Less than two years after the All Progressives Congress (APC) wrested power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa state, the party seems to be far away from consolidating the gains of its victory as the gulf between the two major blocks in the party keeps widening by the day.Mohammmed ismail writes
No sooner than the party emerged victorious in the epic gubernatorial contest of 2015 than cracks started appearing in the works as the two major power blocks in the party loyal to former governor Murtala Nyako and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar respectively engaged in salacious all caps political screeds in order to outwit each other, for the control of the party’s soul in the emerging power equation.
Although the APC has in the build up to the gubernatorial election succeeded in portraying a larger than life image due to the seeming unity of purpose and oneness it exuded, the facade could not be maintained for long after victory, as it became apparent that one of the camps was having an edge over the other in the ensuing political equation.
Pundits are of the view that the new development was a climax to the mutual suspicion, unease calm and no love lost between the two camps which the party, in its quest to wrest power from the then ruling party, succeeded in managing but which obtrusively became it seeming nemesis after victory.
Initially, complaints of marginalization in the scheme of things especially in allocation of juicy political offices to Nyako’s loyalists became prevalent even though in hush tones as many believed that the issue was a mere teething problem which the new government will address later, but instead of a reasonable rapprochement to be achieved, the problem, seemingly escalated and festered by the day till it climaxed into a full blown confrontation between the two sparring sides prompting governor Bindow to issue threats to the effect that he would sign the report of Justice Umar Bobbo judicial commission of enquiry which gave damning report against the former governor.
Addressing a new political support group christened “Team Bindow” which paid him a solidarity visit at Government House recently, Gov. Bindow said that he was fed up with the protracted shenanigans being deployed by the Nyako group to pull down his administration.
Bindow said, in the wake of the relentless efforts by the former governor to frustrate him, he deemed it fit to pay Nyako back in his own coins by signing the report of Justice Umar Bobbo which was set up by Umaru Fintiri, who superintended the impeachment of the former governor and his deputy and therein took the state by storm as its acting governor until a Federal High Court in Abuja sacked him from office.
“I have a white paper before me indicting that administration which I don’t want to sign but if pushed to the wall I will sign it.
“Many people are urging me to sign but I am reluctant”, Bindow said.
The governor who warned that those in glass house should not throw stones said that his administration awarded a 5.7 kilometre road contract with drainage in Yola metropolis at the cost of N692 million while similar contract of 4.3 kilometre without drainage in the metropolis was awarded by Nyako’s administration at the cost of N2.6 billion.
“I recently awarded contract for the 37 kilometres Kiri/Shelleng road at the cost of N3.2 billion while Nyako’s dministration awarded 37 kilometres Pella/Maiha road contract at the cost of N9.3 billion”, Bindow said
The governor who was furious during the address alleged that in an attempt to blackmail him, some Nyako supporters had resorted to digging holes in the roads he constructed to paint a picture before the public that his roads were substandard.
“Somebody was seen in the midnight digging hole on Yola bye-pass to give the impression that the roads are sub standard.
“They will snap pictures of the damaged roads and put it on Facebook to blackmail me”, Bindow said.
He called for prayers from Adamawa people against his traducers, adding that whoever was against his administration was against Adamawa people.
Although the altercation between the two blocks has nudged to a very precarious level, many political analysts were of the opinion that the vile and protracted political rumpus in the party was unnecessary, has wisdom prevailed over mediocrity especially in consideration of the role played by Nyako’s political structure in the victory of APC in the state.
One of such analysts, Sani Shehu expressed dismay over the crack between governor Bindow and Nyako considering the role played by the latter in rooting an impregnable political structure on whose platform governor Bindow rode to government house Yola.
Shehu who said he was taken off balance by the degeneration of relationship between the two groups noted that when he heard of the seeming rift between Nyako and Bindow for the first time, he dismissed such as false, thinking that political job seekers were at work trying to cause problem where there was none but noted that to his utter chagrin, the much touted rift between the duo happened to be true.
“I’m at a loss at when these politicians parted ways. But if truth must be told, I see no reason why Bindow should fight Nyako because APC itself was born, nurtured and weaned by Nyako and in so doing, he paid the supreme price of being impeached from his plum seat by the powers that be.
“Was it not Nyako’s foot soldiers that stood solidly behind Bindow on the two occasions that the former Vice President supported his political godson Ibrahim Yayaji Mijinyawa using a huge war chest to frustrate Bindow’s ambition but Nyako’s supporters wholesomely nixed that attempt twice?”
Like Shehu, many thought that the political rift between Nyako and his successor was a mere speculation until the governor himself burst the bubble during a Sallah homage last year when he said the reason for his unalloyed loyalty to Atiku not Nyako was attributable to the fact that Atiku has in the run up to the general election, assisted him with a huge war chest to the tune of N500 million with which he prosecuted his campaign.
That statement set the tone for another round of electrified political discourse as many in the state posited that the situation may be responsible for the high stakes the former Vice President has in the government having influenced the appointment of key offices in Bindow’s government which include his biological daughter, Fatima Atiku Abubakar, his political godson whom he sponsored to contest against Bindow twice in the run up to the party primaries Yayaji Mijinyawa and a host of others.
The statement similarly, marked another epoch in the engulfing political screeds between the two camps as hostilities shifted from the realm of speculation to a full blown confrontation. The governor’s statement also opened the old wound that has festered between Nyako and the former Vice President whom were established sworn political enemies.
On its part, having established Atiku as the force behind governor Bindow’s rough tackles against Nyako, the Nyako camp also enhanced its strategies to engage governor Bindow and finally got the opportunity on a platter of gold when a Federal High Court sitting in Yola declared the process leading to the impeachment of Nyako as the height of haughtiness which was carried out in total contravention of extant laws of the land to suit the whims and caprices of some overzealous power mongers. That judgement set the tone for Nyako to payback Bindow by approaching the Supreme Court to demand the restoration of his mandate which the federal high court said was collected from him through the back door.
Since then, tension between the two political camps began a steady crest as speculations and counter speculations about the possible ouster of governor Bindow became topical issue of discourse in political circles in the state adding to the heightened political anxiety for which the governor issued the profound threat against the former governor.
While calling the bluff of governor Bindow, a political associate of former governor Murtala Nyako, Alhaji Umar Jada also known as calculate posited that the governor was just issuing empty threats that could not even rattle a day old baby.
“ I challenge the governor to go ahead with his threats if he is at all serious. It is unfortunate that our governor has come so low to trivialize governance by making statements that could lead to the break down of law and order relinquishing his natural duty of ensuring peace and tranquility in the state.
“ I was surprised beyond comprehension that governor Bindow who should know more than all of us that the government that set up that kangaroo panel itself is a nullity let alone its actions will stoop so low to bare his dearth of sufficient grip on legal issues,” he said.
Jada advised the governor to stop chasing shadows and attend to the myriads of problems dogging the state asking him to instead dissipate his energy to pay teachers, health workers and local government staff the backlog of their salary arrears running for months.
“I urge the governor to face the myriads of challenges facing the state and stop making the embarrassing and unnecessary prevarications of apportioning blames to people who ordinarily have nothing to do with his self imposed travails.
“Was Nyako the person who asked Bindow to collect the sum of N500 million in order to mortgage the state to a money bag who now call the shots which resulted in the myriads of problems bedevilling his government and by extension the state, which led to the frustration he is going through?
“Was Nyako responsible for the appointment of some minions who were planted into the system to derail it by hook or crook? I advice the governor to think deeply and understand the root of his problems rather than issuing empty and unprovoked threats against Nyako,” he said.