The crisis-ridden and complex Adamawa political environment is witnessing an influx of new entrants. The State’s political environment is already jam-packed with diverse political and social interests, in addition to lots of political gladiators, who are engaged in high-wired politics of intrigues.
These new entrants of Adamawa politics are aware that to attain relevance in the system, they must align with a particular political bloc. Apart from identifying with a particular bloc, the platform they intend to contest on must also reflect the views and aspirations of their constituencies. This is a knotty issue they have to tackle, because any slight mistake would cost them a great political fortune.
More than 95% of the new entrants to Adamawa politics are people seeking political offices. And one good thing about it is that quite are few of them are professionals and some of them are young. Notable among them are Nuhu Ribadu the former EFCC helmsman, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, the current Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Zira Maigadi, the former Managing Director of one of the country’s biggest oil companies, Dr. Tukur Liman an academician and a seasoned technocrat, Aisha Dahiru Ahmed, the Chief Executive of Binani Group and host of others. As professionals in their own fields, these individuals are caught between what they think politics is and what obtains in the real life situation. They will, without doubt, discover that politics is indeed as described by pundits- beyond anyone’s imaginations.
For them to succeed, they have to play it as technocrats as well as borrow from the ways of educated and non educated career politicians. That is, they have to combine their excellent leadership skills, education and charisma with Law Number 25 of the 48 laws of power; i.e. re-creating themselves through forging a new identity that commands attention from politicians.They must also be able to convince the public that they have come to the public sector with new ideology and vigour through generation of feasible ideas that would trigger development, eradicate poverty by uplifting individuals; bring dynamism into governance, as well as provide broad variety of services, ranging from healthcare, agriculture, social programs, critical infrastructure and the revitalization of the education system.
The new entrants to Adamawa politics have come at a time that the State’s political environment is highly polarised between three very strong blocs: the Nyako, Jibrin Amin and Atiku blocs, who are immersed in high-wired politics. This is of course a dicey situation and at the same time a big opportunity for the new entrants, depending on how they play their cards. It is dicey because at the end of the day there will be big losers and winners. It is also a good opportunity for them, if they can be proactive. For example, during the 1983 elections in the defunct Gongola State, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur won the governorship election by being politically smarter than his opponents. His Kontigi Movement was instrumental to his victory at the polls- Kontigi Movement was able to complement the major weaknesses of the then NPN. It is depressing that politics has so much been ‘commercialised’ to the extent that such truly political movements like the Bamanga Tukur’s Kontigi are no longer relevant in Adamawa politics. However, those seeking political offices in Adamawa, especially the governorship position, have an opportunity at hand. If any of them can endure the painstaking task of forming a political movement which will bring together interest from Kautal Pulaka, the Fulani socio-cultural-economic organization and Adamawa Minority Forum. The ride to government House, Yola will be very easy. This is because there are cracks in the system which requires honest amends. Another reason is, Kautal Pulaka, controls over 80% of Adamawa economy and constitutes 30% of Adamawa population, and Adamawa minority ethnic groups collectively constitutes nearly 70% of the state’s population. For hundreds of years these two groups have built a strong political, cultural and social relationship with each other.
For several decades, from the former Gongola State to the present Adamawa State, ‘old school’ politicians have dominated the political environment of the state. Despite the present ‘good shows’ displayed by the new entrants, the old politicians seem to have dominated the contest for the governorship position, and each one of them is out with sophisticated game plan. For example, Governor Nyako is heavily relying on incumbency and his stronghold in the PDP structures. Another of Nyako’s game plan was the drafting of his Chief of Staff and his Commissioner of Local Government into the governorship race. Senator Jibrin Amin is playing his game as professor of medicine- he is studying various options, thus Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong candidacy is part of his game. Others seeking the PDP ticket are General Buba Marwa. Marwa has all the credentials but he has been far away from local politics. Awwla Tukur will ride on his father’s back. Atiku Abubakar’s tactics is that of wait then pull from any angle; this is because he has not openly showed his preference. However, pundits are of the opinion that Adamu Mu’azu’s taking over of Labour Party structures in Adamawa State is part of Atiku’s strategy. The story is same in other political parties- in the ACN; three groups will size up one another. Despite the fact that former Governor Boni Haruna has not publicly identified with the party nor resigned from the PDP, those who served in his administration are very strong in the party, the second group is Nuhu Ribadu’s while the third is Dr. Tukur Liman’s. In the ANPP, it will be either former Minister of State Defence Abdurrahman Adamu or anyone he endorses.
As the 2011 elections approach, old times politicians will play politics as they knew it, while the new entrants to Adamawa politics will rely on the strong public endorsement of their entrance into the game. For instance, through grassroots approach, Aisha Dahiru Ahmed who is seeking to be a member in the House of Representatives has succeeded in winning the hearts of her constituency- the politically complex and conservative Yola-North, Yola-South and Girei Federal constituency. If election is to be held today, she will win with a landslide.
One interesting thing about politics is, it is full of so many intrigues, each day, one finds some new and amazing thing about it. Both the old and new politicians in Adamawa State are for sure finding mindboggling things especially at these times that politicking in the State is like walking on burbles- it may burst at any time.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, firstname.lastname@example.org, 08036070980.