There is a ground swell of resistance mounting apparently against the re-election bid of Senator Adbullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West), who is representing the zone since 2011 and who appears to be mobilising to retain the seat come 2023.
Even as Senator Adamu did not make any public pronouncement regarding his ambition to recontest the senatorial ticket of the ruling APC, many believe the body language of the former governor, is quite informative and indicative.
Pundits say, as the country moves towards the 2023 general election, the former governor has embarked on his trademark political strategy, warming up to the powers that be, who will eventually intercede for him and to prevail on the electorate, for him to once more win the election.
It’s evidently clear, judging from past experiences, that Senator Adamu hardly wins his election through fair means, but that his strategy has been to exploit his links to the powers that be, to influence the election in his favour.
Political pundits also agree, that in a free and fair contest, bereft of any form of manipulation, intimidation or even undue use of influence, the former governor couldn’t have won any of the past elections that took him to the senate.
This is even more evident now that 2023 is fast approaching, with groundswell of resistance against Senator Adamu’s yet-to-be declared intension to recontest the seat he presently occupies. This can be attested by the number of aspirants that are warming up to challenge him, with younger politicians inadvertently saying they are desirous of upstaging him and retiring him politically.
Looking back, in 2011, when Senator Adamu squared off against the then lawmaker representing the zone, Senator Abubakar Sodangi, it was on record that the then governor of the state, the late Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, intervened to pave the way for him to win the election that took him to the senate.
It’s on record however that no sooner had Senator Adamu got his vibes and was sworn-in as a senator, he turned around to stab the late governor in the back, working assiduously behind the scene to deny the late Alhaji Aliyu Doma, a second shot at the Shendam Road Government House.
It was similar interventions that saw Senator Adamu win at all subsequent elections. In 2015, it took the intervention of critical stakeholders to prevail on Hon. Ahmed Aliyu Wadada, to withdraw his case challenging Senator Adamu’s election before the election petition tribunal. It was gathered reliably that had Hon. Wadada insisted on prosecuting his case, Adamu’s election would have been overturned by the tribunal.
Then again, in 2019, the same strategy played out. This time around, even to get the ticket of the party was a problem for Senator Adamu. A younger politician in the person of Hon. Aliyu Tijani Ahmed, the former secretary to the government of Nasarawa State, was positioned to clinch the ticket of the party to run for the Nasarawa West senate seat.
It is pertinent however, to recall the incidence that led to the political imbroglio that led to the decision to replace Senator Adamu at the senate. Ahead of the 2019 general election, Senator Adamu was vociferous and unyielding in his clamour to move the governorship seat back to Nasarawa West, in spite of the inclusive governance being propagated by the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, preferring to shift the seat to Nasarawa North zone, which saw to the emergence of Engineer A. A Sule as flagbearer and subsequent candidate of the APC during the election.
This is even after Senator Al-makura was instrumental to INEC’s declaration of Senator Adamu as duly elected back in 2015, despite glaring irregularities observed in the election. Instead of acknowledging the tremendous support Senator Al-makura gave him in 2015, Senator Adamu vehemently opposed the decision to move the governorship seat to Nasarawa North zone.
Recall also, that as in previous cases, Senator Adamu ran from pillar to post, currying favours and influence, until the Presidency intervened, to appeal to Hon. Ahmad to withdraw from the race.
Now, and as we approach another election year, it’s also evident that Senator Adamu is at his game again. Usually, Senator Adamu does not have any consideration for the electorate, those members of the Nasarawa West constituency, who have the power to elect their representative. What he does always, is to seek influence from on high, with the eventual hijacking of the electoral process in his favour.
Recently, Senator Adamu is seen to be warming up to Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Alhaji Sule, reaching out to the governor and making himself more agreeable to him. The game plan is even more obvious, with frequent trips to Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, to attend functions and pledge goodwill.
On several occasions, Senator Adamu was reported to have muscled any opposition from the Nasarawa West zone by declaring that no politician will dare challenge the governor come 2023. This may appear needless, mostly because of the excellent leadership being provided by the incumbent governor, whose all-inclusive governance resonates well with the electorates across the state.
For the uninitiated, Adamu could be actually working for the governor but in reality, he is only feathering his best and taking pole position to curry influence and favour towards his political ambition.
Senator Adamu is only working for his personal ambition and he is ever ready to ride on the shoulder of every person that has influence, including the governor, just so he can retain his seat.
It is to be expected that, in line with his character, Senator Adamu is bound to betray the governor if Engineer A. A Sule ventured to put his reputation on the line to save the lawmaker from obvious political oblivion come 2023.
Having recognized that Engineer A. A. Sule has abiding interest in agriculture and pronto, he is now turning to agriculture to cultivate a relationship with the governor, with the sole aim of exploiting this relationship for electoral gain.
Most annoying for the electorate in the zone, is that Senator Adamu obviously has little regards them in his plans. He is used to riding roughshod on their shoulders, not minding whether they have any role to play, in electing him to office. He is a master when it comes to the game of manipulation and would do anything to avoid subjecting himself to the whims and caprice of the electorate.
Being a master of the politics of relevance and intimidation, the incumbent lawmaker renews and even establish new relationships with those that he think, can pull the strings for him and to make him attain his political objective, irrespective of the wishes and aspirations of the electorate.
This is more reason why younger politicians are working hard to change the narrative and to return the power to elect those who will represent the zone back to the people and not to be subjected to the selective, divisive disposition of a powerful cabal, that will have no consideration for the plight of the people.
In fact, it’s hight time the people of Nasarawa West calls his bluff, by ensuring that they subject every aspirant to the electoral process, making it imperative that those that will represent them are those that the people elect.
Senator Adamu has done and given his best to the zone, state and country at large. However, it’s high time he moves on and allow younger politicians take over from him. He should remain the father that he is by retiring from active politics, to play the role of the elderly statesman. He will do far better if he chooses to mentor younger politicians, instead of working against them and denying them the opportunity to take over from him.
It’s however to be understood, that should Senator Adamu defy reason and insists on continuing and declaring intention to recontest his seat, he should be ready to face the stiffest resistance from the people of the zone. He has never been popular at the polling units and if he therefore insists, the people of the zone must give him the political fight of his life.
This is even necessary because there are younger politicians from the zone, who are well prepared, better suited and possess all the wherewithal, to effectively represent the zone at the upper chamber of the national assembly and to give the people of to the zone, inclusive, purposeful leadership.
Suleiman, a public affairs commentator, writes from Jabi, Abuja.