Can Adamawa State Endure This Debaucherous Economic Rape?
By ISMAIL MOHAMMED
Just like yesterday, governor Nyako was sworn in amidst fanfare and hope for a greater future. Four years later, the hopes and expectations were only met in the breach with governance taking its lowest drift in the history of contemporary governance in the state. The institutionalization of corruption, nepotism and fraud led to the relegation of the peoples’ welfare and infrastructural development to the background in the scheme of things and priority placements of the government of the day. Political analysts have variously described the Nyako regime as the most politically unstable, economically stagnant, developmentally inert and socially irresponsible the state ever had in its chequered history. Hitherto, the state has cut a niche for itself, in the area of peace and harmony despite its complexity and heterogeneity as a result of which once upon a time the state became a case study of unity in diversity. With the advent of Nyako regime, the once peaceful state have been placed between the devil and the deep blue sea with violence and all criminal tendencies taking the front seat courtesy of the nepotism, high level of corruption, poor assimilation, mediocrity and dearth of the political brinkmanship needed to steer the state out of the doldrums of poverty, disease, unemployment and squalor that have grotesquely become its pathetic reality and that of its peoples. Poor governance which concomitantly fuels poverty was adduced to be responsible for the upsurge of violence and other criminal tendencies whose hideous incursion into the polity cannot be wished away with the wave of the hand and even by Nyako’s core apologist.
Since the riots of Maitatsine way back in the eighties, the State has largely remained peaceful save for Nyako’s regime that carry in its strides a new wave of nepotism that made the rest of the citizens with the exception of Nyako, his friends, family and close associates to be completely marginalized and at the receiving end of the government’s malevolence and hence the new wave of tension that has succeeded in costing the Sunshine State its, renowned peace.
It is on record that violent crimes like politically motivated killings, armed robberies and kidnappings which were alien to the State are now becoming daily occurrences with the government seemingly becoming incapacitated by the sophistication and audacity of criminals especially armed robbers whom no more hide under the cover of the night but are so daring to the point of carrying their operations in broad daylight whenever they feel like. The post election violence that erupts as a result of mass election rigging marked the climax of security breach in the state which unfortunately, cost the State massive man and material losses. The present day government through its uncanny approach to governance has encouraged the subsistence of an inclement atmosphere that is inimical to the growth of the economy as a result of which poverty has increased at a geometrical rate in the past four years leading to the upsurge in crimes and other anti social behaviours chipped in a commentator.
The massive election rigging which precipitated the post election violence in the State was aimed at returning President Goodluck Jonathan as the winner of the April presidential election in the State at all cost in fulfillment of the governor’s pledge to deliver the State to Jonathan even in the face of his glaring unpopularity. Jonathan’s unpopularity in the State stems from the fact that he refuses to honour the rotation of Presidency which was part of the bargaining chips that brought him – a man from the minority tribe – to occupy the office of the vice president during Yar’adua’s tenure. The anger caused by the defeat of former vice president, a son of the State, during the P.D.P. primaries in Abuja has whipped sentiments against the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan in the state. Coupled with that was the unprecedented support the Presidential candidate of the CPC, a man whose best half comes from the State, commanded. Stating the popularity of the CPC presidential candidate can be traced back to 2003 when the Yola International Airport was besieged by a mammoth crowd during the rally of the then ANPP presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari. Even the plane that brought him was not spared from the fury of his enthusiastic supporters whom went to the extent of climbing the wings of the aeroplane to catch a glimpse of their hero. The same scenario played out during the 2007 presidential rally of Muhammadu Buhari in the State which added colour and glamour following the entry of General Buba Marwa (Rtd) into the gubernatorial race. Although the rally was initially sabotaged by the Murtala Nyako’s regime by its open refusal to grant the campaign team access to Ribadu square as well as denying it security cover, it nevertheless turned out to be a huge success with the State capital coming to a standstill due to the mammoth crowd that attended the rally which was a sharp contrast to the dismal attendance the campaign rally of Goodluck Jonathan which took place earlier in the morning despite the deployment of State resources to back it suffered. Right from that time it became glaring that it will take President Goodluck more than ‘Good luck’ to win the State. Therefore, when violence erupts in the State following the massive rigging of election result, no discerning citizen was least surprised, enthused a political commentator. ”In fact, Nyako’s government is a bad omen to the spirit of social justice and peaceful coexistence in the State”, added the commentator.
Nyako having lost out in the popularity contest, has since resolved to the use of incumbency factor and State resources to coast his way as well as his political minions to victory deploying every means in the process. For instance, the unpopularity of Bello Tukur, the incumbent senator representing Adamawa central, who was variously described as the de facto governor was legendary even within the ranks of the ruling PDP. Despite that Bello Tukur contested against a popular candidate who has won for himself plaudits and popular acclaims with a past track record, Dahiru Bobbo, and won. Going by the people’s verdict and popular opinion before the election, it would have been possible for the head of the camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for Bello Tukur to win that election. But at last, Bello Tukur did not only win the election but seemed to have done so effortlessly giving credence to the potency of the P.D.P rigging machine deployed by Nyako.
Therefore, the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu led Presidential Committee on the 2011 Election Violence and Civil Disturbances’ report which indicted politicians as responsible for the post election violence did not come to discerning observers with surprise. The Sheikh Lemu panel did not mince words in its allegation that the politicians’ reprehensible subversion of the peoples’ aspirations was the major reason that led to the spontaneous carnage that greeted the announcement of the largely distorted election result in order to satisfy their primordial interests, Adamawa State inclusive. It was exclusively revealed to this medium that even the revered traditional institution has allegedly played partisan role in the subversion of the peoples’ mandate as a result of which the institution lost the moral high ground to calm frayed nerves as the violence lasted. The security and INEC officials were equally alleged to have compromised their neutrality in many respects.
In his resolve to succeed himself in 2012, Nyako has perfected a game plan to once again use the State resources and power of incumbency to rig the election according to impeccable sources. It was alleged that in the face of stiff opposition and countless hurdles before him, Nyako was advised to settle his differences with the former vice president Atiku Abubakar, a man whose ego and political ambition Nyako has bloodied on many occasions. Nyako was reminded according to the source that Atiku can singlehandedly truncate his return to the Dougirei government house and equally has the resources to match the government cash for cash rigging for rigging and is intending to deploy enormous resources and his wide political connection to jeopardize Nyako’s ambition as a payback, unless Nyako is ready to make amends so as to forestall the ominous situation in order to save his political ambition otherwise he should forget his quest to the government house. The wise counsel offered Nyako to negotiate with Atiku has made a serious sense to him as such he set up a rapprochement machinery in motion using the royal approach as the bait which at last yielded a settlement of a sort between the two erstwhile political arch rivals. The term of the settlement contained that Atiku Abubakar will support Nyako in his succession bid while Nyako will also support his presidential bid come 2015.
Political pundits and commentators are not seeing the rapprochement as a wise political decision on the part of the former vice president because for now he has nothing to gain from the relationship while the governor’s camp stands to benefit immensely from it. First, they opined that any governor who knows his onions will not distance himself from someone who is investing heavily in his State. If Nyako continue with his aggression against Atiku it will make people to reach certain conclusions that his government is not serious about its resolve to win investors, otherwise a serious one in the former vice president is at hand which unfortunately, the government is fighting tooth and nail and thereby making a mockery of its investment policy drive.
Secondly, Atiku should look in retrospect with a view to analyze the political betrayals he has suffered even in the hands of his so-called political friends let alone a political adversary that has caused him to go through so much political hurdles and travails foremost among which are the defeat he suffered in the last P.D.P. primaries and the attempt to block his re-entry into the P.D.P fold by no one other than Nyako.
Thirdly, Atiku should know that he and Nyako have never shared political ideology. While Atiku is believed to belong to the progressive political camp, Nyako is a known conservative. Therefore, the likelihood that the marriage will last is infinitesimally low.
Fourthly, Atiku should remember that Nyako also nurtures a silent Presidential ambition. The question here is, how he is assured that giving the opportunity Nyako will not give him a back tackle.
Fifthly, giving Nyako’s mercurial temperament, how will Atiku get the assurance that when the chips are down, Nyako will not chicken out and desert him when he needed him most?
Apart from the foregoing arguments Atiku’s loyalist will naturally feel betrayed due to the fact that they will become inferior before Nyako’s boys who are now enjoying political perks, patronage and other sundry appointments at the expense of the Turaki loyalist, a situation which predictably will degenerate into a looming crises of power interplay that may negate the intension of the conveners of the rapprochement in the long run.
Atiku equally have to share the baggage of credibility crises of the incumbent regime having associated with it. The many crises bedevilling the present day government are so numerous that it is now being castigated in the State and beyond with passion. Infrastructural deficit is looming large with intra and inter State road networks wearing and tearing so fast that they are now mere death traps. The much celebrated power evacuation from Lagdo dam have turned out to be another big time gamble where the State resources are frittered with reckless abandon and without commensurate results.
Industrial disharmony has become the order of Nyako’s regime with masses bearing the brunt. For close to six months medical workers have down their tools leaving patients to their own devices and State civil servants have also joined the strike in the last two months to press home the minimum wage which even smaller States like Nasarawa and Taraba have implemented. The farming skills acquisition centres across the State have virtually collapsed despite injection of billions of Naira into them. Local governments were turned to the conduits of siphoning State’s resources and with virtually most of them getting it difficult to sustain payment of salaries. Water has consistently remained elusive despite investment running into billions of Naira in the sector. Insecurity has become so pervasive that armed robbery has become so rampant with the robbers having a field day striking at will with savage impunity.
The general collapse of infrastructure in the State coupled with government complacency at a time the election is so much around the corner makes one to wonder how the government hope to survive the ripples of bad governance and the pent up anger currently brewing in the minds of the people over the shabby treatment and poor leadership style of the Nyako’s government. The opposition political parties seem to be taking the gauntlet by forming a strong alliance to challenge the mal-administration and mediocre leadership style of the present day government.
The P. D. P. on the other hand is poised to continue with its misrule by its attempt to impose Nyako thereby circumventing the Democratic tenets of fielding popular candidates in keenly contested primaries which the P. D. P. as a political party ought to entrench.
Presently, the State is enmeshed in an industrial strike which has crippled its economic life. But the governor has remained unperturbed by the seeming hardship the masses are going through. Some pundits were quick to note that despite the lull in economic activities three businesses are flourishing the first being the Nyako’s farm, secondly, the businesses of the four first ladies of the state and thirdly, the business of crime which seems to be on the increase. With the foregoing scenario, the best bet is for the masses to indulge in dry fasting and night vigils for onward deliverance against the dreaded ” NYAKOCRAZY” as the scourge is popularly called.