By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz
For me, it was the instructive words of the Adamawa State Commissioner of Agriculture, Mrs. Patricia Yakubu, as we move in the convoy on Friday from Jada – where a horde of party supporters had gathered to receive us – to Toungo, where the ‘Thank you’ tour was billed to take off, that captured the essence of what has been happening in Adamawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), within the last three weeks.
The convoy, of course, was that of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and other aspirants for various positions which was on a door-to-door visit of appreciation to stakeholders and party’s delegates who were instructive to the candidates’ emergence. In the words of the commissioner, the race for the party’s tickets is always riddled with infighting and intrigues but at the end of it all everyone would have to bury the hatchet for a common good of the party as no politician would want to stay in the losing side.
But the thought line of Mrs Yakubu had received a deeper philosophical explication from no other person than the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Barrister Bala James Nggilari, a few days earlier. On Ribadu’s arrival in Yola, penultimate Monday, he went straight from the airport to call in on the governor. The warm reception accorded the candidate and his entourage by the governor is itself a pointer to a new chapter, the chapter of a governor as a leader of the party willing to support a saleable article of the party.
However, it is in the words of the governor that afternoon at the Governor’s Office that one gets into the heart of a genuine reconciliation and a family spirit of unity. The governor appreciated the fact that in all contests, there is certainly a victor and a vanquished. It is however a mark of gentleness that one gets to appreciate this fact and forge ahead at the end of the contest. Barr. Nggilari therefore underscored the need for all party men and women to come together work for the success of the party in the two elections coming on February 14 and 28, respectively.
Success requires unity to confront a common front and it was for this that Gov. Nggilari made a double charge; to the victors and the vanquished. For those saddled with the party’s tickets, the governor emphasised on the need to reach out to all and sundry, extend the olive branch and open doors for everybody. He noted that every stakeholder indeed has some stake and he or she should be fully involved and integrated into the party’s campaign train.
To those who could not clinch the tickets, the governor asked for them large heartedness and the need to put the state and the party over any personal ambition. To set precedent, Nggilari openly declared his total support and endorsement of Ribadu, by way of clearing any iota of doubt about his loyalty to the party. “You’re at home,” he told the candidate and his entourage, “I will do everything to support you, and every other aspirant including my humble self, at whatever level.”
With the blessings of the governor by way of his generous endorsement, the Ribadu campaign got big boost as the coming days witnessed collapse of walls and emergence of bridges of brotherhood and sisterhood among all stakeholders in the PDP family. A high-powered reconciliation committee under the chairmanship of the Makama Adamawa, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, which started its work immediately after the December 10 primaries, has gone on with its mediation efforts among all ranks of party stakeholders in the state. The work of the committee, which got so much eased off with the warm reception and utterances of the state governor, has recorded a number of successes. Aspirants at all levels are making up with past rivals who are to fly the party’s ticket, in a renewed spirit of togetherness and teamwork.
It is heartwarming to see PDP’s formidable juggernauts working hand in hand to uphold that history of Adamawa as a state won by the ruling party since the beginning of this dispensation. Aside Ngillari, key party leaders such as the two senators of the party; Senator Bello Tukur (Adamawa Central) and Senator Ahmed Barata (Adamawa South), members of the House of Representatives, members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, and several other elders and stakeholders are in unity on the need to work for the party.
The fruit of this concerted effort was visible as the entourage of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu toured four local governments in the southern part of Adamawa State. As the long motorcade move out of Yola to Toungo and pulled a reverse gear, stopping at the headquarters of Ganye, Jada and Mayo-Belwa, the reception was not only spectacular but indeed beyond the expectation of the organisers who had planned it to be a low-key outing. But of course with the caliber of politicians who have embraced the Ribadu project in those local governments and Adamawa in its entirety, it is practically impossible to hold back crowd.
With the clock past ticking to the climax of the election, it is discernible that the Peoples Democratic Party is up for a smooth sale in Adamawa on accounts of two things: the party is deeply entrenched in the political landscape of the state, and has evolved a beautiful re-integration strategy to carry along all stakeholders. The second reason is not farfetched. The candidate for the governorship seat, Nuhu Ribadu, is akin to an ornament whose dazzling qualities sale him anywhere. With these two critical factors in full view, it is evident that PDP is in for the win in Adamawa State.
Of course it is not over, as the saying goes, until it is over. Consolidating on the reconciliation and unification of all party members is something that is very much needed. With what is on ground, however, it is clear that the dust that trailed the process of producing candidates of the PDP in Adamawa State is fully settled and the chapter of working as a family is now before all stakeholders.
Abdulaziz writes from Jimeta, Yola