By Eric M Kuju
Many ardent lovers and followers of wrestling know about ‘The Streak’. This refers to a record set by Mark Calaway popularly known by his moniker The Undertaker. Beginning from 1991, The Undertaker had never lost a match during the WWF’s (later WWE) annual event Wrestlemania. During this streak, The Undertaker defeated 18 men in a total of 21 matches. It became so popular that a match against The Undertaker became the cornerstone of the annual Wrestlemania; every fan was looking forward to it. And as is common with such sports, it was something for him (The Undertaker) and his fans to brag about.
The above background is important because it would seem Nasarawa State has its own ‘The Undertaker’ in the person of Senator Abdullahi Adamu. While Mark Calaway AKA The Undertaker has had his exploits in sports, our dear Abdullahi Adamu is doing his own in politics.
For many who follow politics in Nasarawa State, you must have seen some statements credited to Abdullahi Adamu. Some of such statements take the following form: “From 1978 to date, I have never lost an election”, “I would rather go and face shame in heaven than to face shame on earth”. All these statements are pointing to his achievements – his streak – in politics.
If it is true that he has never lost an election since 1978 to date (44 years), then it means Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s own is much longer than the celebrated winning streak by The Undertaker.
What does this mean? Is it just luck or is Abdullahi Adamu truly a master strategist who has no peers in politics in Nasarawa State?
To win an election in Nigeria you need a multitude of factors to work in your favour; luck, money, connections, strategy and others. It means that for 44 years – from his election into the Constituent Assembly in 1978 to his election into the Senate for a third term in 2019 – all these factors have been working in favour of the man Abdullahi Adamu.
Abdullahi Adamu is in another contest this 2022. He wants to become the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This particular contest is turning out to be his toughest yet. And this is because of a number of reasons. One, most of the other elections he has contested have been on a local level. That is, they have been within his State (Nasarawa). This one is going to be on a national level. Is Senator Abdullahi Adamu only a ‘local’ champion or does his political prowess extend to the national?
Another crucial reason why this is going to be very tough on Abdullahi Adamu is because his most prominent opponent is another political wizard in his own right. Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura like Senator Adamu is a serving senator and a former Governor of Nasarawa State. Just like Senator Adamu who replaced a three-term senator (Abubakar Sodangi), Senator Al-Makura also outmuscled a three-term senator (Suleiman Adokwe) who was gunning for a fourth term. Yes, they are that powerful.
Even in the aspect of money, Al-Makura can match Abdullahi Adamu Naira to Naira. In fact, there are many people who will tell you that Al-Makura has much more of it than Adamu.
To add to that, Senator Al-Makura was also able to secure the endorsement of the stakeholders of APC in Nasarawa State led by the Governor himself, Engineer Abdullahi Sule. This will make it seem that Senator Abdullahi Adamu is standing at the disadvantageous side.
This will be your thought until you remember that as at this time last year (2021), Senator Abdullahi Adamu was not even in the mix. In fact, it seemed as if he was being shown the way out of politics completely. It was as if Hon. Ahmed Aliyu Wadada was just waiting for 2023 to replace him at the senate (whether Sen. Adamu liked it or not).
All was set for the retirement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu from politics in 2023 and even when rumours started trickling in that he was interested in the national chairmanship of the APC, it was laughed at. How can someone who was being showed the way out of politics be going for the number one position in the APC? Most people did not think he could get another term in the senate again not to talk of national APC chairmanship.
Of course, only people who do not know Abdullahi Adamu will think that way. After all, he is not called maye (wizard) for nothing. Underestimate him at your own peril.
From nowhere, just weeks to the proposed date of the APC’s national convention, Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s name became more pronounced. This apparently rattled Al-Makura’s camp because they tried by all means to block the grounds he was gaining. They told everyone that cared to listen that Abdullahi Adamu was just indicating interest out of spite for their candidate and that he is just acting as a spoiler.
When days later several national dailies broke the news that Senator Abdullahi Adamu had been endorsed by no less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari, everything changed. From nowhere, Abdullahi Adamu had become the frontrunner for the position and others who had been flooding the streets of Nigeria with posters and billboards were suddenly behind him.
Even when the presidency attempted to debunk those reports, the deed had already been done; no one could refer to Abdullahi Adamu as a mere ‘spoiler’. You just had to take his aspiration seriously. Such moves can only come from the political maye himself.
Popular Facebook newsblog Nasarawa Mirror quotes Senator Abdullahi Adamu as thus:
“I have been fairly tutored on the act of election, conduct of election, attitude towards electioneering and what have you. And in partisan politics, I have been privileged to be involved with electioneering politics.
“From about the year 1978 to date, I have never lost an election. And it is my hope that if I get the opportunity to serve as chairman I will provide the leadership necessary for APC to continue to dominate the political space in this country.
“I am probably the last aspirant to declare his intention to run. I acted deliberately. My family tradition, my religion has taught me, when it comes to leadership for communities.”
It turned out that while others were going about campaigning openly for the national chairmanship, Abdullahi Adamu was more subtle about his ambition. He is most likely a student of Robert Greene because this move seemed to be from his bestselling book The 48 Laws Of Power, precisely Law 3 which says: Conceal Your Intentions.
Rather than campaigning openly for the chairmanship of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu took advantage of his position as the chairman of the APC reconciliatory committee to do wide consultations, completely taking his opponents unaware.
The intrigues have continued ever since and it is expected that everything will climax on March 26 when the APC national convention will (hopefully) hold. Will the maye emerge victorious thus maintaining his unbeaten streak or will he – like The Undertaker who was defeated by Brock Lesnar in 2014 – finally taste defeat in politics?