Umar Duhu (Dr.) is an aide to Adamawa State governor, Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow. In this interview, he speaks on issues on Adamawa, national politics and the 2019 polls. Excerpts:
There seem to be agreements and disagreement about the mode of primaries in your party between APC Governors and the National Leadership of the party. Why is the APC not working in one direction?
There is no rift what so ever between the APC Governors and the Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomole led APC National Executive Committee, but, I strongly suspect that, some folks who are not in tandem with the expansion and the developmental growth of the party as a truly Democratic Institution, are certainly those responsible for any noticeable mischief.
Nigerians have been advocating for restructuring, and the APC promised to devolve powers to the Federating Units. What the APC as party in government, has only decided to devolve more powers that is inherent in the National Executive Committee to the States Chapters. But, for the fear of the unknown and in their desire to be mischievous, some antagonist have decided to experiment several modules available to them to bring the reputations of the APC Leadership in Adamawa State into disrupt.
The APC National Leadership has indeed, adopted best democratic means of dealing with one National Political issue by devolving powers to the state chapters. State Chapters are directed to meet at their Executive levels and decide on the module they desire to use in the selection of Candidates for the 2019 general elections and based on their individual peculiarities. In this regard therefore, if loyal and well meaning Party members do not appreciate the stand taken by the APC for being democratic, certainly, they have no conscience to criticize the Great Democratic APC.
You were part of the people that went round Adamawa and constitute campaign structures for Buhari / Bindow. What is the yearning of the people towards 2019?
The Peoples of Adamawa State and most particularly the people of Adamawa North Senatorial District shall remain eternally grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC Government for bringing the region out of the insurgency quagmire of the 2013 and 2014, under the PDP government , where the entire Adamawa North and some parts of Adamawa Central were completely overran by the Boko Haram insurgents, where our peoples were taking refuge as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in other parts of the State and beyond.
Today, the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari has not only liberated all the captured territories, our citizens have returned to their localities and many had cultivated their farmlands for Three (3) years running.
It is instructive to relay to all the message of the peoples of Adamawa North Senatorial District and indeed, most parts of Adamawa State; Adamawa North Senatorial District Area is a no go area for any other political party except, the APC. Any party which wishes to take its campaign to Adamawa North Senatorial District will be doing so at their Peril and will be responsible for all the damning consequences. I want to also advise the PDP who carelessly seeded our territories to the Boko Haram to trade with caution, as they will not only be disappointed at the polls in 2019, but, will be compelled to pay dearly for their inactions, which caused lives and properties of millions of Adamawa citizens and beyond. To cut the story short, Adamawa State is no go Area for the PDP and its affiliates. APC remains the party to beat in Adamawa and Nigeria, for a longer time to come.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s inlaw has purchased nomination form to contest the 2019 gubernatorial election in Adamawa State. How will you describe this?
This is democracy in action. Modi as he is popularly called has the right to aspire to any position he so desires in the Land. What is most paramount is the electorate, who has the legitimacy to decide the fate of any candidate who best to fly the APC flag in 2019.
Governor Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla (Bindow), the performing Governor has done significantly well towards improving the lots in critical infrastructures, which has serial multiplier effect on the entire economy of Adamawa State and the lives of the citizenry. These strides, aside other developmental efforts, stand in for the victory of Governor Bindow in Adamawa State at Primary elections and the general elections. In this regard therefore, Governor Bindow is never perturbed by either Modi or any other APC member willing to contest the primary election along with him.
It is on record that, the peoples of Adamawa Central have been agitating for power shift to their Senatorial District and the best option to achieve this desire is to heed my advice to this time again support Governor Bindow for 2019.
When Governor Bindow completes his tenure in 2023, His Excellency and all the critical stakeholders in Adamawa North will support power shift to Adamawa Central. But, anything short of this understanding, ‘In Sha Allah’ in 2023, another son of Adamawa North could still take over from Governor Bindow for continuity and sustainable development to rebuild the insurgency ravaged part of Adamawa State.
The State APC has adopted indirect primaries. What is the faith of the governor now that Buhari’s inlaw has purchased his form and took a picture with the President?
Yes, the Adamawa State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress during its extra ordinary State meeting held in Yola on September 3, 2018, the State Chapter unanimously agree to go for indirect primaries. This is not without considering all the prevalent circumstances the Adamawa people find themselves.
In Adamawa North Senatorial District, there are still prevalent flash points for the insurgency. In that regard alone, no sensible leader will compromise the lives of his citizens over any political exigency.
Secondly, as we are talking, there is no one member of the APC in Nigeria who has a valid APC Membership card but, a Membership Slip. Preceding this period, several assumed members of the APC, has printed uncountable numbers of APC Membership Slips preparatory to causing mischief at any primary election that would be conducted through direct means. In that regard also, it has become absolutely impracticable to go for any direct primaries under such circumstances. Opting for indirect where there are only recognized party members is the best option and the Adamawa State APC Leadership under Alh. Ibrahim Bilal has settled for and all patriotic party member / leader should agree and obey.
Is like there is serious division in Adamawa APC, What will this portend for the 2019 general elections now that the opposition parties are also strategizing?
There’s absolutely no problem whatsoever in the Adamawa State Chapter of my party. The party is intact and vibrant. Anyone dissatisfied with the setting and Programmes of the party is doing so for selfish reasoning.
It is instructive to understand that, those who brought Alh. Ibrahim Bilal to office as the APC executives in Adamawa State is Babachir Lawal and Co. and foisted them on Governor Bindow. But, when they later discovered that the potentials in Governor Bindow as it portend his records of achievement in office in just Fifteen (15) Months then, their loyalty shifted to Governor Bindow and where no longer doing the biddings of Babachir, who was instrumental to their being in Office as Exco Members. Governor Bindow being a compassionate and humble leader, decided to move on with them as the present Exco Members of the APC in Adamawa State.
I therefore advise strongly that, the mischief maker must stop playing the ostriches and join hands with Governor Bindow to develop Adamawa to an enviable height.
We have seen pictures of people campaigning with sticks and machetes. Don’t you think authorities should regulate Political campaigns?
I hold strongly that, the security agencies and INEC should evoke all the instrumentalities of the Laws of the Land to nip it in the Bud and deal with such nonsense. When I watched the video that portrayed a prospective House of Representatives aspirant brandishing dangerous objects and ventilating abusive and uncharitable languages, all in the name of seeking supports of the electorates, I knew our democracy is being suggested to gangsterism styling and that must be checked and the prospective aspirant disqualified from contesting any election in Nigeria to serve as a deterrent to others.