2019: As Atiku, loyalists strategise

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Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has continued to be the political hub of the North East region and to a significant extent, much of the country. Correspondent AUSTIN AJAYI writes on the unfolding political intrigues in Adamawa and beyond

With over 24 months to the 2019 elec­tion, intrigues, uncertainty and tension continue to envelope po­litical activities in Adama­wa State as more facts are emerging indicating that the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Gov­ernor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow may dump the All Progressives Congress (APC). This conclusion stems from the substance of a crucial meeting held re­cently in the country home of Atiku Abubakar in Yola, which had in attendance some strong members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in­cluding many stakeholders of both the ruling and the opposition parties within and outside the state.

However, sources in the meeting said that the para­mount issue discussed dur­ing the marathon meeting which lasted for several hours centered around the 2019 general elections. The sources further stated that another vital discussion was on how a formidable oppo­sition party can be cobbled that will be capable of chal­lenging the ruling All Pro­gressives Congress at the centre.

According to our source, Chief Raymond Dokpesi who is also among the few candidates contesting for the National Chairman­ship position of the People’s Democratic Party was said to be the leader of the del­egation from the South-South geo-political zone and lamented the leader­ship style of President Mu­hammadu Buhari.

Governor Mohammed Ji­brilla Bindow who attended the meeting by proxy told the gathering during the midnight meeting that the entire apparatus of the state are committed to Atiku Abubakar’s presidential am­bition and that the decision is irreversible as far as the Adamawa State is con­cerned.

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According to the gover­nor who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Mar­tin Babale, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Ab­dulrahman Abbas Jimeta has in many government functions conveyed the position of Adamawa State government and that of the entire APC stake­holders to the world that, “wherever Atiku stands the state structures will rally round him to ensure his victory”.

Meanwhile, efforts to speak with the state fac­tional chairman of the PDP, Chief Joel Madaki proved abortive. But the spokes­man of the party Mallam Abdullahi Prambe denied that the chairman of the party was not aware of the coming of the party chief­tains from the South-South led by Chief Raymond Dok­pesi.

Mallam Abdullahi Pram­be further explained that the Nigerian Constitution allows freedom of associa­tion, adding that their visit to the state may be personal and not at the instance of the party nor on the current crisis rocking the leadership of the party at the national level.

According to him, “Even as I am talking to you now, Chief Joel Madaki is in a farm in the village and I assure you he is not aware of the coming of the South- South People’s Democratic Party delega­tion”. In the same vein, the Senator Modu Sheriff camp when contacted denied any knowledge of such meeting, saying they are committed to the rebuilding the People’s Democratic Party.

Commenting on Governor Bindow’s new romance with the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, an APC stalwart in the state, Mallam Abubakar Yunusa, claimed that the position of the gov­ernor is in the best direction and in the interest of the state.

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Mallam Abubakar Yu­nusa called on the people of the state to rally round Governor Bindow and Al­haji Atiku Abubakar as in­dustrious sons of the state, stressing that the cool war emanating from the gov­ernor’s romance with the former VP is as a result of his nonchalant attitude to compromise with the so called “Abuja politicians”.

Also speaking, Comrade Mohammed Adamu Mal­gwi, former governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) in 2015, maintained that “if President Muhammadu Bu­hari will not contest his sec­ond tenure, then the North has no other formidable can­didate than Atiku Abubakar because of his pedigree.

Comrade Mohammed Malgwi believes that as at now, “There is no formida­ble opposition party in the country as at now to chal­lenge some of the reckless­ness of the APC even with few skirmishes within the party, except another strong party emerges to do the fighting. The move by the former Vice President and other well to do Nigerians is a welcome development.”

The meeting was attended by the host Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Deputy Gover­nor Martins Babale, former Acting Governor, Umaru Fintri, former APC guber­natorial aspirant, Kwaranga Jada as well as some serving and former governors from the North.

The question being asked by political observers now is – will by Buhari’s APC survive this? This poser is pertinent particularly now that in the South west re­gion APC seems to have lost grip .


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