Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fintiri Vs Bindawa: Here’s how Adamawa Will Vote

The contest for Adamawa governor will be neck and neck because the two major candidates Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and Mohammed Jibrilla Bindawa share some similar treats and are poles apart at few. 

Fintiri is a serving member in the Adamawa House of Assembly, while Bindawa is a serving Senator. Both are Muslims from the so-called Adamawa minority tribes- Fintiri a Marghi from Madagali Local Government while Bindawa, a Njayi from Mubi South Local Government. Both candidates are young, and were catapulted to their present positions by rare circumstances.

Apart from their lives and political profiles, there are certain five factors that will determine the votes they will get. These are: the ‘political-strength’ of their running mates; mother-tongue; geography; faith and the usual Nigerian money-politics. These five factors have become pivotal in shaping voting pattern in the state because of the present politics and the history of Adamawa politics since the former Gongola state.

Both candidates meticulously selected their running mates in order to attract maximum votes; Umaru Fintiri’s running mate, Barrister Afremu Jingi is well educated and has been in politics for some time, though he may not be conversant with the current reality of Adamawa grassroots politics because of his long stay at Abuja. 

Fintiri pick Jingi to represent Adamawa Central. However some political pundits are surprise of this because of the current political permutation in Adamawa- the PDP has already stretched its limit in Fufore local government area, as regards positions allocated to Adamawa Central. Senate member, Bello Tukur, House of Representative member, Aminu Hamman Ribadu and the state chairman of the PDP, Joel Madaki are all from Fufore LGA. Moreover, Barrister Jingi is Joe Madaki’s nephew, so the votes that Jingi is expected to bring from the Bwate ethnic clan, Madaki will bring it. Thus, choosing Jingi may not add political value. Many observers opine Fintiri could have picked his running mate from Hong or the Numan federation and thus be sure of massive votes from there. 

On the other hand, Senator Bindawa’s running mate- Honourable Babale Martins was Chairman, Toungo Local Government from 1997 to 1998; Member, House of Representatives, 2003 to 2011. He is a well experienced grassroots politician. But of what value is he to Bindawa? Babale is from the Chamber tribe in Adamawa south, if the Chamber tribe decides to vote their son, it will be a game changer. The Chamber tribe has the largest voting population in Adamawa south. And have had the quest to produce a governor or deputy governor for long. 

However, retrospectively, having been allocated all of Adamawa south slots (Kanasari was running mate to Adamu Modibbo, Yusuf Janwe was the senatorial candidate, while Mahmud Gurumpawo was the candidate for House a Representative,) by the defunct ANPP in 2003, the ANPP lost massively to the PDP in Adamawa south, albeit owing to Atiku being in the PDP then. If APC must celebrate victory in Adamawa south after the election, they dearly need Atiku. Though Atiku’s candidate- Ibrahim Mijinyawa was defeated at the APC primaries, getting Atiku’s support for Bindawa should not be difficult because Babale was the Director General of Mijinyawa’s campaign organization. 

Senator Bindawa will count on three things from Adamawa south- Atiku’s influence, the Chamber people’s votes based on ‘sentiment’ and ‘scavenge’ votes.

As earlier said faith, mother-tongue, geography and money-politics will also shape the voting pattern in some localities. These are touchy issues, but regrettably have always played a major role in the politics of Adamawa state. 

Religion will be of less prominent influence in the election because both candidates are Muslims, but Fintiri will get most of the votes from Christians of the so-called minority tribe, because their displeasure of Murtala Nyako has turned into admiration for Fintiri. 

Tongue will also play a major role; the choice of running mates already indicates that. Fintiri will do very well in Michika, Madagali, while Bindawa is expected to do well in Mubi North and South. Numan federation will vote massively for Fintiri, while Chamber/Ganye chiefdom is expected to be won by Bindawa. One interesting place will be Hong/Kilba- the kilba tribe appears undecided in the present politics. For instance there were five gubernatorial candidates from the kilba tribe –Marcus Gundiri, Aliyu Kama, Idi Hong, James Barka and Boss Mustapha- Mustapha lost at Hong to Senator Bindawa during the APC primaries. Voting pattern from Hong will be very interesting, but Fintiri may win in Garha, Pella and Hong, while Bindawa may capture Uba Hilde. 

Another interesting place will be Adamawa central; the zone has a very large voting population and predominantly Hausa-Fulani. It is a cosmopolitan area and occasionally record voter apathy. Yola North and South have a very large voting population; whoever wins those two areas may have tremendously heaped his votes.

The October 11 Adamawa governorship election result may be neck and neck, but as mentioned earlier, mundane factors- mother-tongue; geography; faith and usual Nigerian money-politics will have a major impact on the outcome of the election. One unfortunate thing in Adamawa politics is, most poor people and local politicians will vote based on their ‘stomach’ needs, while a number of the educated and working class population will vote based on faith and tongue. This is how most people usually vote in Adamawa; they eat their future, instead of them to use today in the spirit of tomorrow.

Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, 08036070980. He blogs at

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why Atiku Lost Adamawa APC Primaries

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar didn’t contest the September 7, 2014, Adamawa All Progressives Congress (APC), Governorship primaries, but he suffered a defeat- a bitter one! Adamawa (APC) Governorship primary election was a litmus test for how strong and rooted Atiku’s political structure and men are in the APC. 

Politically thirsty, Atiku fought doggedly for his preferred candidate- Ibrahim Mijinyawa (Yayaji), but Mijinyawa was convincingly defeated by Senator Mohammed Umar Jibrilla (Bindawa) by 2,718 votes to 2,268. 

There were some salient reasons Atiku’s candidate didn’t make it. 

Firstly, Atiku and his men went to the primaries without a clear-cut direction. Three candidates; Ibrahim Mijinyawa, Boss Mustapha and Yakubu Tsalla all flew Atiku’s flags, and together they garnered 2,930 votes (Mijinyawa - 2,268, Boss - 515 and Tsalla-147). Thus, Atiku and his men wasted their votes. Pundits were surprised by this, considering Atiku’s vast political experience and sophistication. Had they gone to the election with a clear-cut direction in support of one candidate; their collective 2,930 votes would have neutralized Bindawa’s 2,718.

Secondly, Nyako’s men also played a prominent role in defeating Atiku’s. Adamawa APC governorship primary election was a kind of test of wits between Atiku and Nyako’s political structures. Nyako’s men have not forgiven Atiku for his lackadaisical attitude towards assisting former Governor Murtala Nyako during Nyako’s most difficult political moment- the impeachment ‘wahala’. For instance, there are at least five members from the Chamber/Ganye chiefdom in the Adamawa House of Assembly who would have listened to Atiku, if he wanted to save the former Governor. 

Thirdly, from all indications, Atiku wanted a puppet and also wanted to restore his hitherto lost unmatched-grip of the politics of his home state. However his candidate is not a ‘governor-material’. Though, young, cool-headed and a onetime local government chairman, Yayaji is not ripe to be a governor in the current political and economic situation in Adamawa. And he does not match Bindawa’s resume. Thus, APC delegates and Almighty God stopped Atiku.

Fourthly, at the time Atiku joined the Adamawa APC, the deal has already been sealed. The party’s executive positions from wards to state level have already been shared among its stakeholders-; Atiku in Adamawa APC is a like a commander without troops.

Well, being a typical Nigerian politician, one should not just blame Atiku, the former vice president dearly needs one of his political associates to win the October 11 Adamawa state governorship elections. Reason being that, he will be able to restore his lost leadership of Adamawa politics; get an opening to control a strong political platform at home front as well as to serve as a soft landing for him if his presidential ambition fails again. Despite this defeat at the primary elections, we should not forget that Atiku’s style of politics is unique- he looks at the future instead of the past. Senator Mohammed Umar Jibrilla needs Atiku’s support and  he will definitely enjoy the former vice president’s full support.

Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, 08036070980

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

38-Year Old Banker Steals 6.3 Billion Naira

A banker, Godswill Oyegwa Oyoyou, an Information Technology staff of a new generation bank is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a case of fraud involving N6.28 billion.

Godswill allegedly conspired with some scammers and obtained the sum of N6.28Billion (Six Billion and Twenty-Eight Million Naira) from his bank after hacking into the bank’s database. 

The 38-year- old is from Isoko South local government area of Delta State, Nigeria
source: EFCC

Sunday, September 7, 2014

North East, Insurgents and Bad Leadership.

Slowly and steadily, some parts of the Northeast of Nigeria are slipping out of the control of the government of Nigeria. If one wants to see Africa’s new social-disorder in a poverty-ridden society, please visit some areas in the Northeast of Nigeria.

The number of people living in abject poverty in the Northeast of Nigeria has increased due to the rising insecurity in the region. Apart from the insecurity, other factors such as poor leadership, unequal distribution of resources, lack of basic education, overpopulation, absence of employment opportunities, including environmental degradation have also helped in entrenching poverty in the Northeast.

Often, Individuals who found themselves in leadership positions in the Northeast of Nigeria (especially Adamawa, Taraba and Borno States) are never prepared for the job. Furthermore, the political system in that region is so corrupted that the easy way to secure an elective office is to have the right godfather (money bags); belong to the political party in power whether at the centre or in State and during electioneering campaign all that is needed of one is to climb to the podium, rain abuses on the opponents, shout the name of your political party and dance. Shikenan! How do we expect such system to produce good leadership?

In the Northeast of Nigeria, political office has become an opportunity for self enrichment and it is associated with pride, arrogance and larger than life attitude. Though, it is a Nigerian phenomenon.

On the other hand; the people of the Northeast are to be blame, in some instances-, the society expect or encourage ‘their people in power’ to have or to do certain things even if they are wrong; just because one ‘Olodo’ did have or did it before. 

While in other parts of Nigeria, it was reported that some people sold their votes for a bag of rice. The leaders in Northeast have impoverished their citizen; a vote will go for just a 100 Naira in that region.

The People of the Northeast are the first Nigerians to witness Africa’s new social disorder- courtesy of insurgency, poverty and extremely bad leadership. 

Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980.