Adamawa 2023: Awaiting Fintiri’s final dash to the prize

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The Adamawa state electorate, like those of many other states, went to the polls on March 18, 2023, to elect their governor and members of the state House of Assembly. Bookmakers predicted a two horse race between incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri flying the flag of PDP and Aishatu Binani of the APC.

Like in Lagos, the home state of the winner of the presidential election (Bola Tinubu), where APC pulled no punches to ensure they won at all cost, Adamawa, the home state of the PDP presidential flag bearer (Atiku Abubakar), was always going to throw up something interesting.

Results from the presidential election, where PDP’s Atiku Abubakar trounced the opposition APC as well as clinched two out
of the three senatorial seats in the state, appear to suggest that PDP may win the governorship polls. The odds, according to bookmakers, will be predicated on the secularist make-up of Adamawa state as well as other factors related to the person of Governor Fintiri himself and the so-called power of incumbency.

However, competing against a woman, whose campaign sought to exploit gender equality narrative, feminism as well as the power of her party at the centre, was always going to be tricky. Add this to the very vicious campaign of falsehood launched by the APC which, among other things, claimed victory when the election was clearly going the way of PDP and you will get a situation deliberately made chaotic.

Indeed, international diplomats and so-called women and equality rights activists were forced to start heating the delete buttons on Twitter and Facebook when it became clear that they had been sold a lie. Binani is coming almost became a new song until it was forcefully aborted by the real facts as sanity returned to Cyberia!

The story quickly changed and goalposts began to be moved. From celebration, the tone became that of motivation and as the day wore on, it became evident that Governor Fintiri whose kite never wavered in its victory trajectory would carry the day.

In truth, it will be delusion taken too far to expect Fintiri to be unseated by Aisha Binani on the evidence of his performance in office. For what it’s worth, Binani gave a good fight. But it’s usually not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that determines the outcome.

This fact must have been lost on Binani and her party. So, although she may have mobilised emotions in support of her governorship bid, facts are known to be stubborn; they do not pander to emotions.

The facts show that Fintiri has left a marker of governance. A precedence of forward looking governance, sustainable development and vision that will reverberate long into the future. His security policies have returned peace to hitherto volatile regions of the state and his infrastructural development drive have visited every nook and cranny of Adamawa.

Where Binani thrives on stomach infrastructure, Fintiri thrives on real progress like the turnaround of health infrastructure, education, diversification towards agriculture, etc.

Although the election was declared inconclusive, I’m sure even Binani knows that the rerun is a mere academic exercise. No wonder she has returned to INEC seeking a review of results only in areas where she was conveniently walloped.

Against another candidate, her strong showing may have earned her the crown, but against Fintiri, she just can’t triumph. The man has proven that defeating an APC incumbent in 2019 was no fluke. He has shown why PDP prefers him to handle very delicate national assignments.

Therefore, between governance and winning, Fintiri is simply in a different league and the earlier Binani sees this, throw in the towel and congratulate him, the better for her democratic credentials, which, I might add, have taken some beating in this electioneering.

Mukhtar writes from Abuja.

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