Danjuma Joseph x-rays the raging brawl between Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and his estranged political ally, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, over who becomes the next governor of Nasarawa state
Unarguably, this is not the best of times for most members of the ruling All Progressives Congress-APC- in Nasarawa State generally and the teeming supporters of Governor Al-Makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
It is now crystal clear that the duo are locked in a battle of an unimaginable magnitude at a time the party is battling to consolidate its grip in power in the face of mounting challenge to upstage it by the opposition PDP.
Before present political disagreement, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu, have synergised so much in running the affairs of Nasarawa State.
Adamu has been Al-Makura’s right hand man galvanizing support and political protection. In all these years, the duo enjoyed what can mildly be described as cordial relationship.
However,all that they enjoyed may have changed as they are currently at each other’s jugular over certain differences as the nation moves closer to the 2019 polls.
At the centre of the Al-Makura-Adamu brawl is who succeeds Al-Makura who is serving his second and final term.
Now that they are fighting, the fundamental question that one may ask is, are they truly fighting for the interest of the people or their individual personal interest?
Before now, there appears to be growing apprehension over Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura’s claims regarding the choice of his successor in office, because the governor has on so many occasions expressed his readiness to remain neutral and impartial in the selection of the flag bearer of the ruling APC ahead of the 2019 general elections.
But, recent events suggests that Al-Makura may have reneged his initial promise of being neutral in the process of picking an acceptable candidate for the APC, during the forthcoming primaries.
The governor kept his candidate to his chest, until when the ruling party in the state adopted the indirect primaries against the directive of the national secretariat of APC. LEADERSHIP, gathered that the governor disclosed to his deputy, Silas Ali Agara and the deputy speaker of the state house assembly, Godiya Akwashiki, who both have their eyes fixed on succeeding him, that he has an annointed candidate.
Unconfirmed sources said Al-Makura settled for Engr Abdullahi Sule as his prefered successor while Senator Adamu is said to be rooting from an aspirant who is currently serving at the lower chambers of the National Assembly.
With over 16 aspirants jostling for the APC’s ticket, the race for the 2019 Nasarawa State governorship has generated tension, apprehension and suspicion, within the ruling party.
Al-Makura, like other governors in the country would no doubt, want to determine who succeeds him among those who have shown interest under the APC platform come 2019.
LEADERSHIP findings shows that the governor’s permutations to filed his candidate for the governorship election might not have gone down well with Senator Adamu.
The findings revealed that the relationship between the two power brokers soured over the disagreement between them on whose preferred candidate would fly the APC ticket in the September APC governorship primaries.
A source told our correspondent that the former Sokoto State governor, Senator Magatakada Wamako’s, effort to broker peace between Al-Makura and Adamu, at the instance of the governor, over the issue failed.
The source hinted that Adamu, insisted at the meeting that even if the governorship candidate must come from Nasarawa North senatorial zone, that has been clamouring for power shift, it must not be Eng Abdullahi A. Sule, the MD DANGOTE Sugars.
Adamu, it was gathered told Al-Makura and Senator Wamako, his (Adamu) bosom friend, that Eng. A. A Sule, is Abubakar Atiku’s stooge, so they shouldn’t allow Atiku, take over Nasarawa, from APC.
Adamu’s second reason was that Eng. Sule, is not popular and saleable to the people of the state and that according to him, will give the opposition party, PDP edge over them during the 2019 general elections.
Convinced that reasons advanced by Senator Adamu were not tenable, Al-Makura, it was learnt insisted on his preferred governorship candidate, Eng. A. A Sule, and the meeting ended in deadlock.
Our correspondent gathered that while Al-Makura had settled for Engr Abdullahi, Senator Adamu, went for Arch Ja’afar Ibrahim Mohammed, a serving member in the House of Representatives representing Nasarawa/Toto, federal constituency at the National Assembly.
Investigation shows that, Al-Makura and Adamu’s disagreement over who would fly the ACP’s governorship ticket in the state, has sharply divided the rulling party.
Political analyst are of the opinion that the present quagmire if not settled will affect the chances of the rulling party winning the governorship election and others in 2019.
Our correspondent further gathered that the Cold War between the two APC hench men, took a different dimension when one of the kitchen cabinet members in Al-Makura’s administration who is also the state commissioner for education, Tijjani Aliyu, bought senatorial form to slug it out against Senator Adamu, in Nasarawa West.
Similarly, it was gathered that Senator Adamu, is backing Senator Salihu Egyegbola, to challenge Governor Al-Makura’s senatorial ambition in Nasarawa South.
In addition to this, Senator Adamu, has come out to accused Al-Makura, of the plot to oust him from the Senate for rejecting the imposition of a governorship candidate in the state.
Senator Adamu, stated this at the weekend in Keffi, during a meeting with ward and local government excos of the APC in his Nasarawa west senatorial zone.
Adamu, a two term governor and two term senator, also said he had his return ticket unopposed until September 9, when the governor directed his education commissioner, Tijjani Ahmed, to pick the form to contest against him.
Adamu however vowed “to teach Al-Makura, the political lesson of his life for sponsoring a candidate against him in the APC senatorial primaries.”
“I, Abdullahi Adamu the son of Aisha, I have never betrayed APC and I have never betrayed Al-Makura; anybody who betrayed me will leave to regret it”
“In Nasarawa politics, particularly in my senatorial zone, who is Tijjani to challenge me in the primaries? I have spent time and energy building APC in Nasarawa State, I will never allow anybody to disgrace me in APC,” he said.
Governor Al-Makura who fired back at the senator’s claims, said there were no two political leaders in the state, adding that the state was no longer interested in politics of God-fatherism.
Al-Makura, said if Senator Adamu attempted doing anything funny, he would retire him politically.
The governor, who spoke through his Director General Strategic Communication and Press Affairs, Yakubu Lamai, said he had the right to support any candidate of his choice.
He added that he had respected the ex-governor enough and it was time to demystify his political credentials in Nasarawa State.
Already, the state government has set up a panel to investigate some projects executed during the administration of Senator Abdulahi Adamu, who ruled the state between 1999 to 2007.
The committee may not be unconnected with the ongoing rift between Gov. Almakura and Senator Adamu, where the senator has accused the governor of a plot to oust him from the Senate, for rejecting the imposition of a governorship candidate in the state.
The projects include the Farin Ruwa Independent Hydro-Power Plant Project, as well as the Zimbabwean Farmers Project and the Review of the Concessioning Agreement of all the Nasarawa State Government Owned Hotels, especially, Keffi New Hotels.
It will be recalled that the hydro power project contract was awarded by the then Governor Adamu, in may 2005, at the cost of 6.1 billion naira, but was abandoned.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the power project had suffered a hiccup because of contractual crisis between the state government and Yoojin Engineering Nigeria Limited, which had the initial award to execute it. The circumstances surrounding the Zimbabwe white farmers project is a shadow of its self, while the Keffi New Hotels, has been concessioned to Senator Adamu, for 100 years.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government Barr. Mohammed Hassan Abdulahi, who is also an arc rival to Adamu, named the state Commissioner for finance and economic planning, Ayuba Dogara Ayenajeh, as Chairman of the ten man committee.
“His Excellency, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, Governor of Nasarawa State has approved the setting up of a Committee to Review the Concessioning Agreement of all the Nasarawa State Government Owned Hotels and Other Related Facilities. These include, but not limited, to the New Keffi Hotel, Keffi; NIPDC Conference Hotel, Lafia and the Keffi Club, Keffi”
“The Committee is also mandated to review and investigate the circumstances that led to the failure of the Farin Ruwa Independent Hydro-Power Plant Project, as well as the Zimbabwean Farmers Project and to advise Government on measures to mitigate the attendant problems and the likely costs required to ameliorate the situations.”
“Furthermore, the Committee is to investigate the role of key players in Government who aided, colluded and/or abetted the defrauding of the State with other parties involved and recommend appropriate penalties/sanctions towards prosecution and recovery of Government funds from such actors” the statement said.
With these developments, political pundits believed this is a typical case of an intraclass struggle resulting from disagreement between them over who should continue to have control of the state and its resources by imposing their respective individual stooge as the next governor.
Pundits, insisted it is therefore not about bringing further development to the state and its people, it is for their individual selfish interest.
They said it remains to be seen the unfolding drama in Nasarawa State, after two powerful men lock horns in a political battle that is capable of rewriting the political history of the State.
When two elephants fight, the grass suffers. The big question remains, who blinks first, between Al-Makura and Adamu? Only time will tell.
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