The political division between the governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, and his deputy, Mukhtari Shagari, is set to widen with the divestment of the latter of his cabinet responsibility.
Wamakko decamped to the All Peoples Congress, APC months ago but Shagari remained in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, creating a curious political arrangement between the two politicians.
Wamako and Shagari were elected into office on the PDP platform in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 but the governor joined other governors of the ruling party who moved to the APC months ago.
The governor’s move is seen as an attempt to weaken Shagari’s hands as he is likely to be the choice of the PDP for the governorship seat in the 2015 election.
The deputy governor, a lawyer and former minister, had been overseeing the ministry of Science and Technology until he was relieved of the position which has now gone to a newly sworn in commissioner, Ibrahim Hussain.
The adjustment was contained in a statement signed by the permanent secretary (Political) in the Office of The Governor, Malami Ladan.
The statement further named one Tukur Alkali as the new commissioner for Religious Affairs, while Harande Mahe becomes the special adviser for Security Matters and Musa Guru, the special adviser for Cooperatives and Finance.
Alkali took over from Musa Garba Maitafsir, who is the chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB.
During the swearing-in ceremony, Governor Wamakko said that the changes are intended to re-jig the public service.
“Our political adventure is constantly being championed in the interest of our people, not by our selfish motives,” he said.
However, the development is interpreted by political observers as an unspoken indication of a cold war between the governor and his deputy since they both now belong to different political parties as the governor defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC few months ago.
His deputy, Shagari, however, stayed back in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the platform on which both of them were elected and re-elected in 2007 and 2012 respectively.