It is no longer news to say the structures of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa state has been seized from Governor Murtala Nyako. In fact, the party ward congresses held on Thursday, December 27th, 2012 have clearly given Nyako’s adversaries an edge over him. One interesting strategy that these bigwigs are using against Nyako is they are taking the battle from their local areas- using their grassroots arsenals. And this is how it is being done- Atiku Abubakar, Bamanga Tukur, Mahmud Abdulmumin, Dr. Umar Ardo and Umar Bello Kalkulat are in charge of Jada area. Senator Jibril Aminu is in charge of Song. A.A. Gulak handles Madagali. General Haldu Hananiya, General Aliyu Kama and Aliyu Idi Hong are in charge of Hong. Former Governor David Juta handles Maiha area. Senator Paul Wannapana, John Elias and Jingi Rufai handle Mubi North and South. Michika area is being handled by Yakubu Tsala and Terri Vhella. Dauda Birma handles Gombi. Adamu Modibbo and Alwalu Girei are in-charge of Girei. Jimeta axis is being handled by Danjuma Iliyasu, Yusuf Danumma and Sabo Bamanga. Awwal Tukur and Adamu Aliyu Mustafa supervise Yola South. Senator Bello Tukur and Joel Madaki call the shots at Fufore. Lamurde, Numan and Demsa are under the control of former Deputy Gov. Lynn Nathan and Senator Grace Bent. Makama Adamawa- Alhaji Aliyu Muhammad heads Mayo Belwa axis. Ganye and Toungo are under Mohammed Sadiq Kalu- Walin Ganye, Alh. Juli Gurumpawo, Mahmud Gurumpawo and Yusuf Janwe. While Senator Silas Zwingina and Dan Suleiman are in control of activities in Guyuk and Shelleng. It seems Nyako is at loggerheads with all the political bigwigs in the state and, the general public also defied his ban on political activities to come out for the congresses. However, political pundits are of the view that the critical stage of this intra-party power scrabble is at the election of a state executive council coming on the 8th of January 2013.
The election of the persons to lead the Adamawa PDP could be critical and thorny. This is because in the state, the party has a history of lack of fairness within it which stems from conflicting personal ambitions of its leaders. Moreover, the formation of the state executive will determine the success or failure of the party in the state and the government it may form.
En route the election, Bamanga Tukur has been calling for a party that will accommodate all. If this call is sincere, four groups and their allies will be accommodated in the formation of the state executive. These groups are the Bamanga Group, Nyako, Atiku and Jibril Aminu groups. So far, these groups have been working in harmony. However, going by the political history of these groups, there would still be serious horse-trading before and during the state congress as the bigwig heading each group will attempt to grab the most important positions.
For political observers, what is happening within the PDP in Adamawa State now is history simply repeating itself. Prior to the 2007 general elections, the structures of the PDP in Adamawa state were seized from the control of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Governor Boni Haruna by Prof. Jibril Aminu with the help of Obasanjo, same was done to Prof. Aminu by Governor Murtala Nyako, yet again, same is being done to Gov. Nyako by Bamanga Tukur. After the successful takeover of the party by Jibril Aminu and co then, they came up with what they called a representative arrangement; same claim is being made now. The ‘representative arrangement’ then was that the Governorship candidate would come from the southern zone of the state, party Chairman from the central zone, while the Deputy Governor from the northern zone. However, after the elections and the preceding events that followed, the Governor and the chairman of the party happened to be from the same zone including Local Government Area. The big question is, would the PDP satisfy the party followers, take cognizance of the complex nature of Adamawa State and also put measures that would automatically correct any shortfall that may occur due to unforeseen political events?
If Bamanga Tukur truly wants to usher in a representative arrangement, he would need to make sure that the organizers of the congress work cautiously to avoid the factors that have kept the party in perpetual crisis-the Governor and the party chairman coming from the same political zone and Gov Murtala Nyako cornering everything to himself and his cronies.
The present political arrangement in Adamawa State will help the PDP in the state to create a smooth course for the formation of its new state executive. The power sharing formula in place now is that the Governor is from the southern zone, the Deputy Governor; from the northern zone, the Speaker; from northern zone, while the Deputy Speaker is from the southern zone. Political observers would opine this power sharing arrangement clearly means the Central Zone should produce the state chairman of the party. Politics usually transcends such reasoning and there is no universal formula for politicking. Nonetheless, it would be in the best interest of the party and its leaders to take that direction. Apart from the geographical consideration in choosing the right person for the position of the state party chairman, the PDP should also consider faith and ethnic background. These factors might sound mundane; they are important for the political stability of a heterogeneous state like Adamawa.
It is worth to note that some notable politicians from Adamawa central zone who fit into above criteria for the selection of the PDP chairman are in the opposition parties. The zone, however still has competent individuals in the PDP who have the political experience to do the job. Among these are Joel Madaki, Caleb Yahya, Haske Francis Hananiya, Dr. Raymond Chidama, and Gen. Aliyu Kama. Others persons from the northern zone who have the political experience to lead the PDP are John Elias, Jingi Rufai, Emmanuel Dando, Zira Maigadi, Terri Vhella, Binta Masi Garba and Ayuba Terri etc. but due to the complex heterogeneous nature of Adamawa State, their zone shouldn’t in an ideal situation produce the state party chairman. But as earlier said, politics is far beyond such consideration.
Among all of these three stand out and appear to be more suitable. Joel Madaki is Bata by tribe from Fufore LGA; he came into limelight in 1978 during local government reform assembly. He was a onetime councilor, commissioner and state party chairman of the PDP, as well as a Governorship candidate. He is very principled when it comes to voicing his opinion. Madaki has vast political experience. He is known to have no ‘godfather’. He is a very good candidate for the position. He may be over-ambitious. For long he has been eyeing top position, so if an opportunity appears, he may try his luck. Having been in politics for over 30 years, he is among the recycled leaders.
Caleb Yahya is an astute politician of Yangur extraction from Song Local Government Area. He is well-educated, level headed and accessible to people. Being in his 50’s, age is on his side. He is an ideal candidate for the position. His major weak point would be his long association with the PDP national chairman and the BMT organisation- he may not have independent opinions, nor the ability to differentiate between party’s overall interest and that of the national chairman.
A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Raymond Chidama is of the Kilba tribe from Hong LGA. He is non-controversial and level headed. He can be a good candidate for the position of the party chairman because of his sound education and may appeal to all. He may not be well known to many of the stakeholders who fight to seize the party structure. And, his well-known and unalloyed closeness to his mentor- General Hananiya may affect his independence of opinion.
Whichever way the pendulum swings, Gov Nyako has suffered a political defeat. The greatest blunder he will make is to leave the PDP, but the best option for him is to reconcile with his opponents. If you can beat them join them. Shikenan
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, firstname.lastname@example.org, 08036070980.