Nyako Impeachment Drama Far from Over, How PDP May Be Consumed in the Fire it Started
The Peoples Demcratic Party (PDP), may have emerged the ultimate beneficiary in the impeachment of Murtala Nyako of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but the unfolding drama trailing the former governors unceremonious exit show that the PDP may not have the last laugh after all.
One thing which may go against the party in the entire impeachment saga is the way and manner the impeachment was carried out without recourse to court orders.
First, there was a court order restraining the Assembly from continuing with the impeachment of the former governor. added to that is another court order issued by the Acting CJ restraining the three law makers that earlier defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from participating in the activities of Assembly. Both others were desecrated during the process that led to the impeachment.
Observers see this as a prelude to what the PDP might have to contend with especially as impeached governor is pursuing the case in court, reference of which will be made to the court orders the lawmakers flouted.
But while the legal battle is one aspect the PDP might have to contend with, the real threat to the impeachment seem to be the eventual emergence of the Speaker of the State Assembly, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as acting governor, vis-a-vis the manner of the exit of the Deputy Governor, Bala James Ngillari.
The controversy about Ngillari’s resignation started when Nyako issued a press statement, through his spokesman, Ahmad Sajo, describing the resignation of Ngillari as illegal because he did not notify him. He argued that the law requires that the deputy governor submits his letter of resignation to the governor who will in turn transmit same to the House. It was learnt that Ngillari had sent a letter to the Speaker which was read on the floor of the House minutes before Nyako’s impeachment, stating his intention to resign from his position for personal reasons.
In their response, the House released a letter allegedly written by Nyako and addressed to the speaker, informing the law makers that sequel to the resignation of his deputy, he nominated the Member Representing Michika Constituency, Adamu Kamale as the new Deputy Governor. They argued that the letter showed that Ngillari had submitted a resignation letter to the governor.
The Deputy Governor was already in court to seek interpretation to whether the investigative committee constituted by the chief judge to probe him and Nyako has power to summon him. The case is still pending in court and its outcome may determine, whether the whole process followed acceptable norm or not. Apart from the threat of litigation, another development, which may turn the hands of the clock against the PDP if not properly managed, are the politics surrounding the deputy governor’s exit.
That the Deputy Governor is a loyal party man was not in doubt. He was the only key party figure standing, when the entire political structure in the state defected to the APC along with Nyako. He refused to follow his boss to the new party, insisting to remain and be damned while the exodus – which included members of the Assembly – lasted.
It was hoped that that he would naturally be the main beneficiary of the intrigues and power-play that consumed Nyako. But he seems to have gotten the deepest cut from the people he trusted.
It was gathered that as the plot against Nyako gathered momentum, the Presidency, which is the key driver in the drama, had penciled the deputy down as the heir to the throne. But the party stakeholders in the state including some gubernatorial aspirants rejected the choice, fearing that if given the chance, the deputy could consolidate his hold and have an edge in governorship election in 2015. So the Presidency was convinced into backing down and jettisoning the idea.
The grand endorsement by the PDP stakeholders, including former national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamaga Tukur, Professor Jibrilu Aminu, Boni Haruna, recently, of the development in the state, gives credence to the plot against the deputy governor.
“How could they have betrayed a man who has shown such loyalty to the party? It was one miscalculation that would cost the party immense loss in the coming elections,” a PDP stalwart, who would rather not be mentioned, pointed out. And the deputy governor is said to be popular in the zone, which also produced former governor, Senator Boni Haruna. Haruna it was believed, aligned with stakeholders because he wants to return to the Senate in 2015 and that the deputy governor’s aspiration would threaten his, as they come from the same area.
Another issue, which analysts also agreed would be the PDP’s undoing preparatory to the next elections, which is a fall-out of the recent development in the state is individual interest of key stakeholders. Professor Jibril Aminu is supporting his godson and former Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Aliyu Idi Hong, who made him minster single-handedly during Obasanjo’s administration when Hong’s name was submitted alongside big names like Buba Marwa and Comrade Pascal Bafyau, former NLC chairman.
Former PDP National chairman, Bamanga Tukur is said to have been working assiduously to promote the candidature of his son, Awwal, among party stakeholders and at the highest level of its leadership. Awwal, has been nursing gubernatorial ambition since 2007 when he aspired alongside Nyako but was disqualified by PDP alongside other aspirants to pave way for the embattled former governor.
Reports indicate that powerful godfathers among Adamawa political class have already started fixing things for their candidates at Wadata Plaza and in the presidency. There is the belief that aspiration of other power aspirant with strong political clout and resources may further widen the rift in the party.
Several aspirants have so far already indicated interest in the job and some of these contenders have powerful backers among the kingmakers and Abuja politicians who played as much role in the crowning of Nyako as in his removal. Posters of gubernatorial hopefuls compete at PDP offices, on the streets and at political gatherings while the aspirants are engaged in consultations with relevant stakeholders and grass root politicians to garner support for actualization of their plans.
At the forefront of poster campaigns and consultations include Dr. Umar Ardo, Senator Abubakar Girei, Aliyu Idi Hong, Awwal Tukur General Buba Marwa, Marcus Gundiri, Ahmad Modibbo and Jerry Kumdisi.
Senator Girei has been in contest since 2003 when he insisted in participating in the party primary election against the wish of the then Vice President, Atiku Abubakar after other aspirants stepped down for the incumbent governor, Boni Haruna. He also aspired in 2007 alongside Nyako.
Dr. Umar Ardo has contested in the last gubernatorial primaries with Nyako and challenged the result at the Supreme Court. He has been active member of the PDP Stakeholders and Elders Forum and key player in the fight to remove Nyako. An academician, Ardo is consistent in his resolve to participate in gubernatorial contest.
Some insiders believe that the fortunes of the APC in the state declined as a result of Nyako’s larger-than-life influence in the party. The former governor, who defected from the PDP to the merger party was alleged to have hijacked the APC machinery as the leader of the party to the detriment of original members like Marwa and others in a bid to actualize the governorship ambition of his son, Abdulaziz. This led to the exodus of many stakeholders to the PDP, even members of the state assembly, who had earlier indicated interest to follow him to the new party, have to jettison the idea at the last minute when it was obvious that their interest was at stake.
With his unceremonious exit, the leadership of the APC naturally transferred to one-time vice president Atiku Abubakar, whose influence across the state is not in doubt. A divided PDP will surely enhance the APC’s fortune in the state. Already the Atiku Support Group, a political group formed in the state to actualize the aspiration of the former vice president has begun grassroot mobilization across all the local government areas of the state recently.
The Director-General of the Group, Malam Abdurrazaq Namdas, said the impeachment, though painful to APC members, will not dampen the spirit of the party as the leadership is working to reclaim the state in the next election. Analysts say the move was aimed at membership drive for the party ahead of future election. APC under the leadership of Atiku has already started talking to some PDP members who had defected from the APC as a result of alleged marginalization by Nyako men to prepare ground for a return, should they find their ambition unrealizable in the PDP.
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