Fintiri vs Binani: Who will carry the coveted trophy?

 

By Mohammed Mahmud Ismail

Adamawa State, is on the threshold of history as women for the first time took prominent positions in the Gubernatorial contest slated to take place on March 11, 2023.

The two leading political parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) for the first time accorded women prominent roles ahead of the grand contest.

While the opposition APC, a major political party in the state gave a woman in person of Sen. Aishatu Dahiru Binani the nod to fly its ticket in the epic contest, the ruling PDP also for the first time gave the joint ticket to another woman, Professor Kelatapwa Farauta.

As the election draws closer amidst fever-pitch tension, the pendulum according to analysts and political bookmakers may be difficult to predict considering the surfeit of factors that may come into play during the election.

Factors that may shape the preferences of electorates according to the bookmakers may include gender considerations, incumbency factor, presidential support, religioun/ethnic prejudices, interplay of party politics and interests and Atiku’s factor et all.

The major factors that may aide governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s succession quest include the incumbency factor which he is currently deploying maximally to his advantage.

As the election period progresses towards its peak, governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has more than any other governor in the past deployed the incumbency factor by upping the patronage of his government to the people through the awards of solicited and unsolicited projects and privileges to communities and individuals.

In recent times, the governor has upped the allocation of projects including roads, hospitals, provision of electricity and other critical infrastructure to communities that may have been forgotten in the past.

He has in the same measure employed a number of citizens into the state civil service just as he rescucitated the comatose skills acquisition centers across the state in order to gross his political fortunes. The governor has also increased patronage to individuals and groups in the state as the election draws closer.

Another factor that may work in favour of the governor has to do with the massive goodwill enjoyed by the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar who recorded an impressive and strong showing during the presidential and national assembly elections in the state. It is believed that many PDP candidates rode on the popularity of Atiku to victory making the party to record one of its most impressive electioneering outings in recent times.

The governor may also poached a number of votes from women constituency following his decision to choose a woman, Professor Kelatapwa Farauta as his running mate ahead of the general election.

The christians may also give the governor block votes considering the governor’s endorsement by the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Adamawa State chapter, Bishop Dami Mamza. Huge votes may accrue to the governor considering the influence and popularity of Dami Mamza in the christian domain.

But despite the seeming advantages the governor enjoyed, he also faces a number of daunting challenges that are capable of truncating his desire to stage a comeback to the Dougirei government house Yola.

A major stumbling block may result from within the party due to interplay of interests between the Atiku Abubakar and the Fintiri political inclinations.

The PDP formation in Adamawa has been replete with news of bickering, internecine conflict and discomfiture on account of trust or lack of it between the Atiku Abubakar and Fintiri camps.

Despite denial of such fracas by the leadership of the groups, the insinuation of a no love lost between the two gladiatorial camps refused to give way as many associates of the two politicians swear that such rift truly exist.

The governor also has to contend with the Binani phenomenon which has since become a major movement and a latent threat to his ambition to stage a comeback to the Dougirei government house.

The Binani tsunami as many analyst infer to the blinding popularity of the female politician which has enlisted massive support of women and youth groups across the state will surely present significant threat to the governor going by the organic support it has enjoyed since Binani started her campaign across the state.

The widespread popularity of Binani was believed to have forced the governor to review his campaign strategies and paid several campaign tours to communities he has already visited.

There is also the belief that Binani’s larger than life disposition and the huge war chest at her disposal which she is deploying passionately is a huge threat to the governor.

Analysts and political observers believed that since the Gubernatorial campaign kick-started towards the end of last year, Binani has dispensed more favours to the electorates than the sitting governor who was in the past accused even by his close associates of tightfistedness.

Again Binani an intrepid and shrewd political adventurist, is also using her overreaching political network both nationally and internationally to ensure that she gets maximum support of all stakeholders to ensure her electoral conquest against the power of incumbency.

She has since enlisted the support of president Muhammadu Buhari, a number of organizations and women groups within Adamawa State and beyond to make sure that her dreams come to fruition come March 11, 2023 guvernorship election.

Many attributed that the recent ban governor Fintiri placed on NGOs may not be unconnected with the huge support Binani commands from many groups including NGOs ahead of the polls.

The incursion of religion into the state politics may also brings another dimension considering the verdict some Islamic scholars have passed about the legality or otherwise of voting a woman in executive positions.

While a number of Muslims have dismissed such verdicts, nevertheless, they will play a major role on the preferences of a number of Muslims during the election.

Again the internal party squabbles in APC culminating in the recent botched suspension of Binani may prove daunting for her quest to occupy the Dougirei government house Yola.

Binani was accused of harboring a morbid hatred and animosity against a number of APC stalwarts and if per adventure she became the state governor, she will use her powers to eclipse the political fortunes of “her traducers”. In order to remain afloat, these forces within her party have also promised to frustrate her ambition in one of the most bizarre standoffs in the history of party politics.

With the above scenario, one may find it difficult to make a hitch free guess on the person that may likely emerge winner of the coveted prize to the Dougirei government house come 2023. As the bookmakers say, time will give a consise answer to this raging puzzle.


 

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