Fintiri says that he and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will once again teach the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) a lesson in 2023 by making sure it fails miserably [Thursday, December 2, 2021].
If you remove the small-lettered word from my heading, that’s what you will likely see in the headlines of major newspaper outlets after the 2023 General Elections.
Like I’ve always said, it’s more difficult to remain in power than to win an election. It is evident when the incumbent won in 2019. When the government of the day sat comfortably at the Dougirie hilltop, Governor Fintiri toured all the 226 wards in the state.
Don’t call me a prophet of doom, at least not yet. As the day edges closer, the main opposition party in the state may settle for the candidature of the former Senator of Sarkin Matasa Adamawa, Senator Abdul Aziz Nyako.
Azeez, also known as Commander, rose to prominence at the expense of his father while he served as Governor from 2007 to 2014.
That made him very popular with the young people. He was also given the title “De Facto Governor” by the Council of the Emirate of Adamawa.
One thing I like about the 51-year-old retired Commander of the Nigerian Navy is that he didn’t play with the opportunity to create a niche for himself in Adamawa politics.
He flew on his father’s wings, took the opportunity head on, and the rest is history.
Sen. Nyako was a shining star, even as a first-timer at the eighteenth Assembly. He sponsored quality and highly relevant bills that were passed into law. A few of the bills he sponsored are:
- The Northeast Development Commission Bill was co-sponsored by Senator Nyako.
- The bill also lowered the age at which people can run for public office in Nigeria.
- The Nigerian maritime safety regulations bill
- The Presidential Inauguration Bill
- The bill proposed by the chartered institute of treasury management
Sen. Nyako also attracted many infrastructure projects to his constituency. A dam was built at Karlahi, in Fufore LGA. Classrooms were built, motorized and hand pumps were drilled, health centers were built, and other things were done as well.
Fortunately, for the ruling party, two things might work against him. Unlike his father, Sen. Nyako hasn’t done any tangible empowerment schemes. Yes, he carried out his legislative duties effectively, but voters, especially youths, need empowerment.
The other thing is his callous statement about a possible Muslim-Muslim ticket in the state. Believe me or not, that was the most careless statement coming from a politician, especially a central zone politician for that matter.
You may be wondering how and why the Adamawa Central Zone has never produced a governor. Much as it’s best to keep ethnicity and religion aside from politics, the truth be told, religion and ethnicity play a role in our zone’s politics, whether you believe me or not.
I’m not sure why he decided to abandon his ambition to become Governor, but I was convinced that statement would have worked against his Senatorial bid now.
Again, let me say this: in any contest, you don’t just dwell on yourself alone. You need to examine your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, then strategize on how to beat them.
When it comes to politics, Sen. Nyako(who is an APC chieftan) has the skills and experience to give the PDP a run for their money.
But now, it depends on who the ruling party deems fit to fly the party’s flag at the general election.
As for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the battlefield is a little bit crowded. This is not a surprise because it is the ruling party in the state, so most of its aspirants are banking on the party’s incumbency and the influence of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
If the ruling party wants to give maximum votes to Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (if he can secure his party’s ticket), it has to carefully select who will fly the party’s flag for the Central Senatorial Zone while considering who the APC might bring to table.
You’ll agree with me that weak candidates with low electoral value do influence people’s voting patterns, and as such, the ruling party can afford to send a pushover for the commander to crush.
Auwal Bamanga Tukur is one of the few PDP bigwigs in Nigeria that has never left the PDP through good or bad times. Auwal and his father, Bamanga Tukur, have paid their dues to the PDP; if that’s a criterion, the PDP ticket for Adamawa Central Senatorial District should be Auwal’s. Auwal represented Yola-North, Yola-South, and Girei Federal Constituencies between 1999 and 2003, but lost his bid for a second term. Auwal is too elitist. One cannot identify his friends or long-term political associates at the grassroots level.He is an absentee politician, and his strength cannot go beyond his hope for Fintiri’s endorsement. Nevertheless, he is a likable man.
Speaker Aminu Iya Abba is typically good in village politics. His style of politics as a speaker has exposed his weaknesses in metropolitan politics. Abbas is young and well educated, with a good résumé presentable anywhere in Nigeria. Abbas will 100% rely on his unalloyed loyalty to Governor Fintiri to secure the ticket. Adamawa House of Assembly has never produced a Speaker that has given total loyalty to the Governor like Abbas is doing to Fintiri, to the extent of conducting House preliminary even on a public holiday to attend to Fintiri’s request.
The recent passage of the bill for the creation of new districts has put Abbas in the black book of the Jimeta people. If he secures the ticket, they will use their massive vote against him. In free-fair primaries, Abbas’s strength cannot go beyond Hong and some portion of Gombi. However, if Fintiri and the PDP are to compensate for the loyalty of a legislature to the government of the day, Abbas will get the ticket.
Mustapha Babayola (baba 10) is not new to the game – he has contested for the House of Representatives on many occasions and party platforms. He is very popular within the Jimeta-Yola-Girei axis. His strong war-chest and affinity for grassroots will not be an issue for him. Though his political strength has not reached Song, Fufore, Gombi, and Hong LGAs,
Abdullahi Adamu Prambe is an absolute party man. He understands the nitty-gritty of party politics; he went through the mills. He was a PDP state secretary, a current commissioner, and a political godson to Professor Jibril Amin. Prambe’s strong selling point is his calm nature, and he will be a true representation of all party men and women. If the PDP wants to compensate one of its true children, Prambe will get the ticket. His biggest weak point is that his face is not well-known in all the seven LGAs of Adamawa central. Although he’s very strong in song,
If the PDP wants an old hand with vast experience in both local and national politics, DD Azura is the man to go with. He was a non-party Chairman of Hong LGA during the military regime, and he was the first Northern Nigeria lawyer to be elected as the first National Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association. He was appointed Chairman of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) in 2014. During his time as the head of the LGA, he made it so that the money from the Federation’s account would be sent directly to the LGA and the councils in the Emirates.
Azura’s strength cannot go beyond the Hong-Gombi axis. He is not an active PDP man whose name always rings a bell. His face may be new to the new young voters who are now the majority of the voting populace.
Muhammed Chubado Murtala is not new to the game—he was the PDP’s candidate in the 2019 election for Adamawa Central Senatorial District. He polled 96,530 votes, while his opponent, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed of the APC, got 188,526 votes.
For me, I would settle for Mustapha Babayola (Baba 10). As a native of Adamawa Central, he has what it takes to battle it out with Commander Abdulazeez.
Baba 10 He has remained in the field all these days without holding any political office. In fact, he is behaving as if he is a Senator, with the provision of amenities, social support, and massive grassroots constant contact and mobilization. You see why it will be a hard nut for the PDP to crack. Any tiny mistake, and the PDP will definitely wave bye-bye to the central zone.