From Umar Dankano, Yola
Ahead of the scheduled guber re-run election in Adamawa state, supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are turning to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to win the election.
With the defection of the erstwhile chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Ribadu, to the Peoples Democratic Party to ostensibly gun for the seat of the governor of the state, supporters of the APC in Adamawa are turning to Atiku to lead the party in the October 11 re-run election and to defeat the rival PDP.
Sources say that with the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako, the former Vice President has emerged as the undisputed leader of the APC in Adamawa state.
Consequently, Atiku is now being looked upon to give direction in the battle to capture Adamawa, by ensuring the selection and choice of a formidable candidate that would not only neutralize but gain advantage in the confusion presently created with the entry of Ribadu into the PDP.
Peoples Daily gathered that Atiku is expected to strike a balance between the majority Christians in the state with the minority Muslims, in the selection of an acceptable candidate for the party.
However, following alleged moves to impose Ribadu on the PDP as its candidate for the scheduled October 11, governorship election by the duo of the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu and the Principal Personal Secretary to the President, Alhaji Hassan Tukur, some elders in Adamawa state desirous of equity and fair play, have approached Atiku to lead the way and give a sense of belonging to the generality of the people of the state.
Atiku is known in the politics of the state, to have a good rapport and understanding with both the Christian and Muslim groups in the state, and understands what constitute the majority and has over the years been able to manage their varied interests.
Giving the present confusion in the PDP, the former Vice President is believed to have quietly cashed in on the development and is believed to have thrown his weight in support of Barrister Boss Mustapha, a Christian from Kilba ethnic group for the governorship race.
Atiku’s position is seen as a decisive move aimed at pacifying the Christians in the state that are angry over their having sacrificed former Deputy Governor Bala James Ngilari in order to allow for the successful impeachment of Murtala Nyako with the hope that there will be a level playing field in the PDP which is now being thwarted by the party’s leadership and some hawks within the presidency.
It was further gathered that the resolve of Atiku to support Mustapha is based on some Christian leaders that met and pleaded with him to give them a Christian candidate as a form of compensation.
This was just as it was gathered that the governorship candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 governorship election in the state, Engr Marcus Gundiri, also a Christian from Hong, is said to have commenced consultations on the possibility of his returning to the APC should Ribadu be granted waiver to contest without according him the same privilege, since he defected to the PDP before the former chairman of the EFCC.