By Andrew Agbese
With what happened in the last few days in Adamawa, a fresher to the politics of the Northeastern state would be justified to assume that the governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is a saint who nearly fell victim to the plot by a vicious gang to wickedly oust him from power.
Those versed in the politics of the state, however would agree that Fintiri is hardly the harmless and innocent underdog the current circumstances has made him out to be.
Indeed, if there’s anyone who had shown desperation for power in Adamawa in recent time, it is Fintiri.
Fintiri may savour the moment as an underdog through the desperation shown by the APC candidate, Aisha Dahiru Binani but on a second look, it seems he deserves such rough tackles as he has meted to others in the past.
Way back 2014 Fintiri as speaker of the state House of Assembly was part of the plot to oust then governor, Murtala Nyako.
The move was highly political as it was done mainly to stop Nyako from determining who succeeds him as governor.
But it was done in such a shoddy manner that provided sufficient evidence for Nyako to challenge the impeachment in court.
Nonetheless, the impeachment sailed through and Fintiri became the acting governor because Nyako’s deputy, Bala Ngilari turned in his resignation before he would be swept away in the flood with his boss.
But some months later, Ngilari got judgement in his favour when the court declared his resignation invalid and returned him as substantive governor, ending the three months administration of Fintiri as acting governor.
Two years later, the impeachment was also quashed by the court which ruled that the impeachment of Nyako as governor was not done in accordance with the provisions of the law.
But even after the judgment reinstating Ngilari who hails from the same Madagali Local Government with Fintiri, the latter attempted to hold on to power by making frantic efforts to forstall the swearing in of Ngilari.
This put him on collision course with the new governor when he reverted back as speaker.
He also outfoxed then Majority Leader and Chief Whip of the state Assembly, Salihu Kabilo and Jerry Kumdisi and announced their removal as principal officers before they could move against him.
But it was the role that Fintiri played in trying to secure the ticket of the PDP in 2015 that exposed him as equally desperate.
Within the three months he was in power as acting governor, he was accused of trying to use his position to corner the governorship ticket of the PDP so he could run in 2015.
The extent he went in the bid to clinch the ticket until his sack as acting governor was not the stuff for political sophomores.
Commendably, he remained unrelenting even after the PDP fielded Nuhu Ribadu and the latter lost to APC ‘s Jibrilla Bindo.
This saw him go for the PDP ticket in 2019 when he successfully dislodged Governor Bindo from Government House in the secondary elections.
The recent APC onslaught against Fintiri using Binani in the attempt to dislodge him was more like trying to pay him in his own coins what he did to Bindo.
But the way it was handled, beatified the governor while sheening him in the garb of a pitiful underdog who was nearly mauled by a pitiless and callous posse.
With the benefit of hindsight however, it can be said that most of the tactics employed by Binani in the just concluded elections were not strange to Fintiri coupled with the fact both share similar political backgrounds.
Like Fintiri, Binani was in the parliament (Senate) before contesting as governor.
She has also shown the same level of tenacity by venturing into areas where others had failed.
When she defeated Nuhu Ribadu and others to clinch the APC ticket, it was almost unbelievable, just as Fintiri also ousted a sitting governor in the 2019 election.
She gained public sympathy due to her gender as a possible first female governor in Nigeria, the same way Fintiri attracted sympathy on account of his being from a minority ethnic group in Adamawa and belonging to an opposition party at the national level.
When Binani was alleged to use money to prosecute her election, it was not far from the allegations leveled against Fintiri in 2014 in his bid to secure his party’s nomination and, when an INEC official announced her as winner of the election midway into collation of results, she could be said to be implementing what she must have noted in her scrap book where Fintiri outmanoeuvred PDP stakeholders in Adamawa to emerge top runner in the race for the governorship ticket for 2015 until he was checkmated.
By holding the votes down in the just concluded exercise to necessitate a supplementary election, Binani was reenacting what transpired between Bindo and Fintiri in 2019 when the election was declared inconclusive at a stage and a runoff ordered.
All Binani tried to do by employing unconventional tactics to fight Fintiri were therefore not strange to the governor.
The APC candidate only failed to cap it all by winning the election which would have placed her on the same pedestal with Fintiri who defeated an incumbent in 2019.
But in all, Binani had shown she’s capable of talking to Fintiri in a language he understands.