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Date Published: 07/09/10

Adamawa's fledgling democracy and the people By Kadiri Mainami


      The dynamics of political appointment/election is imperative in several ways. First of all as a job and as a patronage and the person whom the cap fits in this office is assumed to be a leader. Obviously such a person should be one whom others will follow willingly without coercion. That rules out tyrants, bullies, autocrats and all those others who use coercive power to impose their will on others. Usually in achieving this, due respect is paid to the sanctity of truth and transparency devoid of impurity. But in the life of Hong LGA, in the last 14 months, I make bold to say that these fine attributes of good governance have been trampled upon with a bit of recklessness.

      There is no doubt, pockets of achievements have been recorded in few sectors since then, but over all, all these have been subsumed in the thick clouds of controversy and false hood.

      Unlike what obtains in developed democracies where the universal spoils system died long ago, in Nigeria political administration jobs are still regarded by many participants in the political process, as an important part of the rewards system. They are very essential to those who get the jobs, and also to those who make it possible for such to happen.

      Whatever the patronage or symbolic value of those political offices, however, office is registered most clearly in their impact on public policy.

      In contrast to the foregoing, the noble concept of internal democracy has been bastardized in Adamawa by Senator Jibril Aminu and Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, under the tutelage of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. One of the notorious legacies Obasango bequeathed to the duo is the imposition of candidates in supposedly elective posts. For the records, both the Minister and the Senator are alleged to have imposed the present sitting governor and the 21 LG Chairmen in the state. This they did not out of likeness for the impostors, but allegedly for their selfish political considerations. Infact, in the wake of the era of imposing especially the Council Chairmen, no soul dares any of them and go scot-free. This category of appointees was untouchables until recently. But possibly due to the change in the political configuration going in the state, there are palpable fears that, reckoning time is in the offing for the political godsons in the state.

      The first casualty may be Malam Ibrahim Gayus of Hong LGA. According to impeccable sources from the area, his godfather is miffed by the Chairman’s rumored excitement over Dr. Hong’s removal from office for a period of 2 weeks, before his reappointment last April among other sundry issues, leveled against the Chairman by the minister’s loyalists. After stabilizing in his new office, the minister may have commenced a plot to remove Malam Gayus from office by way of instigating members of the legislature to formally impeach him as a revenge mission. The other factor which manifested recently in Hong town was at the funeral of late Alh. Iliyasu Njanusu Hong, an Hon. Member of House of Reps, where in the presence of the minister, his political thugs openly rained abuses on the Council Chairman ostensibly to ingratiate themselves with their boss.

      It was reportedly gathered that all attempts by the Chairman to scold the thugs from embarrassing him in the midst of sympathizers at the deceased compound, was allegedly rebuffed by the minister, who equally is the Chairman’s godfather as far as the May 2nd, 2009 purported LG election is concerned. This altercation continued, and in a bid to assert his authority as the Chief security officer of the area, the Chairman was reported to have authorized the arrest of those thugs by the police for detention. In the process, the minister got the wind of the arrest and ordered the immediate release of the boys by the police authorities in the area as the action of the thugs the minister was quoted, is just an internal family matter. And that order was carried out to the latter, leaving the Chairman as an underdog in his domain.

      It should therefore be noted that the operational principle that shapes political behaviour of politicians and their action in a democracy, is the notion that all its participants share, they elective decisions of a people is important. They have a significant effect on the outcome of policy decision of government.

      It therefore goes to show that Dr. Hong and Prof. Jibril Aminu, ought to follow the path of honour and apologize to the people of Adamawa for their individual and collective roles in subverting the people’s will in the last three years. For instance, if really they want the people of Hong to believe and accept that, there was an election, a peaceful one for that matter, and not to talk of the fact that Ibrahim Gayus was duly elected, how could he have emerged from a contest that had no other contestants? If he was adopted by party faithfuls as they want people to believe, where is the relevant form those concerned filed? Where and when were the Primaries that selected him conducted? Who was the returning officer of the said election? These questions need deserved answers if the duos are to be taken serious and responsible people.

      From the bits and ends of the issues, it is alleged that the tactful refusal of Ibrahim Gayus to remit an agreed sum of money to the minister’s account in appreciation of the former’s imposition on the good people of Hong, had put the duo on a collision course. This latest development has just confirmed that Dr. Hong’s wild interest in imposing Mr. Gayus in the first place was not a patriotic one.

      Both of them and their fellow co-travelers have proved their critics right. What a shame you will say.

Kadiri Mainami is of the Network for Good Governance in Hong.


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