Adamawa Governorship 2007; A Fuzzy Rumble, Steep Marathon!


Zayyad I. Muhammad

The political terrain of Adamawa state is of immense important to political observers and the political class, both within and outside the state, Adamawa being the home state of vice president Atiku Abubakar and the history of the state of producing many bigwigs in the political scene of Nigeria. The Adamawa political settings comprise five political zones; the zones a re: the northern zone, the central zone, Numan federation, Ganye chiefdom and the Mayo Belwa axis. The northern zone have the five M’s local government areas of Michika, Maiha, Madagali, Mubi North and Mubi South; the central zone have seven local government areas of Gombi, Hong, Song, Girei, Fufore, Yola North and Yola south; the Numan federal have three, Numan, Lamurde, Demsa; the Ganye chiefdom have Ganye, Jada and Toungo, while MayoBelwa axis have Mayo Belwa, Shelleng, and Guyuk local government areas, the Numan federation, the Ganye chiefdom and the Mayo Belwa axis together form the southern  senatorial zone.

Under ground Campaigns and political maneuvering have started in earnest in almost all states of the federation in preparation for 2007 governorship elections, mind-bogglingly, there is a perpetual silent in Adamawa state, by those who are politically in pose to contest the governorship seat of the state, what do subsist are only speculations and thesis, some people are of the opinion that, the silent is largely due to the absent of a candidate from the mist of the new generation politicians with a formidable politic al structures and grass root connections; whereas others are of the believe that,  what we are witnessing is raw Adamawa political culture and tradition in action, because all previous governorship elections in the state follow the same pattern; so there is a correlation between what is going to happen or what is happening in Adamawa politics and history .

On the street opinion and that of the political analysts, is, the Atiku political factor is crucial, and it would certainly without mincing words this time around skewed to one man, Boni Haruna, he is the most essential and important determinant of who succeed him as the governor of Adamawa, this is as a result of two factors; first, Atiku’s style of doing politics, where he give all of his political associates, free hand in their political realm, and secondly Boni is among the most closest individual to Atiku, and foremost, pertaining to& nbsp; Adamawa politics; these make the contest to Government House Yola interesting, it is a battle, that looks fuzzy owing to the silent of Vice President Atiku And Gov. Boni

There are mounting speculations that four individuals: Bello Tukur, the incumbent deputy governor, Ibrahim Bapetel, the Adamawa SSG, Senator Jonathan Zwingina, and Dahiru Bobbo, the DG National Boundary Commission are interested on the governorship position; looking at the above mentioned personalities, certainly a stage is set for a steep and pain staking marathon; how would the contest be?  For us to have a global view on this, and see the bigger and broader picture, we need to put each of the candidates on a concept map; and weigh their odds.

Deputy Governor Bello Tukur has been exhibiting loyalty, without a shred of doubt, to his boss, he is patient and possess great influence in his constituency of Fufore; his supporters argue, he is the natural successor to Gov Boni, being his deputy and loyal. His greatest weak point is, he is confine only to his political constituency, his adversaries says this make the Tukur’s candidature not appealing to the entire state, Tukur has a Herculean task of stretching his hand outside, and win support outside his constituency, nevertheless, he is candidate to beat.

Ibrahim Bapetel is the most influential man in the Boni Haruna administration; he enjoys the confidence of his governor, as Gov. Boni once said: “ Bapetel is a man that I will give a task in the night, and have the result on my desk in the morning” the confidence vested on him have really help his political fortunes.  His supporters are confident on his civil service experience and pervasive grass root connection.  His greatest drawbacks are: he is from the complex metropolitan, Jimeta-Yola; an absolute control on his constituency may delude him and it may works against him; this is because, Jimeta-Yola have produced two opposition members in the state house of assembly and a member in the house of representative all from the opposition ANPP. Owing to the complexity of his constituency, he may not endure the pressure from his people, his opponent may capitalize on that; nevertheless he enjoys a strong statewide support.

Among all the four contenders Dahiru Bobbo is the most seasoned administrator, he has been in   public affairs since early 70’s, from registrar university of Maiduguri to the Secretary of the government of former Gongola state to his present position, he was once elected senator under the defunct UNCP; his age, might   seriously work against him, looking at the present political arithmetic of Adamawa, where the young generation politicians are dominating the politics, political analysts are of the opinion that, Bobbo cannot  fit into the political equation, though his supporters believe  his  generosity will bestow on  him an edge over the other contenders.

Senator Zwingina is among the well enlightened class of this generation, he poses all the qualities of a governor, in fact he is most qualified among the candidates, on paper, but two important factors have technically put him out of the race; just like the culture and tradition of Adamawa people, the political position in the state also alternate between the two major religion in the state, secondly Zwingina coming from the same political zone with vice president Atiku, political watchers are of the opinion, a presidential and a governorship candidate  cannot emerge from the same zone.

People are so much focused on the PDP candidates, not that there are no other candidates from other political parties, but the opposition are in a lethargic state, for instance the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) Adamawa State, started with a humble beginning, with first conveners; like Senator Mahmud Waziri, Dr. Bala Takaya, Chief Medan Teneka, Senator Hamman Bello Mohammed, Barrister Bala Ngilari, Mohammed Koiranga Jada, Alhaji Saleh Michi ka (former governor of Adamawa state), Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu jimeta ( national vice chairman north-east, ANPP)   , Comrade Pascal Baiyau (former NLC president), Senator Manasa T.B. Daniel and Barrister Ambros Mamadi, these people are clearly a true reflection of the geo-political balance in Adamawa State.

ANPP has been bedeviled by problems right from it inception in Adamawa State, as the first state executive was appointed by proxy, whereby each of the party convener appoints his proxies to represent him in the executive, the upshots were incessant intra-party fracas which led to the removal of the first state chairman of the Party, chief Medan Teneke barely three weeks to the then 1999 local government elections, Teneke was replaced by Farouk Jauro, who was removed a week to the 1999 gubernatorial election, Sadiq Haske took over and he was also sacked six months after he assumed office, Sa’adu M.C. Tahir took over, Tahir was in office for only one month, he was forced to resign and Mr. Polycarp S. Kaigama assumed the chairmanship position. The appointment of Mr. Kaigama brought along fierce intra-party battle, as all attempt to remove him proved difficult, this led to the setting up of parallel state executive led by Alh. Rabiu Damina, which factionalized the party; after the end of these parallel chairmanship; Alh. Yayaji Audu Gombi took over the position of chairmanship of the party, he was replaced by Ahmed Mahmud, interestingly the party had produced nine chairmen while it rival the P.D.P. had only one right from inception to date. Out of the eleven conveners of the party only three are toady in the party and out of the nine chairmen produced by the party, only three are today in the party, the party may probably present her 2003 governorship candidate, Adamu Mu’azu Modibbo, but party structures will hinder his ambition.

The PDP can only have an easy ride, if the party reads the history books well, in 1979 governorship election, the GNPP won the governorship election in the former Gongola state, largely due two factors: the party presented a good combination of late Abubakar Barde from Muri emirate and Wilberforce Juta from Mubi senatorial, Barde beat Juta with only three vote in the party primaries, secondly the then NPN experienced internal sabotage, as the so called kaduna based politician led by Mahmud Tukur are supporting Ahmadu Ribadu  while the Gongola Unity Movement led by  Barkindo Aliyu Ciroman Adamawa, senator Mahmud Waziri and Mahmud Santuraki are supporting professor Iya Abubakar, which resulted to the Gongola Unity Movement to  left the party, NPN lost the election despite presenting a respected  candidate, Ahmed Ribadu, equally in the 1983 election, the same internal party mêlée, led to  the GNPP losing the governorship election; as crisis between Barde and Ibrahim Waziri’s groups deepens, Barde crossed over to the NPP, while  some   GNPP members are either supporting,  Wilson Sabiya or Bamanga Tukur of the NPN who eventually won the election, like wise in the aborted third republic, the defunct SDP was the strongest party in Adamawa state, but internal wrangling costs the party the governorship seat in the state to the conservative NRC, where Saleh Michika emerged as governor.

However they do it, the PDP in Adamawa have manage to maintained discipline and loyalty in the party, this prompt many to believe, the hitherto internal squabbling within the strongest party in the state was largely due to the absent of a strong political group with an established leader, who commands widespread fellowship and loyalty; moreover the battle for Gov. Boni’s seat would be a meticulous and steep, one family contest, not any body can be a candidate but any of the candidate can a winner; nevertheless the Atiku- Boni endorsement is central.


Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from 5B Abeokuta Street, Jimeta-Yola