2023: Adamawa governorship and the politics of zoning

The 2023 general elections is about 17 months away. A very long period of time in political clock, because situations can change within 24 hours and the underdog could spring surprises.

Despite the massive time ahead, in Adamawa State, the political atmosphere has already been heated-up to Kelvin level, as prospective candidates have already let the cat out and the bag is deafening.

Just last week, an online controversial news website, Sahara Reporters, carried an article accusing the First Lady, an indigene of Adamawa State, of “perfecting a strategy to impose her younger brother, Mr Mohammed Halilu Modi, as the next Governor,” among other wild, malicious allegations that it could not substantiate.

There are currently six prominent contenders that are visibly and actively pursuing the Dougirei coveted stool. They are Dr. Mahmud Halilu Ahmed, Sen. Aishatu Dahiru-Ahmed, Mal. Nuhu Ribadu, Hon. Abdulrazaq Namdas, Sen. Ishaku E. Abbo and Sen. Mohammed Bindo Jibrilla.

A scrutiny of the Sahara Reporters’ article reveals that the author must be campaigning for a candidate from the Southern zone, who may have little chance of clinching the APC nomination in the upcoming primaries.

The write-up, which is full of contradictions and lacking in facts, says, “it is the feeling of the people of the state that the 2023 governorship should be rotated to other zones other than Central, because it had more than its fair share.”

With that bold statement, you would expect the author to list previous Governors that came from the Central zone to back his/her claim, but could not, because Adamawa Central zone has never produced a Governor in the history of the state.

It claimed the Northern zone produced six Governors, while Central produced the First Lady and the SGF. It was completely silent about the two previous Governors that the Southern zone produced; Alhaji Bamanga Tukur (Jada), and Admiral Murtala Nyako (Mayobelwa).

This goes to show that the article may have been sponsored by a would-be contender from the Southern zone to garner sympathy for his candidature.

It is nothing short of political immaturity and desperation for any politician to claim that the position of the First Lady and that of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), that are absolutely under the prerogative of the President, would be linked to zoning in states elections.

Having an able and dynamic First Lady of the Federal Republic as a sister is a plus, but It is utterly absurd for any politician to think that Dr Mahmud Halilu Ahmed cannot stand on his own. As at today, no politician has in recent times positively impacted the people of Adamawa state more than Modi (as he is popularly known).

From Ganye to Gulak and from Gurin to Guyuk, he empowered thousands of youths with variety of schemes that have pulled them out of poverty. He also assisted a number of Adamawa graduates with employment opportunities in both the private sector and in the federal civil service.

Not known for kiss and tell, Modi has been a silent revolutionarist, touching the lives of the Adamawa people in his own way. He is certainly the candidate to watch, come 2023.

  • Iyawa is former Nigerian ambassador to Mexico
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