After presenting himself as the Plateau State governorship candidate of his party in 2011 and April 11, 2015 governorship election, he could, in a way, now be said to have achieved his first major acclaim to fame.Alhaji Sabiu Ibrahim Musa was not even projected to the electorate at the April 11, 2015 governorship election, but post-election happenings have projected him to the people of Plateau State and the rest of the country, prominently than at any time before.Previously, as the state chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC) since the party was formed and its governorship candidate in Plateau State, in 2011 and 2015 elections, he has given more publicity to the party than the party could boast advancing his candidacy. He has been such a one-tree forest in the ADC in the state that you could begin to think that he would be all there could be to the party in the state, until the post-2015 governorship election happenings in when the otherwise faceless other members appeared on the scene.Musa went into the 2015 governorship election as the fourth of the four widely known candidates. In terms of promise and answer to the question of who among the lot was likely to be voted governor, public opinion had been between Senator Gyang Pwajok of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the eventual winner, Barr Simon Lalong, of All Progressives Congress (APC).Nobody gave much chance to Ambassador Bagudu Hirse of Labour Party (LP), or Sabiu Musa, or the least known, Mrs Elizabeth Yirse, of Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP). But of the three who were rated the least likely to make it past the April 11 contest, Musa became the post-election celebrated candidate.Both Hirse and Yirse abandoned their candidacy close to the election, visiting the NUJ Press Centre in Jos on April 7 to endorse Lalong. But Musa had trudged on to the election day, as one of the three governorship candidates.It was only few days after the April 11 governorship election that it became public knowledge that Musa did not participate in the election, after all. Why? His name and the logo of his party did not feature in the ballot paper issued by INEC for the governorship election.Unexpectedly, Musa’s reaction to the omission of his candidacy was that of calm and effortless resignation to fate. “I will not challenge my exclusion in any post-election legal process” was his response to calls directed to him, and in two separate statements he issued thereafter.He was, in fact, quick in congratulating APC’s Lalong, just as he had earlier publicly celebrated the victory of APC’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.But while Musa was busy telling everyone who sought explanation that he was letting his exclusion pass because he did not wish to disturb the peace heralding Lalong’s victory with any legal tussle, the PDP which lost narrowly and painfully to APC, allegedly did not want Lalong’s election to pass ‘just like that’, and came up with the suggestion that Musa should push his fate a little and, possibly, upset Lalong’s election a lot.“I have never been intimidated like this in my entire life,” Musa cried out in a particular outburst, alleging that the PDP was even reaching beyond him to other executives and members of his party.“Some of my members are troubling me, some accusing me of collecting money from APC to support Lalong, which is not true,” Musa told Daily Trust on one of the early days of the name-and-logo-omission saga, emphasising: “ I cannot be part of the very acts of corruption that I’m totally against.”As it was reported by many media outfits, while PDP was offering N100 million to lure him into action against APC by challenging his exclusion from the election that produced Lalong as governor-elect, some of his fellow ADC members who could not understand why Musa would be ignoring a N100 million easy offer, formed the suspicion that Musa had most probably taken money from the APC to facilitate the support that he was so stubbornly extending to Lalong. Certain facts about the saga have remained shrouded. The circumstances leading to Musa’s exclusion from the April 11 election, for one, are not too clear. Musa would not elaborate. He would merely brush off the question or cover it with his often repeated statement that he does not wish to disturb the peace of Plateau with any legal battle. INEC itself would not put the issue in many words.Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC in Plateau State, Mr. Osaretin Imahiyereobo, only said ADC failed to be included in the governorship election because the party did not conclude the process of fielding the running mate to Musa, a terse response which is corroborated by an allegation from a dependable source that Musa’s running mate, Umar Dauda Isa, fell short in producing documents needed for his participation in the election.A fact that is clear, however, is the simplicity of Musa’s personality. Here is a man who went about his governorship campaign on a motorcycle or hired Keke NAPEP, as commercial tricycles are called in Plateau State. Yet, he confronted this obstacle with a smiling face. His answer, if you ask him, would be this: “I enjoy going on campaigns in Keke NAPEP”. And he would elaborate that such low-level ambience is a true testimony of his humility.
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