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Adamawa: Last stages of guber campaigns, intrigues

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• As Deputy Gov Martins Babale Is Accused Of Working For PDP

There are indications that Governor Muhammed Jibrilla Bindow may not have it so smooth like that of 2015, when the coalition of All Progressives Congress (APC) was fresh and full of zest. Today, chieftains of the party, workers and other actors who used to be part of his government have abandoned him as the elections inch closer. To make matters worse, Bindow banned his deputy, Mr. Martins Babale from following him on campaigns over allegations that he was engaged in anti-party activities. This has forced voters to demand the Deputy’s sack.

Spokesman of APC Elders in the area, Alhaji Mansur Toungo, accused Babale of anti-party activities, pointing out that the Governor will lose their votes if he fails to replace his deputy.He alleged that Babale, who was nominated by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is secretly working for PDP candidates in his zone

“ I want to say this very clearly that going into election with Babale as your deputy will be a huge political disaster for you, Bindow; we the people of Southern Zone cannot vote for you with Babale as your running mate. Your deputy has no economic and political value to the people of this zone. We are prepared to donate him for free to PDP if they want liabilities in their party,” he stated. 

To add salt to the wounds of Bindow and Babale, a socio-cultural group under the aegis of Chamba Youths Organisation representing Ganye, Toungo, Mayo Belwa and Jada local governments have issued another warning that it will mobilise its members against his election if he fails to drop his deputy.

A communiqué signed by the President of the group, Joseph Balanso, and his Secretary, Ahmed Ibrahim Toungo, Wednesday, said the Deputy Governor only represented himself and abandoned the people when he represented the area for 12 years at House of Representatives and as deputy governor.

Another setback for Bindow was when 10 governorship candidates that previously endorsed him during the flag-off of his campaign rally have now withdrawn their support.

The Public Relations officer of Adamawa State chapter of New Generation Governorship Forum (NGGF) Dr. Simon Bawa, and Treasurer Lami Musa in a joint statement made available to The Guardian last week in Yola stated that the decision to withdraw their endorsement became necessary since the governor failed to obey the directives of the forum.He said the forum, of which Bindow is also a member never endorsed the governor, but rather, it was the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, who made the announcement of the purported endorsement at the campaign rally of the governor without the consent of the candidates.

“ We wish to state for the record that our attendance at Bindow’s rally was only to grace the flag-off based on the invitation by the governor to NGGF, a forum of which the governor is also a member .The declaration by the APC national chairman came to us as a shock.”
Former Adamawa State governor Mr. Boni Haruna, who is from the same zone as Bindow has warned the people against re-electing him, warning the people of Adamawa will cry and regret if they returned the governor to power in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

The former governor gave this warning in recent interview with Gotel communication, a private media outfit in the state monitored in Yola last week.“ Since I left government I have made it a principle not to talk about the government of the day but that of the present administration in the state is something else. If I tell you am happy with this government I have lied to you. Honestly, I’m against the return of this government and I have no apology about it and Adamawa people will regret if this government returns to power”

He accused the administration of killing education, health and other vital sectors of the state, in addition to shortchanging local governments without making much impact in the state.“What is the essence of government? Government is all about improving the living conditions of people, both collectively and individually. It is not something that you will concentrate in a single sector and abandon others.”

The Presidential Campaign team may have also abandoned the Governor. The committee, which has former EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu, Mr. Martins Gundiri, former Lagos military administrator Buba Mawar, former SGF David Babachir Lawal, SGF Boss Mustafa as members, allegedly excluded Bindow based on suspicion that he engaged in anti-party activities by working for Atiku Abubakar.

However, despite the conspiracy against him, in addition to the certificate scam issue, Bindow’s campaign Director General Mr. Felix Tangwami, insisted that he will secure his victory at next month’s governorship poll. Tangwami, a former chairman of Demsa local government, former commissioner said Bindow’s projects will speak for him and that the people are prepared to return the Governor.

He said that those working against the governor are campaigning for him unconsciously and that the people of the state, especially in the rural areas are interested in the second coming of the governor due to what he described as unprecedented performance.He dismissed insinuations that Bindow will not win, pointing out that 2015 election was tougher than 2019, yet he won. So, nobody should think of unseating Bindow until his tenure expires in 2023. Bindow and his group are relying heavily on power of incumbency.

In analysing Bindow’s chances, pundits tend to look more at the major opposition figure in the person of Alhaji Ahmad Umaru Fintiri. Fintiri is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and also from Adamawa north as Bindow. Since he was unveiled in 2007, Fintiri has shown that grassroots politics is his turf. The two-time Speaker and two-time acting governor became very popular after former governor Murtala Nyako was impeached for gross abused of the constitution. Adamawa workers and traders are looking up to him to renew his fondness and love of workers. In the search for a candidate who has capacity to send home Bindow, Fintiri was easily the rallying point.

In November 2018, 46 aspirants to the House of Representatives, led by Rev. Istanfus Habila adopted Fintiri and decamped from the ruling party to join him in PDP. They said that APC had no agenda to build democracy in Nigeria.In December last year chieftains of both APC and Social Democratic Party (SDP) also declared support for Fintiri.

Their leader, Alhaji Mubi, who is from Bindow’s home town, Mubi, said his group had to put aside politics of sentiments in their search for the man who could win votes and do the job. He urged the people of Adamawa state to avoid ethnic politics and vote strictly on for candidates’ track records. Fintiri’s other assets are civil servants, women and women. How he translates this groundswell of following into concrete votes is what observers are looking at.

SENATOR Abdullaziz Nyako, serving senator representing Adamawa Central on the platform of APC, lately of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) is flying the party’s governorship flag. Abdullaziz is a retired Naval Commander and first child of former governor Murtala Nyako. He is young and well educated. His people say he responds promptly to his constituency whenever there is need.

However, they say his party ADC does not have membership strength to face neither PDP nor APC. He is apparently banking on the political fortune of his family, which has been depleted severely.Notwithstanding, he is expected to put up a good fight since the APC is losing more members to ADC and some to PDP. He is the biggest political threat to Bindow, since his father founded APC and gifted Bindow with the ticket he used to defeat Atiku Abubakar’s candidate the APC primary at Lamido Cinemas in 2015.

The chairman of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Hammanjulde, while speaking at a rally recently in Genyi local government described the motley crowd as a sign of popularity and acceptability of the party in the rural area.EMMANUEL Bello is from Adamawa Central like Abdullaziz Nyako. He had a causal representation at the House of Representatives in 2007 representing Gombi/Hong federal constituency on the ticket of PDP.He is flying the governorship flag of crisis ridden Social Democratic Party (SDP) a party yet to find its feet in the state. Bello, an Abuja based businessman is also not finding it easy to re-launch himself into mainstream politics of the state.

Since he joined the party from APC, his new party has been a theatre of political war. Former executive members of the party under the leadership of Abel Bebet were attacked in the party secretarial last year, allegedly Bello’s supporters. The bloody attack gave birth to a breakaway faction, whose members are now of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN).

Bello’s main political trouble, according to watchers, was how he forcefully took over the party and installed his executive in the manner of a market association that has no rules and laws to guide its operations.He is banking on Christian votes, but there are signals he could get just a few.Coming from Adamawa central as Abdullaziz Nyako is said to be a big minus for him, since Nyako is using inherited political structures, which might force Bello to work extra hard.The die is cast, and Adamawa voters are eager to teach some candidates bitter lessons.


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