CONSCIENCE is a virtue that is rare among Nigerian politicians. That is why in Nigeria, politics is a game without conscience. For instance, it is common place in this country to hear politicians run down the party they have left for another in a bid to remain relevant in their new found political abode. And when their expectations are not met in the new party, they would not mind eating their vomit by going back to the party they once described as evil. This is the case with Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and until recently, an influential member of the All Progressives Congress, APC. For the period Ribadu was in the APC, he never saw anything good in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. At a public lecture organized by the Students’ Representatives Council, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on June 10, 2013, Ribadu was quoted as saying on that occasion that democracy in Nigeria is tyrannical under the PDP. Before then, precisely on March 5, 2011, he said in Lagos that the PDP was the problem of the country because it was full of political cockroaches. In other climes, it would be unthinkable that Ribadu, who had never seen anything good in the PDP, would ever dream of leaving the APC for a cockroach-infested party, where he now believes his political bread can be buttered. For this reason, he has found a way to eat his words. According to the former anti- corruption tsar, there is no difference between the people who make up the PDP and the APC. According to him, the two major political parties are populated by good and bad people. That is Nigerian politics for you.
Like Ribadu, many other politicians who were running down the PDP, are now jostling for its ticket to contest a governorship by-election in Adamawa State next October. In all, there are among the 14 aspirants who are fighting to outdo each other for the ticket. Getting the PDP ticket may not be an easy task for Ribadu because there are 13 other aspirants who have ganged up against him. Leading the pack is Ahmadu Umar Fintiri, former speaker of the State House of Assembly, now the acting governor. He has been quoted as saying that there is no vacancy in the government house which he is currently occupying. Can he, as the acting governor, aspire to be the substantive holder of that position? The constitution never envisaged such a situation. Therefore it is silent on that.
Apart from Fintiri, there are other formidable aspirants who also have their eyes on the seat of power. Among them are Retired Brigadier-general Mohammed Buba Marwa, former military governor of Borno and Lagos States, Aliyu Idi-Hong, former minister of state for foreign affairs, Umar Ardo, three-time governorship aspirant, and Ahmed Gulak, former special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on political matters. Who will eventually get the PDP ticket for the race? This is the situation examined in our cover story for this week entitled “Who Gets the PDP Nod in Adamawa State?” It is an analytical piece written by Olu Ojewale, our general editor. Enjoy it.
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— Sep. 8, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT