THURSDAY Column by Ali M. Ali
The freshly sworn in Governor Bala Ngilari is in good company. Our judiciary has saved the day for him and for the godfathers. The sack, yesterday of Ahmadu Fintiri, acting governor of Adamawa state didn’t surprise me. It was expected. If you asked me, I would say he got it coming. Anyone with the vaguest idea of the cloak and dagger politics of the ruling (read ‘ruining’) PDP, would tell you this-whatever you do, don’t offend the godfathers. Fintiri did and in full glare of public.
He dared them. He actually stood eyeball to eyeball and egregiously didn’t blink. From that moment onwards, he became a marked man. I imagine the godfathers asking one another ‘who does this boy thinks he is ‘ignoring our beckon?
In Adamawa, the politics of the PDP is even more rancorous.There are too many godfathers looking for godsons. Those who easily come to mind in that group are Bamanga Tukur, immediate past chairman of the PDP, Professor Jibril Aminu, Nyako’s godfather before they fell apart.
Both these septuagenarians have blood sons and godsons they wanted to install as governor before Fintiri annoyed them both by his own overriding ambition. How could he not have known that he was a mare pawn in the labyrinthine webof political intrigues of Adamawapolitics?
Surely he must have heard of Auwal Tukur,scion of the Tukur ambition to be governor. The younger Tukur enjoys double advantage. He is a blood son. He is also a godson. There is also Dr Aliyu Idi Hong. The adopted political godson of Aminu This young brilliant politician actually wouldn’t need a godfather in saner climes. He has the credentials fit to be a governor. But this is Adamawa. A state brimming with tin footed gods constantly engaged in subterfuges to entrench vested interests.Strangely godsons are in short supply. Godson today and godfather tomorrow. Such is the metamorphosis of the state’s mutant politicians.
The sacked acting governor, demonstrating more guts than gumption, came acrossstrongly-too strongly as to frighten the godfathers.It was, therefore, just a matter of time before he got swatted like the small fly he was on the wall of Adamawa acrimonious politics.
It takes very little to upset the godfathers. As little as having an independent mind. Unless you are a godfather like Obasanjo, you dare not go against the party designs.You do that at your own peril. Ask all those who did go against the party’s designs and see where they ended up.
The ways of the PDP are truly confounding. It was this party that installed a Senate President who didn’t even contest an election. It was this party inaugurated a different set of legislators from the ones duly elected. It was this party that willfully ‘deregistered’ ‘recalcitrant’ members for going to court.
Currently a drama has lingered in Taraba state because the scenario doesn’t fit into the designs of the godfathers. Garba Umar has been ‘acting’ governorfor so long and so well, he deserves an Oscar, yet the godfathers are displeased with him because their godson, Danbaba Suntai,the substantive governor,has been reduced to a vegetable courtesy of plane crash.
On his own, Suntai admitted he is not in a state to run the state. But a cabal there heavily supported by the godfathers is bent on making ‘the corpse walk’.
The Taraba scenario is an almost photo replica of the circumstances that led to the emergence of Jonathan as President. An ailing Umaru Yar’adua wetted the ground for a nationwide agitation for Jonathan to take charge. Now that an identical situation is playing out in Taraba, the godfathers are shying away from “ constitutionalism”.
Except for the current Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, nobody has openly defied the godfathers and walked away freely except of course, they, too, are the godfathers.
The last 15 years the PDP has called the shots at the centre, it has maximally tasked all our institutions. Nowhere is this more manifest than in our judiciary and our security organizations. The party has so assaulted and politicizedboth institutions that some of us have long concluded that the single most destructive affliction of the nation is this so-called behemoth.
Yesterday’s court verdict sacking Fintiri was more political than judicial. For all of the listed reasons and more, the former governor really got it coming. He thought he was a knight whilst all along, he was a mere pawn in the intricate political chess game. He has been used like the others before him to rid Adamawa of Nyako and now, he too, has been dumped. Karma couldn’t have come earlier.
Assistant Inspector General of Police Joseph Mbu is truly a controversial man. He is also a tough cop. He is so tough that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state described him as a ‘woman wrapper’.
There is no love lost between the two men, one gentle, the other, ‘ rough’.
Mbu truly, is a fighter but I doubt if he will win this fight with the press. He may command men with guns but picking on members of the press, he would soon discover, will be like drilling a borehole with a needle. So the arrest of Amaechi Anaekwe, of AIT, is so far the biggest mis-step. And the reason for that, laughable.
He has declared war on an enemy without borders.
At times like these, I commend the President, Goodluck Jonathan for taking flaks thrown in his direction, in his strides. Were Jonathan Mbu, most of us writers and columnists will be in jail.
Thankfully he is unlike the ‘Lion’ Mbu.‘Clueless’ is a word routinely used to describe our fumbling President, he, as C-in-C has never ordered the arrest of any reporter. With an attitude like this, we will kick the day he becomes police chief, a post he is primed to take over as it is being widely speculated. So Mbu, mba!