Binani: Between cheap politics and social intervention

It’s not surprising seeing what has been happening within the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Adamawa state because those with inordinate craving to take power by any means possible, right or wrong, will go the extra mile to to achieve their ambition.

Desperation kills; it’s a social problem synonymous with the defiance of some badly-behaved politicians.

No wonder, the famous American novelist and short story writer, Veronica Anne Roth, said this about desperation: “Desperation can make a person do surprising things.”

The Adamawa state APC governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani, is doing some absurd things conceivably due to her undue desperation to rule the people of Adamawa state by all means possible – lawfully or unlawfully. Those who follow happenings around her would obviously comprehend what I am saying.

It all started during the APC governorship primaries where seemingly financially induced young men, Binani’s coordinators, were allegedly intercepted by the joint security team who recovered stashed cash and filled-out commitment forms from them, ostensibly to tempt the delegates.

It’s true that those who financially influenced or buy your conscience and moral rights on their path to take your mandate are essentially buying the mandate which evades any obligation after the election.

Instructively, the Electoral Act and the constitution frown on vote buying and vote selling and stipulate penalties for culprits.

Consequently, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, one of the aspirants who contested alongside Binani, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Yola, the Adamawa state capital, alleging over-voting and praying the court to upturn Binani’s victory. Until the court rules, this is something to worry about.

Also, recently, the federal government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has brought a social investment programme to the good people of Adamawa state; and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) being stakeholders in humanitarian services, were saddled with the task of compiling the names of the vulnerable persons who will benefit from the intervention.

Accordingly, the intervention, a social empowerment scheme, targets the indigent and vulnerable masses for cash transfer to help alleviate poverty and give the people a sense of belonging. The Governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, who loves bettering the lives of the people of the state, was duly represented at the launch of the scheme by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, who graciously commended the federal government for thinking about the people of the state at their hour of need.

Actually, 4,786 Adamawa people were supposed to benefit from the scheme that was billed to last about five days. The governor, who is simply happy that the Adamawa people, who have been groaning under the weight of Nigeria’s deteriorating economy, will have some respite from this intervention and consolidate on his visible efforts and gains, made sure the federal team got all the logistics support for a hitch-free exercise.

The desperados at work! Then all of a sudden, stories began to emerge that Senator Aisha Binani, the APC gubernatorial candidate for the 2023 elections, is the one sharing money to the people of Adamawa and that Governor Fintiri has directed the immediate closure of the venue. These lies were so thick that if I wasn’t knowledgeable about happenings there, I would have also fallen for them.

Though, I don’t know what gave Aisha Binani’s people the temerity to start such dangerous rumours simply to tarnish the image of the governor in the eyes of the public, but I must say here without any equivocation that this move is not only cheap, it goes to undermine the very federal government of APC, a party she ought to be a good ambassador of. And it makes one wonder if this is the way Binani and her people are planning to run Adamawa if she becomes governor; with lies? God forbid.

Again, let me say this for anyone who cares to listen. It is not everything that can be politicised. It amounts to the height of evil to play politics with the misfortune of the people of Adamawa whose humble means of livelihood has been made worst by a badly-run economy at the center, controlled by Binani’s party. But nothing is worse than the attempt to take credit and blackmail the governor in a programmer which she did not as much as contribute a dime.

Sadly, Binani and her people have started another round of lies – that the government of Adamawa has truncated the exercise. In fact, from my findings, the exercise, which was initially designed to last five days was even allowed to run for seven days or so and who do you expect to take care of the logistics of those who doing the disbursement? This isn’t Governor Fintiri’s concern and I don’t think the governor who’s so much swamped with his busy schedule would have time for that.

Certainly, one gets the feeling that there’s serious foul play even in the distribution of the funds, because an exercise that was originally slated to last not more than fine days has now been made to exceed one week. It was alleged that lots of underhand practices were perpetrated even in the selection of beneficiaries where only the APC supporters were being favoured.

Let us not forget the fact that the federal government is the government for all Nigerians and not just the APC. President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs have all sworn to work for all Nigerians, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political affiliation. Therefore, the funds should be for the people of Adamawa not Binani’s supporters.

Governor Fintiri isn’t discriminating in terms of wealth and project distribution, and Binani and her APC should replicate this commendable disposition.

Not long ago, Senator Binani, while at it again, allegedly distributed sold fertiliser in contravention of the federal government’s directives; all in an effort to blackmail Governor Fintiri. She should also tell the people of Adamawa how she shared solid fertiliser in the state in blatant disregard to the ban on the distribution and use of same because it constitutes a component for making explosives used by terrorists in killing people.

Equally, I remember vividly that Governor Fintiri had to procure and share liquid fertiliser in compliance with the ban on solid fertiliser. It sends a dangerous signal when while the state governor will comply with federal pronouncement, but senators, probably because they belong to the same party with the president, will be allowed to flout them. Those who want to lead must be seen to be above reproach.

Our people should be wary of such Greek gifts. If a federal government intervention that’s not peculiar to Adamawa state can be hijacked both in narrative and action, you can wonder what will become of our state when some people are all…

Gabriel writes from Jimeta, Adamawa state


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