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Published On: Tue, Jul 15th, 2014

Is Adamawa on the road to Egypt?

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Gov.-Murtala-NyakoBy Lawrence Olaoye

History was made yesterday in Adamawa state when the state Assembly, after many weeks of political intrigues, finally impeached Governor Murtala Nyako, while his deputy, James Ngilari, resigned ‘honourably’.

Nyako was impeached after the Assembly deliberated on the report of the probe panel it constituted to investigate the allegations of financial malfeasance against him and his deputy. 18 of the 25 member Assembly endorsed his impeachment while a motion was passed for the Speaker, Umaru Fintiri, to carry on as the Acting governor of the state.

Although all may not be well between the former governor and the state lawmakers before Nyako’s eventual defection into the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) last year, their political disagreements were further exacerbated by his decision to dump the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the opposition.

His movement into the opposition, when his political acolytes, including his deputy refused to tag along, signaled the beginning of political hostilities which culminated in his eventual impeachment yesterday.

Part of the reasons advanced by the Assembly for his removal include the allegations of financial misappropriation and breach of Section 188 (11) of the 1999 Constitution.

But a close political watcher of events leading to Nyako impeachment would be safe to conclud that though he may not be a saint in the management of the state’s resources, the main reason for his boot from the Assembly may not be entirely divorced from the politics of 2015.

At the local level, certain stakeholders are uncomfortable with his deliberate projection and positioning of his son, Abdulazeez, for the Adamawa governorship seat by 2015. His style of governance, where he placed his son in the limelight to discharg patronage, was not particularly acceptable to the stakeholders who are equally eyeing the governorship by 2015.

This succession plan was at the heart of Nyako’s clash with the former National Chairman of the ruling PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who also was planning to install his son, Awwal, as the next governor of the state.

Nyako was equally accused of reducing governance to family affairs where only those related to him enjoyed government patronage. His handling of issues relating to workers’ welfare also made him unpopular among the civil servants in the state.

Nevertheless, Nyako would not be the only governor guilty of allegations against him but his resolve to dump the ruling party, where he was enjoying maximum protection, became his undoing. He not only left the ruling party but became its most virulent and vitriolic critic.

Nyako became the arrowhead of the opposition against President Goodluck Jonathan and at a time even raised a memo to the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) alleging genocide by the Federal Government against the North.

Although this memo was roundly condemned as capable of instigating the people against the government, Nyako remained adamant when asked to retract. The former governor stirred the honest nest and lost sympathy, even among his colleagues, when they came to the realization of the weight and negative implications of the opprobrious memo to the unity of the country.

This memo, coupled with his other vitriolic attacks on the person of President Jonathan, placed him on the direct firing line with the Presidency. Therefore, when the heat of his impeachment saga came, the Presidency refused to intervene even when prevailed upon to do so by two former Presidents.

There are insinuations that his travail may just be about to start because the grapevine has it that the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation is presently busy tiding up charges bordering on treason against the former governor.

Although the Adamawa lawmakers have severally denied being induced to remove Nyako, a cursory look at the events and the body language of those in power betray a collusion and an organized contrivance aimed at getting rid of the ‘loquacious’ governor who found it difficult to decipher between politics and reality.

Nyako’s removal has also raised the pertinent question as to whether he was actually in control of the state apparatus. This point becomes even poignant when one considers the fact that the retired acting Chief Judge of the state, Ambrose Mammadi, who constituted the panel which indicted him, was actually appointed by the former governor.

Similarly, the fact that his impeachment could get the required majority in the Assembly is also a point of concern for some political analysts. For the 25 member Assembly to unanimously cede to the PDP when the governor is in the opposition also speaks volumes on Nyako’s leadership style. This is more so when the lawmakers representing his constituency and Senatorial zone could not move a finger to save his political career.

Apart from Nyako’s alleged excesses, the former governor allowed himself to be the pawn in political chess game of the lawmakers. Although the constitution stipulated that election must hold in the next 90 days after the impeachment, Speaker Fintiri and those loyal to him in the Assembly, would have enhanced their political pedigree within the period. One could therefore hazard the conclusion that ambition on the part of the lawmakers could be part of the reasons Nyako was axed.

But the aftermath of the governors removal may not be as palatable as his detractors had envisage. This is because the race to find a successor may be as acrimonious as the process leading to Nyako’s removal.

Adamawa, being a heterogenous state with several fault lines, may become another hotbed of political rivalries among the stakeholders, both in the PDP and the APC. Already, those political heavyweights in the state who dumped the APC for the PDP when Nyako joined the opposition are waiting in the wings to slug it out among themselves for the number one seat in the state.

Notable politicians like General Buba Marwa, Marcus Gundiri, and even Nyako’s son amongst others who have been eyeing the governorship slot would not spare anything to get to power. This is more so when 2015 is just around the corner and whoever replaces the impeached governor stands a better chance to win the governorship election.

This consideration and more are likely to come to play in the hot race to find Nyako’s replacement ahead of the 2015 governorship election. Those political intrigues which came into play that culminated into ‘Baba Maimangoro’s’ ouster may be thrown up again and the PDP, which is obviously basking in the euphoria of getting Nyako down, must watch it.

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