By Zayyad I. Muhammad
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has commenced an aggressive campaign for his quest to be President of Nigeria come 2019. The ‘game’ has started from Atiku’s home state of Adamawa, with the hijacking of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state by Atiku’s foot-soldiers. Atiku, the Wazirin Adamawa, is now in absolute control of PDP in Adamawa state. This will be troubling times for Governor Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindowo.
Governor Bindowo troubles will not directly come from Atiku’s imminent return to PDP, but from the governor not being on the same page with the other All Progressive Congress (APC) critical stakeholders. Governor Bindowo knows very well that without the support of the bigwigs groups in Adamawa, winning the governorship seat is a day dream.
Despite having recorded commendable successes in road infrastructure, Mr. Bindowo’s approach to development has not favoured the common man while his politics has been dysfunctional. Bindowo’s development style has not favoured the common man because Adamawa is a rural and poverty-ridden state with most of its citizen relying heavily on either farming or civil service. Most if not all of the governor’s policies have not targeted any of these two. Bindowo has failed woefully; his failure to manage the widening division within his own party and the growing disconnect between him and some political bigwigs in the state. Governor Bindowo erred by sidelining many members of the legacy parties- ACN, CPC and the ANPP. The only political bigwig the governor rollicks with is Atiku. Atiku who joined the APC very late has four commissioners in Bindowo’s cabinet- that of Commerce, Health, Land & survey, Justice including the SSG. In fact, the governor and his few lieutenants have cornered everything and anything while other important stakeholders are just doing ‘siddon look’.
Governor Bindowo appears ‘self-assured’ in the murky waters of Adamawa politics, because he thinks, once one has Atiku’s group by his side- most political opponents can easily be dealt with because of Atiku’s immense war chest and history of successes in political legal battles that easily scares off his opponents. Now that Atiku and his men have left the APC to PDP, Bindowo is in big political trouble.
To stay afloat, he has only three options: follow Atiku to the PDP, which means he would lose APC governorship ticket, including the governorship seat and the ‘Aso Rock ears’. Second option is to seek truce with the other critical stakeholders whom he has earlier discarded- the possibility of winning them back is slim- time is very short, they will also feel the governor sees them as very cheap and can be easily bought over.
With elections time near, few weeks back, Mr. Bindowo publicly asked for forgiveness from former governor Murtala Nyako, but Senator Commander Abdul Aziz Nyako cast doubt on Bindowo’s remorse. Senator Abdul Aziz may be right, because, often Gov Bindowo preaches fasting but practices gluttony- he is with President Buhari in the day, while with Atiku in the night. The third option for Bindowo is to quietly remain in the APC but seek a return to his senate seat, while leaving the governorship seat to the other stakeholders apart from the Atiku group.
In fact, Governor Bindowo urgently needs the services of local political consultants to analyze these troubles to get some honest advice. Though, Adamawa politics is complex, but often easy to predict.
Zayyad I. Muhammad, Writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State.