Now that Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has declared his intention to contest for the governorship of Adamawa state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); the Adamawa political scene has changed. Thus, poster and briefcase politicians who were waiting for the PDP governorship ticket to be given to them on a platter of gold will have to work for it. In addition, those segments of the society which were hitherto indifferent to the political scene because of the absence of new and reliable candidates are now reawakened.
Almost all the contestants for Adamawa PDP governorship ticket; their supporters and godfathers are now jittery because of Ribadu’s entry into the race. Their fears are genuine and understandable–like some people think- Nuhu will be given an automatic ticket- no primaries.
Hitherto, most of the contestants have not put on ground serious campaign structures- they were waiting for Abuja to bulldoze the way for them. Out of the blue! Abuja is now looking the other way. So, they are now groaning. One of the contestants was even quoted saying Nuhu needs a waiver. Nuhu Ribadu is joining the PDP, not rejoining. He does not need any waiver. Chapter II part 1 of the PDP constitution (2012 as amended) is very explicit- admission into membership and procedure for rejoining are two different things.
Nuhu is well-cultured, well-read and has integrity to jealously protect- thus, the general belief is that he won’t use this opportunity to deny other contestants the opportunity to test their popularity.
Despite having the support and encouragement from those whom each of other contestants needs dearly, Nuhu must work for a level playing field to allow PDP delegates to decide their flag-bearer, because, first, at the end of the day, the flag bearer needs the support of other contestants, and second, to show that he indeed believes in the values he fought for, of which transparency and equality are prominent.
Many factors were responsible for drafting Ribadu into the contest on the platform of the PDP. First, a lot of stakeholders in Adamawa state have come to the conclusion that Adamawa need a paradigm shift in terms of development. Secondly, the state needs a governor that is relatively young, incorruptible, committed, well-read, urbane, with a clean record and one that has the capacity to leapfrog the state’s development to where it is supposed to be. Nuhu possesses these qualities.
Apart from the aforementioned, there are also some salient political factors that necessitated the drafting of Ribadu into the race. There is a general consensus that Adamawa central should produce the next governor and Nuhu is the perfect candidate from that zone. Though there are other well-qualified candidates, considering the present political and economic atmosphere, Nuhu is the best. Another factor is, the PDP has realized its big errors- the Murtala Nyako error for instance- Nuhu has the mind to correct such errors.
Some observers are of the view that, if Nuhu is good, must PDP be the vehicle for him to be governor? Nuhu’s immediate constituency, his senatorial zone, most of his friends and peers and indeed Adamawa state are overwhelmingly PDP, so naturally he should be in the PDP.
However, the battle will not be easy for Ribadu both at PDP primaries and the main elections. Other contestants will put up a fierce fight for delegates’ votes or for juicy political compensation. On the other hand, the APC with Atiku’s guidance will present a sophisticated counter-move to get massive support from some segments of Adamawa people. The APC would also use the Adamawa central ‘card’, but with an additional political move- its candidate will be from Adamawa central, but may be different from Nuhu in terms of tongue and faith.
The advantages Nuhu Ribadu has are: he is naturally charismatic, young, well-read, urbane and ‘clean hands’. He also has a higher chance of winning the elections on the platform of PDP than APC because the PDP is well rooted in the state. The recent woes of APC in the state too would work against them.
Nuhu’s superb qualities further give him and whichever party’s flag he bears, an edge over every other candidate and party. So, with the current political and economic situation in Adamawa state, Nuhu Ribadu is the formula for any political party to win the October 11 governorship election- the PDP is smart to quickly grab the opportunity.