Guest Columnist By Zayyad I. Muhammad
The purported suspension of a governorship aspirant, Chief Emmanuel Bello by his party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), is just a tip of an iceberg of what to expect in Adamawa politics. As the politics of 2019 gather momentum, Adamawa politics has already gone strongly tripartite – the All Progressive Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP), with each party having its own uniqueness and crises, but being controlled by similar and familiar players. The PDP and SDP will face the core of their own crises after their governorship primaries, but APC is already facing its own crisis, which will escalate after its planned state party congresses. APC’s crisis is unique and historical, the current one began the day Governor Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow became a political orphan, after his ‘500 million Naira’ godfather, Atiku Abubakar left the APC for the PDP.
The Adamawa APC was formed from former Governor Murtala Nyako’s political structures and most of the candidates fielded by the party in the 2015 elections were political products of the Murtala Nyako House.However, the Adamawa APC started witnessing crises the day Atiku joined the party. Atiku’s arrival brought rivalry within the party- he fielded opposing candidate to Nyako’s during two governorship primaries. Nyako defeated Atiku on the two occasions.
The crisis Adamawa APC will face after the planned congresses will not only have impact on Adamawa state but also at the National level. The state congresses will be a contest between Governor Bindow and stakeholders (Murtala Nyako, Nuhu Ribadu, Markus Gundiri, Lawan David Babachir, Senator Abdul Aziz Nyako and Senator Ahmadu Abubakar Mo’ Allahyidi etc). With the odds seemingly against the governor, he is paying the price of political miscalculations and third-rate politicking, with the stakeholders prepared to give the governor a payback.
Governor Bindow has the resources and incumbency, but lacks established political structures and grassroots party support. Bindow is like a general in a war, who has the most sophisticated weapons but easily gets frightened by a single shot. On the other hand, the stakeholders led by Nyako control a well-established political structure, grassroots party support and are always banking on Bindow’s inevitable flaws, thus the confidence they have. Nevertheless, whichever group loses out, it will be a minus to the APC- the party will witness anti party activities and serious internal opposition. Reconciliation is almost impossible with the way politics is played in Adamawa.
The PDP has witnessed it own crises, but the ones it will witness in future may be mild. When Atiku rejoined the PDP he hostilely took over the structures of the party, which forced the members of the Abdulrahman Bobboi group to defect to the APC leaving behind only Bobboi himself and Dr. Umar Ardo. Atiku neutralize the Joel Madaki group. The biggest casualty of Atiku’s hostile takeover of the PDP is Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. Before Atiku, Fintiri had felt he was the anointed governorship candidate of the PDP because he has resources and in control of the party structures. But Atiku came and swept Fintiri under the carpet.
Fintiri could have bargained with Atiku’s re-entry into the PDP, and used it to secure his backing for his governorship aspiration, but Fintiri has some political deficits which the Atiku ‘caucus’ does not have the luxury of time and patience to balance. Furthermore, Fintiri’s unfortunate statement against Hausa/Fulani is still hunting him. In addition, Atiku will only present and support a political son and a lackey, a profile which Finitiri does not fit. Atiku now owns the body and soul of Adamawa PDP- in fact; Barrister Tahir Shehu and Alhaji Abdullahi Prambe-led state party executives are now regular visitors to Atiku’s residence. The only threat to Atiku now is Dr. Ardo but his attacks won’t go beyond pen, paper and radio interviews.
The SDP is growing and moving very fast, owing to its small size and the single goal to champion the cause of minority Christians. The party has no any established crisis. Emmanuel Bello is rebuilding the party. Does Bello have the resources? No. What many do not know is that Atiku is also strongly behind the SDP. This is why the Lamido cinema, owned by Atiku, was opened for the party, despite the cinema being under renovation. Atiku has the history and penchant for one leg in party A, another in party B, while his heart in somewhere else. Being in party A, and pulling the string in party B is Atiku’s hobby. But the main reason why he is investing in the SDP is that the SDP will be the natural bus stop for aggrieved persons from the APC and PDP after the parties’ congresses and primaries.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta. email@example.com. 08036070980