Names of about five persons have been touted for a possible replacement for the late deputy governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zannah Mustapha, who died on Saturday
The late Mustapha left Maiduguri, the Borno State capital hail and hearty on August 14, 2015 to attend a convocation ceremony at the Modibo Adama University of Technology (MAUTEC), Yola, Adamawa State, only to be brought back in a casket the following day.
One of the contenders is Ibrahim Audu Miringa, a former member, Borno State’s House of Assembly and who, until recently, has was the chairman Borno State House of Assembly Service Commission.
According some opinions within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), though Miringa, who is in his mid 50s, is older than Governor Shettima, who is 48, he has some qualities that match with that of the deceased deputy governor.
When he was in the state’s house of Assembly he was one of the most outspoken lawmakers.
It could be recalled that during his time, though he shared the same party (defunct ANPP) with the then Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, Miringa, from Biu local government, was a kind of one-man opposition in the all-ANPP assembly.
What may stand on his path to the office of the deputy governor of the state, is the belief that Gov, Kashim Shettima may not tolerate Miringa’s frankness.
Another name being bandied around as a likely replacement is Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa, one of the Southern Borno-born politician from Hawul local government area of the state, who has the uncommon record of being a permanent feature in the state’s cabinet since 2003.
If Shettima is looking for one politician, whose life’s ambition is to, some day become deputy governor, then Durkwa is the man for the job. Those who know him well say Durkwa has always aspired to be deputy governor since 2003, but the prevailing political calculus has hardly been kind to him.
As a commissioner in the state in the last four years, Durkwa’s supporters pushed hard for the the late Mustapha’s replacement, as they referred to him as the next deputy governor as the state matched towards the 2015 elections.
Rumours are making the rounds, that the former deputy governor to ex-governor Ali Modu Sheriff, for eight years, Adamu Yuguda Dibal is also being fingered as likely contender.
Dibal had in 2011 vied to become the governor of Borno State, but was not lucky at the primaries. He also in 2015 aspired to go for the position of the House of Reps which also did not turn our well at the primaries.
Governor Shettima had two years ago appointed him as honorary adviser on political affairs, a position he continues to hold. During Mustapha’s burial last week, Dibal was featured prominently as he patricipated in all the burial rites as well as reception of sympathisers in the official residence of the deputy governor.
Another influential name being mentioned within and outside Borno State Government House is Barrister Yakubu Bukar, the current head of Service (HoS) in the state.
He has been a solicitor of the Borno State government and permanent secretary Ministry of Justice before Shettima made him HoS.
Even though Shettima brought him to governance, it is not hidden that Bukar was a close ally of the departed deputy governor.
Another name being mentioned from Biu local government is Alhaji Abdu Usman, a retired permanent secretary, whose last office was the Ministry of Finance.
He is also a permanent commissioner at the Borno State Independent Electoral Commission (BOSIEC).
Though he is not a core politician, Usman, is largely known to be a man of the people, who is well respected and loved by his people from Biu local government.
Those who know him well enough attest that he always hosts a feast in his house every Friday after the Jummat prayers.
While working as civil servant, he has the credit of bringing up most of Biu indigenes especially by providing free accommodation and feeding to all of them while they were studying in Maiduguri.
If Shettima wants a man that would be respected and loved from Biu Emirate, then Usman it is.
.Governor Shettima has, however, revealed that he was yet to decide on who becomes the next deputy.