Atiku, Nyako rift tears Adamawa APC apart

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Kabiru R. An­war, Yola

The grow­ing rift be­tween the camps of for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Atiku Abubakar and that of for­mer Gover­nor Mur­tala Nyako is split­ting the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State.

Muham­mad Umar Jib­rilla, then a sen­a­tor stood on the po­lit­i­cal struc­ture of Mur­tala Nyako to de­feat Atiku’s can­di­date, Ibrahim Mi­jinyawa twice to emerge as the APC’s gu­ber­na­to­rial flag bearer in the aborted by­elec­tion.

Jib­rilla re­peated same feat in the 2015 gen­eral elec­tions to emerge gover­nor.

The vic­tory was largely in­ter­preted as vic­tory for Nyako and a sig­nal to the demise of Atiku’s po­lit­i­cal rel­e­vance in the state.

Af­ter Jib­rilla’s re­sound­ing vic­tory at the elec­tion, the bat­tle of supremacy be­tween the Nyako and Atiku camps surged with the for­mer’s loy­al­ists ac­cus­ing Atiku of plot­ting to hi­jack the gover­nor.

Key loy­al­ists of Nyako re­port­edly felt threat­ened by the sud­den shift of loy­alty af­ter the elec­tion and called for a meet­ing be­tween the then gover­nor-elect Jib­rilla, the son of Nyako, Sen­a­tor Ab­du­laziz Nyako, and an as­so­ciate of Nyako, Umar Kugama as well as the Chief of Staff to the new gover­nor, Ab­dur­rah­man Abba Jimeta, to re­mind Jib­rilla of the cir­cum­stances that pro­pelled him to vic­tory.

A source close to the meet­ing said a call was put across to Nyako, who was then in ex­ile in Lon­don, to per­son­ally ad­mon­ish the gov­er­nor­elect against ditch­ing the group that stood with him when Atiku ve­he­mently op­posed him and funded his op­po­nent dur­ing the nom­i­na­tion pro­cesses of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC).

Un­der in­tense pres­sure, the source added, Jib­rilla re­stated his al­le­giance to Nyako as his po­lit­i­cal god­fa­ther os­ten­si­bly to set­tle the dust.

“Prob­lem started when the gover­nor-elect sud­denly ditched his bene­fac­tors and tilted to­wards Atiku who had re­fused to sup­port him at the pri­maries de­spite ap­peals. He of­ten trav­eled with Atiku and con­sulted him on al­most ev­ery is­sue. Nyako and his loy­al­ists re­ally felt be­trayed and will surely not sup­port him in the fu­ture,” the source said.

How­ever, Jib­rilla had once told jour­nal­ists dur­ing an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion that those ac­cus­ing him of be­trayal are politi­cians who lost rel­e­vance and failed in their at­tempt to con­trol him.

Jib­rilla also de­nied hav­ing any god­fa­ther, in­sist­ing that his loy­alty to the peo­ple of the state re­mains in­tact and that his re­solve to pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment to the state is un­shaken.

The for­mer pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary of the APC in the state, Phineas Pa­dio, blamed mem­bers of the Nyako group for at­tempt­ing to short­change Jib­rilla of his elec­toral vic­tory.

He ac­cused them of plot­ting to re­move the gover­nor barely a week to his as­sump­tion of of­fice on May 29 through a court process ini­ti­ated to en­sure the re­turn of Nyako, who was im­peached by the state House of Assem­bly.

Jus­tice Bilk­isu Bello Aliyu of the Fed­eral High Court Yola, had on 21st May, 2015 dis­missed the suit filed by Nyako, who was chal­leng­ing his re­moval by the assem­bly.

Many be­lieved that if Nyako had won, he would have been re­in­stated to con­tinue his ten­ure.

Pa­dio said Jib­rilla would have been hap­pier to take over from Nyako, but he felt be­trayed af­ter sens­ing that the re­tired ad­mi­ral, fondly called Baba Mai Mang­waro, was plan­ning to stay be­yond May 29th.

He said they learnt that if Nyako had suc­ceeded, the plot was that he would rush to court and ask for per­mis­sion to stay for four years, dat­ing back to his re-run elec­tion in 2012.

Nyako was re­elected for sec­ond term in 2011 but the elec­tion was nul­li­fied and fresh elec­tion con­ducted in 2012, mean­ing he spent three years since the re­run elec­tion.

”The rift Bin­dow and be­tween

Nyako has been in the air for some time now. I am not the spokesper­son of Gover­nor Jib­rilla but the is­sue that I think fi­nally en­deared Atiku to Gover­nor Jib­rilla was the fact that some peo­ple held meet­ings to dis­cuss Nyako’s re­turn.

“They said Nyako’s ten­ure would end in 2016. They sew uni­forms to welcome Nyako to Adamawa but Atiku gave Gover­nor Jib­rilla all moral and fi­nan­cial sup­port to re­main in of­fice,” Pa­dio added.

How­ever, a close ally of Nyako, who served as the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic­ity in Jib­rilla’s gu­ber­na­to­rial cam­paign, Uba DanArewa, said the ru­mour of Nyako’s plot to seek ten­ure ex­ten­sion was planted and ped­dled by politi­cians who wanted to cre­ate dis­cord be­tween Nyako and the in­cum­bent gover­nor.

Speak­ing to our cor­re­spon­dent on tele­phone, Dan-Arewa chal­lenged those ped­dling the ru­mour to sub­stan­ti­ate their claims and ad­vised the public to re­ject such un­scrupu­lous acts.

He ar­gued that Nyako did not ask the court for ten­ure elon­ga­tion, and that the case was filed long be­fore Gover­nor Jib­rilla was elected.

“The ru­mour was the hand­i­work of peo­ple who thought it was not pos­si­ble for Jib­rilla to be­come gover­nor, and when he won the elec­tion, they des­per­ately made fran­tic moves to cre­ate en­mity be­tween him and Nyako,” he said.

On al­le­ga­tions that Nyako was not con­sulted in the for­ma­tion of cab­i­net, while Atiku nom­i­nated sev­eral can­di­dates, Dan-Arewa said Nyako’s loy­al­ists made it into the cab­i­net on merit and their con­tri­bu­tion to the cam­paign.

“We ad­vised Nyako not to ask for any favour from the gov­ern­ment in or­der to re­tain his in­tegrity as a fa­ther… So, he did not nom­i­nate any­body but mem­bers of his group were ap­pointed com­mis­sion­ers based on their con­tri­bu­tion to the cam­paign, not be­cause of their re­la­tion­ship with Nyako,” he also said.

Dr. Fa­tima Atiku Abubakar, the daugh­ter of Atiku as well as Ibrahim Mi­jinyawa, his loy­al­ist who was de­feated by the gover­nor at the party pri­mary were among the 23 com­mis­sion­ers in the state.

As the new gover­nor set­tles to de­liver the man­date given to him by the peo­ple of Adamawa, only time will tell who, be­tween Atiku and Nyako, will be the ‘real god­fa­ther’.

For­mer gover­nor Nyako

For­mer vice pres­i­dent Atiku Abubakar

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