by Solomon Kumangar
The 2023 general elections in Nigeria have come and gone, although legal fireworks on the contests are still ongoing at various Election Petition Tribunals across the country. The Adamawa State governorship election was particularly tense especially during the supplementary rerun during which the state dominated both the conventional and social media platforms largely for the wrong reasons.
In those moments, one felt ashamed to be identified with the state and what was going on in it.
The attitude of the various contestants for the coveted Adamawa governorship seat can best be described in the words of the title of the film: The good, the bad and the ugly.
Remarkably, the attitude and actions of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri before, during and after the polls had been salutary, above board and worthy of emulation.
Firstly, Fintiri was confident. Within the context of normal democratic tenets everywhere in the world, his confidence was well – founded. If performance in office is a basis for electoral success, Fintiri has positively transformed Adamawa State that he should and was justifiably confident to be re – elected. His famous mantra has been to develop Adamawa State such that ‘no one is left behind and nothing is left untouched’.
Secondly, Fintiri was remarkably calm despite intense provocation and ugly shenanigans especially by the APC candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani. Even when she was touted as a Contractor for INEC which is supposedly neutral in the election; even when she hoodwinked top security chiefs of the state to storm the PDP situation room on spurious charges; even when the state Resident Electoral Commissioner was caught on tape directing his official to ‘taimaki matannan’; even when Hudu declared her elected against all sense of decency while results were yet to be fully collated; even when she proceeded to deliver an incendiary acceptance speech to a treasonable action, Fintiri remained remarkably calm and unruffled.
This tremendously helped in dousing tension and averting a violent crisis.
Thirdly, Fintiri was philosophical. As a Muslim, he knows that Allah gives power to whoever He wants at the time He wants. If Allah destines that Fintiri will serve a second term, a thousand Hudus and a million Binanis will not be able to change that.
As we reflect on the 2023 governorship election in Adamawa State and the role of key actors in it, the attitude of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri provides a subject of study by political scientists. What is clear is that his attitude immensely calmed nerves, averted violence and contributed to the sustenance of unity, peace and progress of Adamawa State.