By: Tom Garba
In the first instalment of this two-part analysis, I tried to show how Adamawa, a political no man’s land, transited from moderate to left-of-centre leadership with Governor Nyako rebellion against PDP in the twilight years of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency.
President Jonathan expectably kissed the dust in the aftermath of the conservative North’s gang-up aimed at favouring Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Buhari, who had become a perpetual presidential candidate, repeatedly sought the presidency as though his life depended on it. He first tangoed with an Igbo running mate, then a Yoruba man, and then a Redeemed Christian Church of God pastor.
APC in Adamawa can still make it to the Government House if it does things differently.
Essentially, I am guiding APC’s attention to the paramount need for togetherness and concentration on achieving the greater good, rather than self-aggrandisement. Without unity, the APC can achieve little.
We must help all people, young and old, to achieve only the best for the future and society. Unity is strength, so let us reach out to care for one another.
The small redwood trees can provide shelter to both dwarfs and giants. Nature is like that…gives humanity a very crucial lesson. Our real strength is our willingness to care for and support each other. We are caregivers by divine ordination. Wisdom is the understanding of the simple universal principles in giving and receiving. In getting things you make a living, by giving, you make a life. This is one of the reasons for this appeal flagrantly violated with impunity.
The party got it all wrong in the last outing (2019 general election) when internal democracy mechanisms were not properly put in place. Today’s politics is all about giving and taking, the reason democracy is as yet generally accepted as the best form of government. Result-oriented negotiations among stakeholders were not we’re not undertaken, they were done with no sense of commitment, sincerity and honesty. This made people like Governor Murtala Hammanyero Nyako, alongside Abdulaziz, his son in the Senate for Adamawa Central, to cross over to the African Democratic Congress… not with a full conviction that he would win but driven by gross acrimony arising from the APC primaries. Other issues were skewed against the Nyakos. That breakaway by Nyako the son deflated the APC considerably and took its toll on the electability of the ruling party.
The 113,237 ballots representing 13 percent of the total did break the camel’s back. The PDP won.
The arithmetic in the minds of many was that the over 113,237 votes of Abdulaziz, if he were in the APC, would not have gone to the opposition camp (PDP), thereby toppling Governor Muhammed Umaru Bindow of the APC who had polled 336,386 (38.61 percent) while Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of the PDP received 376,552 (43.22 percent) with a narrow difference of 37,476.
Another arithmetic that people are not considering is the fact that the rancour in the APC family in 2019 also infuriated people like Emmanuel Bello to leave the APC to the Social Democratic Party. He scored 29,792 of the total ballots. It would have been a little push by the APC to still win the election despite son Nyako’s exit to the ADC, considering the votes he polled. Remember the difference between Bindow and Fintiri polls is 37,476. When you compare Bello’s votes (29,792) with the overall difference it gives a 7,678 difference … meaning that 7,678 would have been the magic votes to decide Bindow’s fate if Emmanuel Bello had not quit for SDP.
The “enemy” within and lack of concerted efforts to reach out to all aggrieved members for peaceful negotiations led to the present predicament of APC. But if APC is united and works for a common purpose, it can take over the Yola Government House come 2023.
Yola North Local Government Area is a larger pool with higher electoral value than anywhere else in Adamawa. Jimeta, the seat of Governor Fintiri, will have problems because of many issues involving the stakeholders of the area.
According to an analysis by one Zayyad Jalo, nearly 90 percent of Fintiri’s road projects are disingenuously concentrated in the capital city. The same Jimeta area produced the Secretary to the Government, Bashir Ahmed, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Yayaji Mijinyawa, and some board appointees.
Governor Fintiri did well for Jimeta in those areas. However, Fintiri will have serious political problems with the Jimeta people on two counts. The first and most prominent is the current attempt to balkanize Jimeta into three districts.
Secondly and where I also agree with Zayyad, the Fintiri government is weak in terms of youth empowerment and development, including ending the menace urchins or “Shila boys” who frequently rob tricycle passengers.
Jimeta indigenes in the Adamawa cabinet, especially the SSG, should have apprised the governor of the faux pas associated with more districts.
Generally in politics, incumbency and war-chests are important and go hand-in-hand, but the relationship is the key. To be fair, Commissioner Yayaji Mijinyawa has a good relationship with the youths.
Despite the lack of payment of allowances for district heads for nearly nine months, many communities in Adamawa need new districts and should be obliged. So far, the attempt by the government to increase the districts to 130 has also elicited more demands from 68 more communities, but in Jimeta there was no single request. The community was not consulted, and there is no need for new districts at all. The Jimeta community and its elders, including critical stakeholders from all the political parties, the business community, and clergy including many people serving in the Fintiri government see the attempt to create additional districts as ill-motivated. Jimeta (Yola North LGA) till today doesn’t have defined administrative boundaries which the government is supposed to address.
Jimeta has the highest number of registered voters in Adamawa with over 250,000 and often their vote comes en bloc. They are also among the deciding votes in Adamawa politics. This is why ignoring Jimeta or imposing candidates on the electorate comes at a cost. It is indeed political suicide.
If the House goes ahead to pass its ill-advised gerrymandering of Jimeta, Jimeta voters have a unique way of casting their bloc votes during elections. For sure, they almost always “speak” with one voice.
If the APC family will leverage this fact and remain united, victory is certain. Relevant stakeholders should have a round table discussion of who gets what and takes what. From ward to local government level, let there be a round table meeting of all the stakeholders from each Senatorial District.
The major problem of APC I can say is the governorship which has many qualified aspirants, each with a unique ability to govern the state well. The Adamawa Central, the area with a massive population, has begun a legitimate support campaign for other zones to allow it to produce a governor in 2023. A good and welcome idea as the group is agitating. But if the aspirants can sheath their swords by bringing a neutral person even if it means wooing a sellable aspirant from another party and standing up to support him to the end, I can see success and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Southern zone of Adamawa exhibit similar voting patterns and characteristics. If no-holds-barred reconciliation is deployed and positions and offices are shared amicably, I see a victory for APC in 2023.
In the Northern parts of the state, with the new unfolded decision of APC stakeholders as regard the leadership of Mubi North and Mubi South local government areas leadership, these are areas with densely populated registered voters of over 250,000, it is a step at the right direction in holding fast the baton of control by APC if unity is the front line of thought by the APC family members.
Heavy weight politicians of this zone who owned orchids political successes if they will consider the penultimate decision, discard the paludal personal agenda and set up a round table meeting to decide the fate of Adamawa not on personal ground, this will produce to them a collective political interest.
The Ngilaris, patience and gentleman attributes are the best description of the former house of representatives members (Michika/Madagali), former deputy Governor and hold brief in the office as a former a Governor during the Nyako’s impeachment turbulence. He is still a strong voice in the political say of Adamawa Northern zone and the entire State. The Bintas, a woman with one of a million rounds political applauses, a political Northern woman with a high intimidating profile as a two times former house of representatives member in two different state (Kaduna and Adamawa), pioneer APC State chairperson and one time senator to had represented the Northern zone, currently nursing an ambition to return as a senator. The Abbos, who is seen as the Young Man in Nigeria early enough to be in the corridor of power and making sound contributions in the national Assembly, presently as the Senator of the zone. For this gallant Young Man, I foresee a brighter political future for him than it is now if he can be patient, resolute and steady chasing after what I can call legitimate political struggles. The Jafars is another ruddy young politician who got it early in the political line up of the zone and doing well as a lawmaker representing Mubi South, Mubi North and Maiha. The Manas, former military Governor of Plateau state, former Senator of the zone and elder statesman. The Bindows, a Man with rare qualities of leadership, humble and easy going personality haven born with the Silver spoon. The down to earth gentleman is a thorough breed business Icon, was a former senator who passed the baton of senatorial seat to Binta Masi in 2015. The immediate past Governor of Adamawa state. If these heroes and heroin can sit down with a good mind set to iron out the little political folks that spoil the APC’s vein, it is hopeful to say the party will have a work over celebration of regaining power come 2023.
In the Northern zone is undoubtedly to say that the former Governor of Adamawa (Bindow) is still in charge of the political structures, his political glory still reigns and the spectrums of his political light spread across the 21 local government of the state. He is still a high profile political personality to reckon with not only in Adamawa but the country at large.
The aforementioned political juggernauts in the Adamawa Northern zone if they can have a self conscience of giving it up for others not for me, at a roundtable inwardly talk senses to themselves and take decision base on the whims of give and take Democratic principles not in the caprices of naira and kobo or personal gains, considering Bindow as their candidate from the zone may not be a bad idea, it may probably be the best option for the APC family in the entire state. As early stated in my first part of this piece and in this installment I reiterated that all the candidates aspiring to be Governor are well qualified and perfectly can deliver Adamawa state from the crutches of slow and steady administration. My own thinking is to call on every influential member of APC to employ the ubuntu principle togetherness and oneness in moving toward a target goal, which means Justice that emphasis is no me without you, and you cannot get there without me. A principle of one for all, and all for one.
I rest my case as I watch the unfolding events coming in the near future in the Adamawa APC family if they can get it right or wrong.
I see peace, I pray for unity and I write for all be it black or white, my pen is fill with indelible ink to write for the sake of justice, peace and Unity. God bless you all.
Tom Garba, Political Opinion writer
Writes from Jimeta-Yola
He can be reached through this means