Factors And Issues That May Shape Adamawa Guber Race
In October, Adamawa indigenes will go to the polls to elect a new governor. MOHAMMED ISMAIL , in this piece writes that the political landscape in the state is getting heated up daily judging from the array of aspirants lining up for the number one job in the State
The impeachment of former governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and the impromptu resignation of his deputy, Bala James Ngillari has brought another dimension to the unstable political atmosphere in the state as political developments especially within the ruling party kept changing the political permutations of who may occupy Dougirei Government House from October 11, 2014.
Under normal circumstances, the forecast of who may occupy the government house on 11th October would have been easy but considering past developments, the issue of who may occupy it has become a subject of conjecture as in most cases, the wishes of the electorates do not always translate into who becomes the governor as is seen in the recent past where former governor Nyako was single handedly picked and imposed on none other candidates who had invested so much in the project.
Another issue that contributes to the unpredictability of the Adamawa political landscape is that it is mainly an elitists’ affair and a struggle by the political class to outwit each other in a rat race to occupy the government house as such, the masses who ought to be the major stakeholders have been reduced to mere spectators as they see the struggle as mainly elitist in nature.
Many people in Adamawa are of the opinion that the decision of who becomes the governor of the state has consistently remained an affair of the elites as such, the politics of the state was devoid of colour and beauty associated with the activities that lead to election as the whole processes have been reduced to the affairs of power mongers which only seems to favour the mightiest among the contenders.
As it is now, the struggle for the soul of PDP has assumed a new dimension following the incursion of the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the interest shown by the acting governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, who also picked the gubernatorial ticket ahead of the 11th October PDP primaries.
Before Ribadu finally throws his hat into the gubernatorial race, the state has been awashed with speculations that the presidency may have settled for the former anti corruption czar to fly the flag of the party in the coming bye election in the state.
Many political analysts in the state have dismissed the speculations about the likelihood of Ribadu jettisoning the party he worked assiduously to build and on whose back he rode to the presidential contest in the 2011 general election where he lost to the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to pitch tent with a party that he has described as the most corrupt political party in Africa just for the motive of securing its ticket, but the rest, as they say, is now history as Ribadu has already picked the PDP ticket.
The move by Ribadu to join the PDP gubernatorial race was received by some PDP stalwarts with a pinch of salt as many believed that it was a re-enactment of the 2007 episode where Governor Nyako was single handedly picked by former President Olusegun Obasanjo against nine other aspirants who had been in the race for a long time.
To this school of thought belongs one of the PDP aspirants, Markus Nathina Gundiri who said the choice of Ribadu to govern the state was an evil machination of few individuals to ensure that the inglorious reign of former governor Murtala Nyako in power continues.
Similarly, another PDP stalwart and gubernatorial hopeful in the state, Hon. Awwal Tukur had in the wake of media reports which suggested that he has jettisoned his ambition in favour of Ribadu’s categorically denied such development and even put a caveat that under no circumstances should the party repeat the mistake of imposing candidates on others saying that they will vehemently resist any such move.
He said the party should not repeat the mistakes of 2007 where no gubernatorial primaries were conducted in Adamawa with Nyako being foisted on the people as the party’s flag bearer saying that the party should not dare to repeat such mistake as such will not augur well for its stability.
“I don’t think people are willing to accept imposition anymore, whether in Adamawa or any part of the country as people are now wiser than before.
“The party has burnt its fingers in many parts of the country. We have been patient enough, but our patience should not be taken for granted,” he said.
He said at no point in time did he disclosed to anyone that he had relinquished his ambition to Nuhu Ribadu wondering how mischievous and fictitious publications got their ways into newspapers without recourse to the basic tenets of checks and balances enshrined in Journalism.
Tukur added that he did not see why he would surrender his ambition to someone that is in another political party adding that as far as he was concerned, Ribudu is still a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) adding that it was ridiculous for anyone to assume that a PDP aspirant will relinquish his ambition to another aspirant in opposition party.
”The long and short is that I have not withdrawn from the gubernatorial race. I intend to declare my intention to contest the gubernatorial race at the appropriate time. “Everyone can aspire for the gubernatorial seat and we welcome them. When I drop my ambition for Nyako in 2011, I came here to announce it,” he said.
The debate about the validity of Ribadu’s touted romance with the PDP has gone so viral that it attracted the attention and comments of even non Adamawa indigenes. Prominent among them came from the governor of Kano State who warned Ribadu against such romance as he said PDP cannot be trusted.
But a source close to Ribadu who does not want his name in print told LEADESHIP Sunday that Ribadu felt no compunction is dumping the party because of the its lack of concern for its members who are in trouble.
The source said that Ribadu was shocked to his marrows when the APC stalwarts at the state and national level failed to save Nyako in the wake of the impeachment move against him and all efforts to rally the support of the APC stalwarts to save Nyako proved abortive.
However the source also said in the 2011 presidential race in which Ribadu contested on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) now an integral part of APC against President Goodluck Jonathan, the party ditched him in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The source further disclosed that already Ribadu has lost confidence in the party as a result of which he accepted the overtures of the PDP which is another alternative platform to realize his ambition.
As if the incursion of Ribadu into the PDP was not enough for the party, the acting governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri also went to the party secretariat to pick the gubernatorial ticket.
The development has added to the frenzy and mistrust in the party as many said the decision by the Acting Governor to aspire for the PDP’s ticket against October 11 governorship by-election was morally wrong.
Speculations were rife in the state that with the new development, the party may lose some of its members to other opposition political platforms as some aspirants are jittery that the party primaries may be tailored towards producing the acting governor as the next candidate of the party.
Former adviser on Political Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak in a telephone interview said it was morally wrong for the acting governor to contest the election saying that his role is that of an overseer of the conduct of a free and fair election in the state.
“The acting governor has no moral justification to contest the polls; he ought to act as an impartial umpire to monitor and conduct a free and fair election.
‘’It’s on that note that I call on all the aspirants to make it known that all we need is a level playing ground and equal opportunity,’’ he said.
Gulak said the aspiration of the acting governor was a clear move to use his vantage position over other candidates adding, “Fintiri is desperate, many thought that he will justify the confidence reposed in him by being neutral and imperial, only to turn and show his interest”.
Also reacting, a Yola based lawyer, Barr. Sunday Joshua Wugira, said it was morally wrong for the acting governor to join the race because it will amount to holding two positions of been the speaker and the acting governor at the same time.
Wugira said if the acting governor should contest, he should resign his position. “He has every right to contest as an indigene of the state, but the move is morally reprehensive and the issue is for him to put two things together by resigning as the speaker of the state House of Assembly which gave him the enabling status to become acting governor and at the same time trying to become the substantive governor.
‘’Although the constitution is silent about it, we believe that it is not morally right. If he wants to contest, he should resign as acting governor and go to the contest,’’ he said.
For now, the picking of intent nominations forms by the two people will continue to cause ripples in the party for a long time, but it is not certain whether the party will weather the storm or be affected by it, only time will tell.
Apart from the twin predicaments wrought into the party by the interests of Ribadu and the acting governor, other factors that may play a role in who finally emerges as the standard bearer of the ruling PDP include;
Going by the influence of former president Olusegun Obasanjo in the 2007 gubernatorial election which produces Governor Murtala Nyako as the executive governor of the state, many observers believe that the Presidency can influence who succeeds Governor Nyako in a possible re-enactment of the 2007 election in which the former president imposed Nyako as the governor despite wide protests by many stakeholders against the development.
Proponents of this view hinged their reasons on the fact that the Presidency has been the stimulating force behind the removal of the former governor following the audacity of the former governor to accuse President Goodluck Jonathan as the brain behind the massive killings of northerners which informed the lackluster attitude of the president to resolve the insurgency bedeviling the north with its attendant consequences. They added that the president may likely settle for a candidate who may totally be subservient to him and who will ensure that the state is delivered to him in 2015. This is one of the factors that many believed prodded the president to remove Governor Nyako as his retention in office will not be a good omen to President Jonathan’s ambition come 2015.
The Emergence of Dark Horses:
Speculations have gone viral to the effect that some unlikely persons who have been on the sidelines may be drafted by some powerful forces or even the Presidency to succeed Governor Nyako.
The speculation was recently heightened by the fact that the former Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Ribadu is in high talks with the Presidency over his likely defection into the PDP in a move to foist him as the successor of Governor Murtala Nyako.
Also on this speculated list is the Personal Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Hassan Liman Tukur who also hails from Adamawa State and the incumbent Chief of Defense Staff, Air Vice Marshall Alex Badeh who was billed for retirement for onward draft into the gubernatorial race.
The Incumbent Acting Governor:
Being the holder of the plum office of the state acting governor, he is seen as a strong contender in the race as one may say his position as acting governor will give him a vantage position over other contenders. Obviously, he is in control of security apparatus, expanse resources as well as having influence and control over other political office holders in the state.
In the run up to the party primaries, the 21 council chairmen, 226 councillors and the 36 development area administrators and the 25 state lawmakers all came to the acting governor’s constituency to lend their supports with a promise that as far as his ambition is concerned, he can go to sleep.Nuhu Ribadu
The former anti corruption czar is believed to have the backing of the Presidency who was the touted force behind his sudden defection and aspiration in the PDP.
Sources close to Ribadu have indicated that he has gone far in securing a waiver which will enable him to participate in the PDP gubernatorial contest. Already, his aspiration under the party has created ripples as many party stalwarts vowed to oppose imposition if that is the card on the table.
PDP in disarray over Ribadu.
A deep cleavage and war of attrition is alleged to be brewing within the ranks of the PDP executives in the state following the entry of Ribadu into the party as the executive members were sharply divided along pro and anti Ribadu’s aspiration. Sources said the state chairman of the party, Chief Joel Madaki who seems not to happy with Ribadu’s incursion said he will never allow any candiate to be imposed on the party as he said party primaries must be conducted to ensure the mistakes of the past were not repeated.
Culled from Leadership
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