By Musa Adamu
What could be described as epic political fight is brewing in Nasarawa West Senatorial zone. The fight is not just between the old versus the new breed or simply between in-Laws, it’s actually between a David and a Goliath, and this is both politically and practically speaking, in all sense of the expression.
While Sen Abdullahi Adamu, the father-in-Law, was one of the founding fathers of the PDP until 2014, Aliyu Ahmed Tafida, the Son-in-Law, was a member of the APC who now adorns PDP attires since March this year.
The two are now pitted against each other because Sen Adamu is plotting to return to the upper chamber for the third time on the ticket of the APC, while Tafida is scheming to remove the rug off his feet to take his place under the umbrella of the PDP come 2019.
While many have described the looming fight as that between the old and the new breed, many others still see it as a fight on an unleveled field.
Unlike the Biblical tale, however, this fight may not necessarily end in David’s favour. And the reason is that while David’s faith in God saw him brought down Goliath in the Bible it is not clear if this David is that politically faithful to breast the tape first.
Sen Adamu, a septuagenarian, without doubt, has come far in politics. Indeed, he has seen it all. Fondly referred to as Maye (political wizard), by those fazed by his political dexterity, Sen. Adamu has both cognate experiences in Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary.
As an experienced Legislator, Sen Adamu first exeperienced the art of lawmaking in 1977 when he was elected to the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the Constitution for Nigeria’s short-lived Second Republic (1979–1983). He would later be appointed to the National Constitutional Conference by General Sani Abacha’s administration for the same assignment in 1994. Hence, when in 2011, he sought and got elected as Senator of the federal republic, Sen Adamu was only returning to a familiar turf. He is gunning for the third time in the red chamber. He currently Chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture.
As an Executive, Sen Adamu, apart from his administrative forays as staff of various public and private organizations, he became the first Executive Governor of Nasarawa state between 1999-2007 and got appointed a Minister of state between 1995-1997.
A man of many parts, Sen Adamu is not also found wanting in the field of Judiciary. He became a Solicitor and Advocate of Supreme Court of Nigeria in December 1993, after being called to the Bar.
As a party administrator, he was the first Secretary of the NPN in the then Plateau state from December 1978, and Chairman of the party from 1982-1983. He also became the Secretary of the BOT of his former party, PDP.
Tafida, on the other hand, could be safely described as an upstart in politics, is about half the age of Sen Adamu and whose only political contest experiences was his two attempts attempt to represent Nasarawa/Toto federal constituency in Green Chamber, which did not succeed. He will have his first experience ever on ballot paper come 2019.
Born in 1975, Tafida is a holder of MSc Degree in Construction Project Management from the Hariot-Watt University (Dubai Campus) and B.Tech in Building Technology, Federal from the University of Technology, Minna.
Tafida first worked with the Federal Capital Development Administration (FCDA) and upon acquiring his Masters ventured into the world of private sector, where is now the CEO/Director of Constructii Proactii Limited, an Architectural, Building and Engineering Firm.
As a politician, Tafida was a member of now defunct CPC, one of the legacy parties that transmuted into the APC, until early this year when he resigned and joined the opposition PDP, citing neglect and lack of consultation by his the party and the state government.
In recognition of his role in the success of the party at Nasarawa/Toto zone, he was appointed the Zonal Coordinator of Grassroots Mobilizers for Buhari, an organization dedicated to the success of President Buhari.
The Senate is the upper legislative chamber so-called because of the role its plays in the Democratic governance of every country. in the old Roman empire, the Senate proved to be the most effective check on the all powerful Emperor. This was only impossible because of the calibre of people it was composed of.
The Nigerian Senate is not any different. It has been relied on to checkmate excesses of the Executive since the dawn democracy. Indeed, this is possible due to fact that it has always been peopled with seasoned politicians, ex- Governors, ex- Ministers, successful business men and women and fulfilled professional.
Perhaps, this is so because of the all powerful nature of our executive arm which almost has the powers of life and death. It takes the dexterity of seasoned politicians, gut of ex powerful officials and the contentment of fulfilled and successful of professionals and business moguls to withstand the overbearing operations of the Executive.
The question therefore, is whether this David of our time has the reach, temperament and character to bring down this Enigma and political Goliath of our time down.
As the constituents of the zone cast their ballot come next year they would be making a big decision of whether to stick with Sen Adamu who has proven over the years to have all it takes for quality representation or substitute him for a new kid on the block.
Indeed, they would be making a choice between a Colossus whose presence counts and a representative who has all the trappings of a spectator in his own event.
Political watchers are waiting with bated breath to see how this epic fight will pans out.
Musa Adamu is a Public Affairs Analyst.