By Ahmad Sajoh
The news that the government of Adamawa state had denied the APC the use of Ribadu Square for the gubernatorial campaign flag-off has generated mixed reactions from different quarters. Expectedly the apologists of the government seem to support the actions of the government.
The moral contradictions of allowing another opposition party the use of the venue did not strike them as odd or even questionable. They fail to realize that contradiction in governance is not a moral virtue. It represents a lack of fairness and equity. No leader should be proud of inequity.
I just saw an appeal by Dr. Umar Ardo the SDP gubernatorial candidate for the Adamawa State governor to see reason and allow the APC use the venue as was done to him.
His plea was not based on the need to promote equity, it was rather done out of fear of the outcome of the actions of the incumbent governor and PDP candidate.
He saw the action as capable of attracting a huge sympathy for Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani and the APC. It was the same fear but of an opposite direction, the fear that Binani would fill up the venue and expose the emptiness of the PDP campaign that informed the incumbent governor’s action. Fear can be misleading.
While Fintiri is fearful of the consequences of a jam-packed Ribadu Square, Dr Ardo is fearful of the sympathy votes such an action could precipitate. One action, two opposite fears.
Both candidates are right. Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri should be informed that even if the whole of Yola, the state capital, is converted to a venue, the Binani phenomenon, which can only be called “ikon Allah” can fill it up. No one can change a cause whose time has come.
Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani has paid her dues in politics and generosity, she is rightfully reaping the dividends.
Dr. Umar Ardo is equally right. This action will win for Senator Binani and the APC immense sympathy and goodwill. In Hausa we say “hassada ga mai rabo taki” that means denying something destined is like adding fertilizer to budding crops.
Let me say categorically that applying for the use of Ribadu Square for the campaign flag-off was a strategic move by the campaign council. We were almost certain that the government that is increasingly becoming paranoid on account of the Binani phenomenon may not oblige us with the venue. We wanted them to deny us the venue and concede the moral high ground. And they fell into the trap. They conceded that moral high ground.
Now we are up there looking down at them suffering from their self-inflicted wounds. Someone else saw the trap they have fallen into and realized he too could fall into the collateral damage.
Yes! All gubernatorial candidates will suffer the consequences of the actions of one of them. The APC will reap bountifully from this blunder and we appreciate this gift of unsolicited goodwill.
Fear had dictated every action the current governor took since Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani became the APC flag bearer.
Fear led to dropping a loyal deputy who has immense electoral value for a female running mate.
Fear has led to the release of statements that cannot be substantiated.
Fear is now leading to this blunder, which borders on lack of equity and fairness. A strategy dictated by fear is bound to fail.
Fear cannot be a substitute for reason. That’s the reality on the ground.
With respect to their engagement with the APC in the next election, the PDP government in Adamawa State had only one strategy.
That strategy is to expect the APC to remain permanently divided and inflicted by an unending in-fighting.
This was the only hope they had of defeating the party in the next election.
They never reckoned with the capacity of the leaders of the party to overcome their differences.
They did not reckon with the astuteness of the APC gubernatorial candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani to re-unify the party.
Now that the little cracks are being mended, the APC has become one big united family, the fear within the PDP and their candidates is turning into panic.
Meanwhile, the APC breeze has turned to a whirlwind. When you add the Binani phenomenon what you have is a hurricane sweeping through the political landscape rather ferociously.
Every fear induced and panic dictated action taken adds to the value and intensity of the sweeping effect of the APC victory match.
The flag-off of our campaign is not about a venue, it is about a statement that says “we will take over this state convincingly”
Let us use this opportunity to inform the PDP government that come May 29, 2023, when we take over the state by the special grace of God Almighty, we shall show the kind of maturity and sense of fairness we are learning from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Eagle Square has never been denied an opposition party since the APC formed a government at the centre.
The Ribadu Square is a common asset for all Adamawa people. We shall institute a legal framework to make it so. Such that no ruler of the state will deny others the use of our common heritage.
That is our pledge to the people of the state. We shall rule Adamawa State with equity, fairness and justice but never with fear.
Ahmad Sajoh is the Chairman of the media committee for APC Presidential Campaign Council in charge of Adamawa state.