. Awak said.
The man who won the Balanga/Billiri Federal Constituency is a 46 year old Tangale man, Mr. Victor Mela Danzaria, from Kalme Ward of Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State.
He is master’s Degree holder in Geology, from the University of Jos, Plateau State, the Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and some universities outside Nigeria.
He says further studies in foreign countries had equipped him to come back home and step down his knowledge with the people in his land.
“Our people are enlightened, political education is everywhere, our people understood election, our people understood representation. And so, what they did was to sit down and say, okay, what is good for us? What are we going to do? What kind of people are we going to present to the people of Tangale/Waja for them to get elected? And so the APC sat and found out that, first, we have political history on our side. And people have seen what we have done to the community. And people have seen so far what we can bring in into the community and people want those that will sit with them. People want people that will come to them and they saw that in us and that is the reason why some of this surge came about. And so with the political awareness everywhere, APC felt it is important to produce credible candidates not based on religion, not just based on education, but based on what the emancipation of the people, you could be a doctor, you could be an engineer, you could be anything, you have that spirit of liberation, emancipating your people then the people will call you on board. And that’s exactly what happened. And APC swept all the positions,”said Mr. Mela.
On the other hand, Mr. Simon Elisha Karu is a 40 year old Tula Man, from Tula, Kaltungo Local Government Area of Gombe State.
His Primary School was at the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, his secondary school was at the Federal Government College, Azare, Bauchi State, the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, where he had his Diploma and Higher National Diploma, and from there he went to the International YMC in Germany, where he did his undergraduate studies.
He is a Civil Society Activist and a community Development Worker for the past 20 years.
Mr. Elisha holds an Honorary Degree from a university in the US, because of his engagements as community worker, within the spate of 20 years.
He started involving himself in community services at the age of 20, soon after finishing secondary school.
Mr. Elisha said he started as a volunteer, when he was elected as the chairman of the youth club. Soon after, he became the leader of Northern Youths, through the YMC. After the compulsory National Youth Service Corps, the YMC gave him an appointment, where he worked for 11 years. He served as a Programmes Secretary, later, the Executive Secretary in Bauchi, and finally he became the National Programmes Secretary in Nigeria.
Mr. Elisha said he had been serving among youths and women, as well as any other service that enhances the lives of the people.
“The calibres of individuals that APC selected right from the primaries are people who have indebt knowledge of what the needs are and the wants of the people are in Tangale/Waja actually have. And they have proven, that through their past records how committed they have been in ensuring that development come to the people in Tangale/Waja. And you can see in the antecedents of all the three people to emerge victoriously for the National Assembly. They are people who have proven records back home. So, it’s not about education, it’s not just about exposure, it’s about the people and what they carry for the people,” Mr. Elisha said.