A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, Mohammed Mayas has described clamour by some elements for power shift to Adamawa central as dead on arrival saying that the move was archetypal to whipping a dead horse.
Mayas’ statement came amidst renewed calls by a pressure group under the aegis of Adamawa Central Advocacy Initiative, which is championing advocacy for power shift to the zone.
He noted that as a stakeholder in APC and also a major stakeholder in Adamawa central zone the move was undemocratic hence uncalled for.
Mayas said as a stakeholder from the zone, he was invited for a meeting of the group but declined to attend because he is a broadminded politician and has already settled to support the aspiration of Abdulrazaq Namdas.
“I was invited once by Abdullahi Bakari to the meeting but I didn’t attend. It is not because I think that what they are doing is wrong or I disrespect them. My reason is I have decided to work for Abdulrazak Namdas, I have done that after my investigation and consultation that shows that Namdas is the best aspirant to fly the APC ticket for the 2023 governorship election.
“You see Namdas is from the southern zone. For that I have no reason to attend any meeting that is working towards supporting another aspirant apart from Namdas, that is why I’m not a party to their plans,” he said
He noted that as a conscientious politician, he did not figure out how the agitation for power shift to Adamawa central will come to fruition as managing those aspiring for the position is a near impossible because of their large number.
“Presently, there is about eleven governorship aspirants that have shown interest in APC. Out of these eleven, only one is my hero who is Namdas and he is the only one contesting from the southern zone that has 9 local governments from Toungo to Shelleng.
“The zone has three House of Representatives members, 11 members of House of Assembly, over 90 political wards, but only one person is contesting.
“If you look at the northern zone, only two people who have shown interest are senator Bindow Jibrilla and senator Ishaku Abbo. All the other eight are from the central zone which indicates that all the local governments in the central zone have an aspirant.
“Getting to decide who among the eight will become candidates from the central zone alone will take us four years politically.
“Apart from this, it is not right for an opposition party to say it wants to zone where a candidate will come from, it is therefore important for everyone to be allowed to contest.
“Let’s even look at it historically, in 1991 since Adamawa became a state from the former Gongola state, the central zone has been given several opportunities but it lacks support from within.
“From 1991 till date, the central zone has produced candidates like Boss Mustapha, late Ibrahim Babapetel, Markus Gundiri, Yayaji Mijinyawa who all lost elections in the central zone which is their home.
“The people of the southern and northern zones have always supported the central zone but the zone has always fought itself from within. That is why I am saying that if we want to do the right thing, we should support Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas’ aspiration and ensure he gets the APC governorship ticket.
“I think our problem is not zoning, but religious and ethnic. That is what those who organized the advocacy meeting to focus on and not zoning. They should have thought of finding a way to cement the peaceful coexistence of the state so that our differences will not go beyond what it is now and not talk about zoning,” he said.
Mayas who accused the proponents of the advocacy of double standards said it amounts to hypocrisy to ask Boss Mustapha and Babachir Lawal to lead the clamour for power shift to Adamawa central knowing that Boss Mustapha was rejected by the zone when he contested to lead the state.
“I heard that they listed Boss Mustapha, Babachir David Lawal as the arrowheads that will lobby for the central zone. Boss Mustapha contested by himself and asked the central zone to vote for him, did they vote for him? Is it now that they want him to lead a group advocating for someone from the central zone? In my opinion, it is degrading to hear that Boss Mustapha and Babachir are leading this advocacy for 7 local governments.
“Boss is a leader in the entire northeast. If not that the president is from the north, I would have said that in the entire north no one has the biggest political appointment than Boss. But in the whole of the northeast now, no one is up to Boss in political appointment in governance.
“So I will say it is rather belittling to say they bring down Boss himself to come and do a seven local governments advocacy seeking for what the zone has not lacked. Had it been that the zone was denied the opportunity to produce a candidate, that is when I would have agreed with this move, but nobody has ever stopped anyone from the central zone. And like I told you, they already have seven people aspiring to be governor. If today one person is selected among them, trust me tomorrow you’ll hear them working against that person.
“What I’m saying is that we should learn from history, we should work together and support Abdulrazak Namdas. Out of all the aspirants so far, Namdas is the only one that has not had any issues with the other aspirants.
“We’ve been trying to reconcile the party since 2019 which is an effort we are still trying to achieve. Namdas is the only one that can stand and beat the incumbent governor. We are strong and united now and I urge us to remain so and avoid the mistake of 2019.
“We have a spotless aspirant and we should rally around and support him. He can defeat this government that has made so many blunders already.
“Let me give you an example with Demsa local government. There is no local government that supported PDP like Demsa. There were 19,000 votes between PDP and APC in Demsa. Go to Demsa today or ask anybody from there to tell you what they have benefitted from the Fintiri-led government either through empowerment, appointment, or project.
“There is no single thing. I challenge them to come out and tell me. Even the commissioner they got I cannot trace the ministry they gave him, and it is even mandatory for Demsa to have a commissioner, it is not something that can be seen as an achievement.
“The governor did the same blunders in Mayo-Belwa and many other local governments.
“We should be united in APC and look for the person that can win the election for us without any stress. And the only person that can do that for us is Abdulrazak Namdas, and I assure you that there are many people from PDP that will support Namdas.
“I think what the central zone should have done was to pick one out of the eight aspirants that have indicated interest so far and find a way of selling the aspirant to the other zones. But I’ll still reiterate that the only choice we have now is Abdulrazak Namdas.
“Let’s have an alliance with the southern zone and support Namdas and ask him to ensure we have a candidate from the central zone after his tenure, that will be the best thing to do,” he added.