By Calvin Anadio Lawan
I think Senator Binani can send Governor Fintiri packing out of the Dougeiri Government House Yola unless the APC fail to do their work right.
Michel Foucault challenges the idea that power is wielded by people or groups by way of ‘episodic’ or ‘sovereign’ acts of domination or coercion, seeing it instead as dispersed and pervasive. In other words, power is everywhere, meaning power relations is neither an agency nor a structure.
Nowhere has this theory been validated than what happened when Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed AKA Senator Binani emerged the winner of the keenly contested APC governorship primary election, beating 5 other heavyweights to the coveted flag bearer of the APC.
The Foucauldian principle of “power relations’ helps us to not only take events, news, happenstances at face value, but to also probe deeper and understand the competing ‘powers’ behind these events, people, and things.
Using the principle of ‘power relations’ as a tool of analysis, we can get to understand how & why news is important, the historicity of it, who profits from it, and who is a victim, a promoter or beneficiary of it.
Permit me to briefly make a detour, governance is about managing people, reducing poverty, and increasing the commonwealth. It is strictly about leadership and influence. Binani, more than Fintiri, understood these concepts going by their different antecedents.
These sterling qualities would be rewarded when she beat a former Executive Governor, Two candidates with strong backing from the Presidency, and Two other strong opponents at the just concluded Governorship primary election of the APC. Few people saw this coming!
Back to my analysis. What are the ‘power relations’ I am talking about that helped Binani to surmount the courage to challenge 5 other powerful male contestants in a society steeped in patriarchy and come top? How can this same ‘power relations’ help her kick Fintiri out of office come 2023?
Let me enumerate them for us here for easy discourse.
~The ‘power’ of the silent majority: it is no longer news that 40% of the APC delegates were women and 90% of them voted for Binani. That helped her won the primary election by 42.5% of the total votes cast. This wasn’t an accident. Binani was deliberate and intentional in empowering women since when she was a member of the House of Representatives which helped her build strong ‘relationship’ with them. Every woman in Adamawa state can easily identify with Binani’s success and this ‘power relationship’ will come in handy when the general elections come. I can guarantee you; Fintiri and the PDP are toast.
~APC henchmen: All the APC aspirants that lost to Binani have a score to settle with Governor Fintiri and the PDP. Before the APC’s primary elections, the contestants all agreed to work with/for whoever emerged victorious. This is much more pertinent seeing there were only congratulations and no uproar even with the alleged vote buying hoodlums that were arrested during the exercise.
Ponder with me the team of Bindow, Nuhu Ribadu, Theman Wafari, Hon. Namdas, and Otumba coming together for the sole purpose of making sure that APC comes out victorious in 2023? I am beginning to have pity for Fintiri’s team already “gaskia”.
~The SIA factor in the Northern Senatorial Zone is something else, a political tsunami if you like and Senator Ishaku Abbo has never concealed the fact that he wants Fintiri-a small man occupying a big office who reduced it to his small level-out of Dougeiri Government House Yola. SIA’s success at the just concluded APC primary election is testament to his strong and superior political strategy and tactic.
~I heard but can’t readily confirm that Binani’s running mate could be a Young Man from the Northern Senatorial Zone. settling for an animated and cerebral youth can change the dynamics for her and the APC. His emergence could spur the youth whose celebration of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run-Bill seems that there’s really hope for them, gathering them to work for the success for the Binani’s campaign. That’s if/when the selection is ratified by the Adamawa APC.
~The discontent that greeted the PDP imposition of candidates in the last LGA chairmanship elections as well as the primary elections could work against Governor Fintiri’s reelection bid. This very issue has led to many high profile PDP members feeling shortchanged and even a cabinet member resigned from Fintiri’s government and withdrew his membership of the PDP.
~Binani’s victory was greeted with fanfare all over the country. This goes to say that the world will be keenly interested in what happens in Adamawa state come 2023.
~The FG’s donated palliatives imbroglio: that till date, the Fintiri’s government hasn’t bothered to address the Adamawa people on why they hoarded the palliatives the FG gave to the state government to share to the people to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 devastations will surely be a serious matter during the campaign period. It was a huge breach of trust and I can guarantee you, the issue would form an important part of the discussion for the 2023 elections.
~The unfulfilled promises Governor Fintiri has made amidst increase in our debt stock with very little to show for it is going to be a huge issue. Add the sacking of thousands of workers when Fintiri took over, an exercise that the court ruled in favor of the workers but a recalcitrant Fintiri appealed the judgment, a very unwise decision to make for someone seeking for reelection. These are going to be waiting for him at the pooling units and am sure their families, friends and sympathizers will be happy to join them.
~Fintiri’s style of leadership has unfortunately led to an erosion of the social cohesion that helped the PDP won the 2019 elections, with many party stalwarts practically relegated to the background while others were forced to decamp to other parties. I wrote a piece over a year ago calling on Governor Fintiri to steady the tide but he did the exact opposite. He’d have a day of reckoning come 2023.
~Most citizens are begrudging the government’s handling of many issues and having personally assessed the level of preparedness of the Governor’s handlers with regard to addressing these issues, I found them wanting. Their albatross is that they needed help but they are not smart enough to accept help whenever they are offered, besides writing rejoinders abusing messengers of goodwill instead of addressing the messages.
Leadership and creativity are two of the most powerful forces on earth. Together, they have dictated the course of history. My analysis is but a cursory look at the Foucauldian principles of “power relations’, there is a great deal more depth to the principles. I have done well to captured it essence when I worked with SIA structuring a robust manifesto for the APC sometimes last year before he decided to put his ambition onhold for the time being.
Adamawa shall be great.
Lawan, a public affairs analyst writes from Yola.