The results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections have brought surprises and further gingered up the political atmosphere across the nation as we get ready to go to the polls for the Governorship elections. The Adamawa Governorship race is not left out as the citizens and contestants are anxiously waiting to know if the rice and beans mantra of ‘cast your vote for candidates regardless of their political parties’ that swelled the atmosphere prior to March 28, will work this time around.
This writer is one of the numerous Adamawa citizens that believe in and passionately sang the mantra for the 2015 elections.
Rice and beans advocates have painstakingly sold the idea to many willing listeners; believing that a deal is done. But, alas on March 28, we got our results – a total rejection of the idea by many ordinary Adamawa people. In some parts of Nigeria, including Adamawa state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was so much rejected to the extent that anybody the All Progressives Congress, APC, presented was voted for. I know of a candidate who in an ideal situation cannot win a councillorship position in his adopted ward, who was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Moreover, he defeated one of the finest candidates in the race for the Senate in Adamawa State.
Many people are advocating for the rice and beans pattern of voting despite the fact that they fully understand that many people are angry with the PDP because of some factors which include failure of the party to combat the insurgency in the Northeast which has also devastated some parts of Adamawa. Will the Governorship polls follow the same pattern? Or will rice and beans be full of stones, thus ‘unchewable’?
The Adamawa governorship race is exceptional. This is because the state has been grossly mismanaged for many years. And out of the four main candidates contesting for the governorship position, Nuhu Ribadu stands out in terms of work experience, rich curriculum vitae and the capacity to rescue Adamawa state. The public consensus in Adamawa state is that the state needs a paradigm shift in terms of development because the state is years behind its peers in terms of socio-economic progress. It is time to salvage the state. Nuhu is well-cultured, well-read and has integrity to jealously protect, so he will be well motivated to leapfrog Adamawas development to where it is supposed to be.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State