The past few weeks have been a busy one for all and Sundry in Nigeria’s political arena. Once elections draw near, it has become a tradition for our politicians to switch from one party to the other.
This habitual carpet crossing has nothing to do with disagreement over ideology, policy or any other factor that is of interest to the poor masses they claim to represent.
As usual, political pundits had a lot to discuss about, journalist had a field day while spectators enjoy theatrics.
These gale of defections saw scores of political office holder (elected and appointed) who could be described as big cheese ditch the broom, mostly for the umbrella hoping to survive the torrential rain in 2019.
Taking along with them hundreds of loyal party stakeholders and thousands of bandwagon supporters.
It was a foregone conclusion that the marriage of inconvenience between CPC, nPDP, ANPP, ACN and a faction of APGA in 2015 was not going to last long. simply because it was the coming together of strange bed fellows united by one goal: to oust the then President Goodluck Jonathan from occupancy of the villa.
The worst casualty of this defections is the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) who lost to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), serving Governors , federal and state legislators and a host of political office appointees and party stakeholders.
Certainly losing all of the above to your opponents is a bitter pill to swallow. However, the ferocious former labour union leader, Adams Oshiomole, Now APC chairman, thinks otherwise. He said confidently that “defections will not hurt APC in 2019 elections”
Here is Adamawa state, the case is more interesting. Former vice president Atiku Abubakar threw the broom much earlier. It is a known fact that his loyalist at both state and federal will follow suit, what was not know is when.
Two weeks ago, the anticipation was put to rest when during the PDP north east mega-rally at Ribadu Square Yola, when commissioners, state house of assembly members and party stake holders from APC, SDP and PDM formerly declare their defection to reunite with Atiku in PDP.
It would be recalled that in 2015 Atiku undeniably contributed to the success of APC at both national and state level. His financial war chest and network of supporters will certainly be missed.
Governor Muhammad Jibrilla has repeatedly recount the role played by Atiku to ensure his success at the polls. Despite the fact that Bindow defeated Atiku’s protégé Yayaji Mijinyawa to clinch the APC nomination in 2014, Atiku donated huge sum of money to fund Bindow’s campaign to ensure victory for the party.
Now Bindow will have to slug it out with whosoever emerged as the governorship flag bearer in the opposition PDP.
However, Governor bindow’s battles will start much earlier. He is facing stiff opposition to his desire for continuity from powerful forces within his party.
The main challenger is no one other than the former Anti-corruption boss Malam Nuhu Ribadu. He catapulted to global prominence for his success in curtailing corruption in his time at EFCC. To date, that has remained his best-selling point.
His outstanding success in developing an organization from its scratch into what is currently the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is still an unmatched and a remarkable record in the country’s recent development.
Less than two years in to Governor Bindow’s administration, the Black Cap revolutionaries (Pro Nuhu Ribadu) began mobilisation ahead of 2019 polls by holding meetings in wards and villages across the state, courting aggrieved party members to join their fold and recruiting youth groups into the movement.
The black cap movement is one of the most formidable Intra-party opposition in the country today. The movement did a better job at holding government accountable than the entire opposition parties in the state combined.
On Governor Bindow’s side, there are countless groups mobilizing support for his second tenure. chief among them being consensus and 4+4. The former is under the secretary to the state government, Dr Umar Bindir while the latter is led by the commissioner for local government and chief thing affairs, Mohammed Barkindo.
Interestingly, both groups (Pro Nuhu and Pro Bindow) are confident of coming out victorious in this Intra-party battle.
The recent adoption of direct primaries by APC has emboldened the black cappers. But then, it is the same Nuhu Ribadu that was defeated by Bindow in 2015. Will history repeat itself? Well, only Adamawa electorates can determine that.
Another defector who is rattling nerves in Adamawa state political arena is senator Abdulaziz Nyako (Adamawa Central).
Senator Nyako is a son to former Governor Murtala Nyako, he ditched his falters administration where he grew influential, according to people close to the state house then, more than some key elected and appointed political office holders at the time.
In 2015, Nyako was among decampees from nPDP who formed the APC. He contested and won the Adamawa Central Senatorial Seat under the platform of the APC.
However, Nyako’s romance with the APC was short-lived. He become antagonistic with first, Governor Bindow and later with President Buhari, moreover, he fell out of favour with the emirate council which cost him his Chieftaincy title Sarkin Matasa.
Senator Nyako has repeatedly called out President Buhari and Governor Bindow. Accusing them of Injustice and corruption. The relationship between the trio has gone sour beyond reconciliation. Hence senator Nyako’s defection to African Democratic congress (ADC).
It is a common knowledge senator Nyako has long been nurturing governorship ambition. Should he emerge the governorship flag bearer of ADC in 2019, he will take his chances against other contestants for 2007-2014.
The battle for the occupancy of dougirei government house by these political gladiators will be interesting to watch.
Pundits and spectators hands are rubbed with glee as they wait to see how events unfold.