2023: Governor Fintiri Has Missed Road
As 2023 approaches, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is getting more confused, politically. Two factors are responsible for this – greed and miscalculation.
Fintiri wants the Adamawa political field to be all for himself. He has centered the Adamawa socio-political-economy around himself and himself only. Furthermore, the governor is also mixing-up many things, or he has failed to differentiate between party politics, being state governor in a political party like the PDP, and the intricacies of Nigerian politics. Failure to understand these three things is a good sign of poor politics.
As the governor of Adamawa state, Fintiri has failed to manage the complex nature of Adamawa politics, he failed to consolidate his position as governor; so as to oil PDP politics and prepare the party for the 2023 elections. As of now, it is so glaring that Fintiri doesn’t have on his side a single Adamawa Senator, and some of the most important stakeholders in Adamawa PDP are not with- he has lost more important people than those he gained.
Adamawa politics is segmented one by ‘default’- each geography has its own stakeholders and pattern of voting- these stakeholders often determined the pattern of voting. Fintiri is committing a costly blunder by believing that he already has a bloc vote waiting for him, he forgot that a bloc vote always comes with a promise or a fulfilled promise. In 2019 he made some promises- he got the support he needed. In 2023, the bloc vote will only come with a fulfilled premised- which Fintiri has not redeemed. For example, during a by-election recently, the PDP lost a councillorship election in Lamurde- Numan Federation; while the party has the sitting governor and his deputy is from that area, is a clear pointer to the big problem at hand.
The truth of the matter is; most PDP stakeholders in Adamawa are not happy with Fintiri- if he truly wants to understand the gravity of the situation, let him do a simple reality-check on local government by local government – his current rapport with some stakeholders before his election, during his campaign and now. Fintiri should also check the current impression on him by the 42 people who supported the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy to pave the way for him to be acting governor
On the other hand, Fintiri’s moves to ventures into the politics of the presidency- his maneuvers to be a vice-presidential candidate in particular – is one of the most unthoughtful political attempts. If Fintiri gets the VP ticket with Peter Odili or Governor Nysom Wike- the big question is- which votes Fintiri is bringing from the North? The answer to this question is simple- Fintiri is dreaming while awake- it is like a school head boy thinking of replacing the headmaster -wishful thinking
On the comparing of Atiku’s politics with Fintiri’s or putting Atiku and Fintiri on the same political scale or thinking that Fintiri can tinker with Atiku’s presidential ambition- even if one is a sworn-political-enemy of Atiku, we all know it is an insult to Atiku to make such comparison. Atiku’s experience in the politics of the presidency is over three decades old. Atiku is not any state governor’s equal in the hierarchy of entry to the PDP, national politics, connections, and network. If Nigerian politics is a stock, Atiku is definitely among those individuals with the controlling shares. Equally, in Adamawa politics, Atiku can roughly be awarded a 45% stake.
In the 2018 Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) Governorship primaries, without Atiku’s support, war chest, and political structures, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri couldn’t have secured the party’s Governorship ticket nor gone ahead to win the 2019 Adamawa governorship elections. At the PDP governorship primaries- Atiku refused to support his in-law late Adamu Modibbo, his longtime political associate Dr. Umar Ardo, and Ambassador Mohammed Jameel Waziri. Atiku’s support was 100% for Fintiri. Fintiri got 1,656, Ambassador Waziri – 465, Bala Ngilari scored 78 votes, Aliyu Umar scored eight votes, while Dr. Umar Ardo scored only one vote.
When Atiku secured the PDP presidential ticket and Fintiri clinched the Adamawa PDP gubernatorial ticket, Atiku bankrolled the entire campaign in Adamawa state- it saved the day for Fintiri. Equally, Atiku asked his supporters who were cabinet members of the former Governor Bindow administration to resign to join the Fintiri campaign team. And, people like Musa Garba, AA Madagli, Sheik Arabu, ABK Aliyu, Jauro Turaki, Biri Farare, James Barka, and many others mobilized supports for Fintiri. PDP eventually won Adamawa state. Some political observers say, biting the hand that feeds him, is Fintiri’s signature element.
Nevertheless, to be fair to Fintiri, he did well on road constructions and prompt payment of salaries, but his politics is very poor- he failed to build on the very foundation that brought him to power- the spirit of give and take; which loyalty is a factor. One has to recollect Former Governor Boni Haruna’s absolute loyalty to Atiku- Boni, despite his sound education, calmness, the big political opportunities during the Obasanjo-Atiku fight, but lost political and economic power, put his entire political lieutenants in a ‘missed-opportunities-boat’ fighting his boss’s political course. The loyalty Boni gave Atiku and the opportunities he provided to the Atiku political family; in his government, Fintiri didn’t give them even 5%. This is how politics is played- giving today for tomorrow.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Abuja, firstname.lastname@example.org, 08036070980