Despite consistent assurances by Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State to the people that he is in total control of his mandate, his voice seems to be falling into deaf ears as public perception of his administration keeps plummeting by the day.
The precarious development has led to uneasy calm in the state, and it appears that the more Bindow tries to convince the people that he is on top of his game, the more they became skeptical with his grip and control over the reins of power as his indecisive and clueless mien always betray him as it continually appears that he does not know how to handle the enormous powers given to him.
With his seeming reticence, thereby allowing his Chief of Staff to surreptitiously become the de facto governor calling the shots from his vintage position, the people have no alternative other than to believe that Bindow has ceded his mandate to a proxy on a platter of gold.
Again the policy summersaults of his administration which became phenomenal in the few weeks he assumed leadership of the state also forced many to believe that he may have handed over the captainship of state to some powerful forces to which he is subservient against his much touted stance of being in control of the mandate and his subservience to them.
Bindow became the Governor of the state on the crest of popular goodwill making him to trounce the favorite gubernatorial candidate of former Vice President Atiku Abukar, Alhaji Yayaji Mijinyawa twice during the gubernatorial primaries of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He went ahead to consolidate the feat during the general elections as the people defied the factor of incumbency wielded by the then ruling party PDP to elect governor Bindow where he got nearly double the votes scored by his fellow contenders in cumulation.
The gubernatorial contest in the state, served as a litmus test for the goodwill and spirit of camaraderie the people extended to Bindow as they doggedly and unconditionally supported his ambition without any strings attached making it possible for him to defeat big names that feature in the keen contest including former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of PDP Former Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission Dr. Ahmed Modibbo of PDM, and Engineer Markus Gundiri of SDP.
Many people who stood by the governor against all odds were so expectant that a new dawn will be heralded in the state as Bindow seems the only governor not weight down by the baggage of god fatherism which in most instances was ascribed to be responsible for the backwardness of the state.
But no sooner than Bindow bestrode the straddle of leadership than his weaknesses which many of his adversaries pointed out in the build up to the election started manifesting. Most of his adversaries have cited his dearth of education and lack of preparation to take charge of the complex and onerous responsibilities as reasons why they remained skeptical and critical of his contest noting that his leadership will only plunge the state to the precipice of wanton abandonment.
Most of his antagonists hinged their hard posture against his candidature having failed to stand the test of rigorous scrutiny as presented by an opportunity to participate in the gubernatorial debate organized by an NGO in the state aimed at enabling people to gauge the value, leadership qualities, alertness and mental state of those that wants to lead them.
But he consistently failed to show up at the two occasions the debate was fixed making those that have an axe to grind with him to be more bold in their opposition to his candidature noting that a candidate who shied away from facing the people to tell them how he intended to lead the state should not be trusted.
Many of his supporters then dismissed such claims with the wave of the hand noting that Bindow was equal to the task of rejuvenating the state as the were quick to note that his experience as a senator and exposure as an international business man will come handy when he became the governor.
But the defense put by protagonists of Bindow did not in any way dissuade his antagonists as they noted that even in the senate, Bindow never made any impact as he remained aloof for the four years he served at the upper legislative arm noting that his name was among the few senators who did not add value to the business of lawmaking as their tenure lasted as they noted that a vote for Bindow is a vote for mediocrity.
But no sooner than he became the governor than it appears that the prophesy of his antagonists is coming to pass as on daily basis the governor seems to be losing grip of the state through sheer timidity as he seems to relegate his core duties to the Chief of Staff who himself is seen as a glorified illiterate.
They noted that the weakness of the governor became glaring having been coerced and threatened by influential politicians to take a volte face over a policy statement he made to the effect that he will work with ten or less commissioners in order to cut cost of governance especially in consideration of the austere times ushered in by free fall of oil prices and the precarious state of finances he inherited from his predecessors.
Sources privy to political happenings noted that that statement Bindow made over the appointment of ten or less commissioners did not go down well with some politicians in the state who rose to the occasion by allegedly threatening to sabotage his leadership should he go ahead with his appointment of ten or less commissioners.
Their threats on the governor open a series of marathon political maneuverings and after much ado, the powerful stakeholders called off the bluff of the governor telling him that it was practically impossible for him to work with only ten commissioners as their interests will be at stake.
The tension brought about by the high wire politicking to get the governor appoint more commissioners as against his earlier stance led to the delay in announcing the commissioner nominees which finally more than doubled the earlier pronouncement of the governor as 23 names were finally submitted before the house of assembly with 22 names so far approved.
Out of the 23 commissioner nominees, former Vice President was said to have brought at least eight names including his daughter, Fatima Atiku Abubakar, his political godson Alhaji Yayaji Mijinyawa whom he sponsored to contest against Bindow on two occasions at the party primaries, and a foremost banker in the state Alhaji Umar Diya Daware.
The royal institution also had its fare share in the allocation of commissioner nominees as the eldest son of Lamido of Adamawa also made the list while the Haman Bachama also brought two nominees into the cabinet.
With the submission of the commissioner nominees, the suspicion that the governor might have been hijacked by the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar became glaring having influenced the coming of many commissioners despite opposing the candidature of Bindow by supporting Yayaji with a huge war chest to contest against him in the build up to the party primaries which took place twice.
Many people in the state who were familiar with how the former Vice President opposed Bindow’s ambition were taken aback by the way Bindow embraced Atiku after getting the mandate adding that the move was a huge political blunder which presupposes that the governor cannot on his own lead the state.
To buttress the point that Atiku did not support the ambition of Bindow the chief of staff to the governor Abdurrahman Abbah has on many fora noted that in the build up to the general election, no political heavy weight including Atiku supported the ambition of Governor Bindow as he reiterated that Bindow single handedly bankrolled his campaign without the input of any political godfather.
Even Bindow has made it very clear in the wake of such insinuations that the former Vice President did not lent him any firm of support noting that he has the capacity as a business man to bankroll his ambition adding that he never asked for any support from Atiku.
Another pointer to the fact of Atiku’s gargantuan influence on Bindow was ascribed to the skewing of road contracts to areas where Atiku has interest ignoring other areas that would have proven to be more beneficial to the residents of the state. Proponents of this view based their arguments on the premise that it was ingenious for him to construct the Faro link road and ignore another very important Challawa as well as Gumti Roads that hosted thousands of people living in the neighborhood.
They similarly posited that the rehabilitation of the Yola bye pass where American University of Nigeria belonging to the former Vice President was at the expense of the rehabilitation of major road link to Yola which is in need of serious attention or the Yolde Pate road which has become unmotorable as it never got the attention of any regime despite the thousands of people living in the community.