The Adamawa state gubernatorial bye-election, slated for the October 11 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has motivated many politicians of the two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) to declare their ambitions to govern the state.
Among the list of these governorship hopefuls is a young, experienced, and visionary leader, in the person of Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, who was a former minister of foreign affairs as well as that of Health under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Political analysts in the state described his declaration to vie for the exalted office as one of the best things that happened in this history of Adamawa state considering his pedigree in both public and private lives.
Dr. Hong, who is seen as a graduate from Professor Jibril Aminu’s political school of thought, has contributed immensely in building the PDP in the state especially when he served as the state secretary of the party from 2007-2008 where he was believed to have been a catalyst whose ideologies assisted in taking the party to a higher level.
During the occasion of submission of his expression of intent and nomination forms to the party leadership in the state at the party secretariat on Thursday, August 21, the mammoth crowd that turned up to witness the occasion, despite the heavy downpour, was a pointer as to the character of Dr. Idi Hong, as he is fondly called.
On that day, the vehicular traffic of his supporters and well-wishers from the Yola International Airport were indeed unprecedented, as all categories of people were at hand to welcome their gubernatorial hopeful and by 3:00 pm when his plane landed, the train proceeded to the PDP secretariat along Galadima Aminu way in style.
A supporter, who came from Maiha local Area in the state, Modibbo Hammawa told Peoples Daily that with this development, the handwriting was already on the wall, as to where the pendulum will swing to, because, according to him, Adamawa people are unique in politics and they have thus spoken that it is the time of Dr. Hong.
Hammawa added that Hong is a progressive politician, who is following the footsteps of his master Professor Jibril Aminu because he is winning the hearts of his people.
“As a matter of fact, our aspirant (Hong) is a candidate to beat in this struggle, because he is progressive taking the steps and blessings of his political mentor, Professor Jibril Aminu and everyone can see his acceptability on the faces of the people”, he further explained.
At the party secretariat, the leadership, led by the party’s Secretary, Barrister Tahir Shehu received Hong by commending his courage and boldness in securing the forms, which he said signified Hong’s intention to contest for the number one seat of the state under the platform of their party.
Barrister Tahir told the party faithful at the occasion that the party will no doubt provide a level-playing ground for all the contestants, through free and fair primaries, whereby whoever emerged as winner will be accorded all necessary support for victory in the forthcoming bye-election and beyond.
Hong, a one-time secretary of the PDP in the state told newsmen in an interview that he obtained the nomination form for a rescue mission to save Adamawa state from total collapse and wished to use his privileged position as one of the most conversant with the plights of the state to bring about the social transformation of the state.
According to Hong: “Adamawa has never been so polarized as in the last regime, I am out to vie for the office of Governor of Adamawa state for an urgent rescue mission, as the state is in the lowest stage of its development, hence the need to rescue it from imminent disasters that may follow its collapse.
“We have not seen impressive progress and improvements as other states have witnessed in terms of infrastructure and social transformation which require serious-minded people to rise to the occasion and rescue it from total collapse.”
Earlier in his address, the aspirant, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong said the controversy that informed the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako’s administration was disappointing and pledged to make corrections if given the mandate.
Dr. Hong regretted that an elderly personality like former Governor Nyako, who should save the state from its decaying stage but only to be disappoint the people in this era of rapid development and competition.
He said Adamawa has been left far behind in area of infrastructure; as such people with the love of the state like him are urgently needed to rescue the state from total collapse.
According to him, if given the mandate, his administration will provide free health-care services, free education and will have a transparent government, where even people at the grassroots must know what is happening.
He also promised to improve the security of the state, by providing a conducive atmosphere and welfare packages that will motivate the personnel to do their best in that regard.
It could be recalled that Dr. Hong was the youngest minister in the Federal Executive Council, headed by the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Hong was at the forefront of those promoting the rich cultural values of the country as well as laying emphasis on various indigenous festivals and carnivals across the country which generated a robust measure of international attention.
Hong was not only retained but was assigned the responsibility of supervising the ministry of commerce and industry, an assignment he carried out with distinction until recently when his hard work was rewarded with his appointment as minister of state in the ministry of health.
He has been one of the solid foundations on which the Adamawa PDP is standing. Despite his youthful age, the distinguished doctor has shown exemplary qualities that have made him a role model to many youths in his state and beyond.
Aliyu Idi Hong was born in Hong, Adamawa state on the last day of December 1967 and was an active participant in student union activism right from his early years in the university up till the time he graduated.
Hong was also the secretary of Adamawa state PDP between 2006 and 2007 and, together with other excos of the party; he ensured that the party retained its governorship slot in the state despite stiff opposition from the opposition parties.
Hong is just forty one, his life has just begun and so, Adamawa and Nigeria in general should be hopeful and look forward to better things to come for indeed the future of this great country is in the hands of great young men like Dr. Hong, who is now considered as the future of Adamawa state politics.