For watchers of politics in Nasarawa State in the last 6 years, the current feud between Abdullahi Adamu and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, both of them former Governors and presently Senators, is not strange.
They passed through this some years ago.
Prior to 2018, all was well, or so it seemed, between the then Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and his predecessor, Abdullahi Adamu.
However, as party politicking was gathering momentum in 2018 leading to the 2019 elections, there emerged clash of interests between the two political allies.
It got to a head, when Governor Al-Makura spilled the beans or let the cat out of the bag when he officially disclosed what many people had been saying, that there was something fishy about the Farin Ruwa Dam project abandoned by the administration of Abdullahi Adamu. In the heat of the crisis, Governor Tanko Al-Makura went the whole hug by setting up a committee to probe Adamu’s administration – 1999 to 2007
The committee, headed by the then Commissioner for Finance, Ayuba Ayenajeh, was mandated to review the concession agreement of all the state government-owned hotels and other related facilities, including the New Keffi Hotel, NIPDC Conference Hotel and Keffi Club.
The committee was also mandated to review and investigate the circumstances that led to the failure of the Farin Ruwa Independent Hydro-Power Plant project and the Zimbabwean farmers’ projects.
Senator Adamu is alleged to have started the Farin Ruwa project with huge amount of money, without anything to show for it.
Senator Adamu reacts
In his reaction, Abdullahi Adamu, alleged that Al-Makura was fighting him because of 2019 governorship candidate.
According to Adamu, “whatever is my offence, the governor should go ahead and probe me. I am not afraid of his probe. But our eyes will remain on the board.
“His decision to probe my administration 11 years after is diversionary. He is going on a shadow-chasing spree and I won’t be part of it. So, let him probe me, he is the governor. He can afford to do what he wants.”
According to Senator Adamu, the governor should not forget that his administration was coming to an end, saying “what goes around comes around. If the governor is doing what is doing to scare him, he will be fighting a losing battle.”
And what was the cause of the rift? It was reported that Senator Abdullahi Adamu was not in support of the choice Umaru Tanko Al-Makura made of his successor, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule. And because he was opposed to the anointed choice, the then Governor decided to ask and encourage one of his Commissioners, Tijjani Ahmed, to aspire for the ticket of Senate thereby challenging the siting Senator, Abdullahi Adamu. That was all!
However, after some weeks, Nasarawa state council of chiefs waded into the rift and a reconciliatory meeting was held behind closed doors on 27th September, 2018.
After the fruitful meeting between the two leaders and traditional rulers, both were seen in a joyful mood shaking hands with each other, an indication that they set aside their differences in the interest of peace and development of the state.
And since then, all appeared calm until this National Chairmanship palaver emerged and opened the old wounds.
Indeed, the quest for who becomes the National Chairman of the ruling party in the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has thrown the two political heavyweights in Nasarawa State into another bout of fight that is gradually degenerating and getting messy.
To be fair to the immediate past Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, he declared his intention quite early and has been all over the place selling his candidature across the length and breadth of this country in order to convince the likely delegates to the National Convention of the party. Critical stakeholders of the APC in Nasarawa State, on January 25, 2022, unanimously adopted Senator Al-Makura as the candidate of the party in the race to occupy the office of the national chairman of the party. The questions being asked: why was Abdullahi Adamu conspicuously absent in that meeting? Was he invited or did he shun the meeting?
When Senator Abdullahi Adamu was made to head the reconciliatory committee of the APC to settle lingering crises among party members in various States of the Federation, not many people ever had the knowledge that he had his eyes fixed in that seat. He did not make his interests known, but as it has been stated in some quarters, he used the contacts he was making for the reconciliation to canvass support for his ambition to be the National Chairman of the party. Ever since that became public, tongues have been wagging in especially Nasarawa State, thereby re-igniting the feud between the two political gladiators in Nasarawa State.
As it was in 2018, so is it playing out in 2022. Whereas the Al-Makura camp are striving to teach Abdullahi Adamu the political lesson of his life, Abdullahi Adamu is proving that he is the master of the game.
Supporters of the two aspirants to the APC National Chairmanship seat are spoiling for ‘war’ as they are issuing threats to themselves.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule has repeatedly stated that Al-Makura remains the candidate the State is putting forward and campaigning for.
It should be stressed that the APC leadership has not zoned the seat to Nasarawa State; there are other people from other States of the Federation also eyeing the seat. Even if the party zones the seat to North Central, there is Senator George Akume from Benue State and Senator Sani Musa from Niger State.
It is against this backdrop that analysts say that as things stand, if care is not taken, both Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura may end up losing the coveted seat of the National Chairmanship of the party, thereby affirming the truism as captured by Chinua Achebe in his novel Arrow Of God, that “When two brothers fight, a stranger reaps the harvest.”