BETWEEN REAR-ADMIRAL MURTALA NYAKO AND ADAMAWA ELDERS' FORUM WHERE LIES THE TRUTH
It will be a worthwhile exercise to refresh my readers geography of Adamawa State before going into the substance of my article.
Adamawa State was formerly Gongola State before Taraba State was excised out of it. It is located in the North Eastern part of Nigeria and extends into the Middle-belt.
Adamawa State would have been like Plateau State where no one tribe lords it over the others politically if there is unity amongst all the tribes and the principle of justice and fairness is adhered to.
Adamawa State has the largest collection of ethnic groups in Nigeria put at about 103 tribes and languages. The larger tribes are Kamwe (Higi) in Michika and Mubi local governments estimated at about 500, 000 in 2008, the Bachama (Bwatiye) people in Numan and Lamurde at about 400,000. The Kilba people in Hong at about 350,000.
Other large ethnic groups are the Chamba people in Ganye, the Kanakuru in Shelleng, the Fali people in Mubi, the Lunguda people in Guyuk and of course the Fulani in Yola and Fufore.
There are still some powerful and educated tribes like the Margi in Madagali, the Bura people in Garkida/Gombi, the Mbula people in Demsa, the Yungur people in Song local government.
Some other notable tribes in Adamawa State are the Matakam, Waga, Vere, Janghi and the famous Koma people in Jada and the Ga'anda people amongst others.
I have started by calling attention to the fact that Adamawa State has 103 ethnic groups. The other tribes I may not have mention is not a deliberate omission but readers may have to excuse me because of lack of space and time.
Based on an analysis I read in the Guardian Newspaper of Saturday March 7, 2009, the Fulani ethnic group constitutes three percent (3%) of the Adamawa State population. But the Adamawa elders' are alleging that since the advent of the Nyako administration, Rear-Admiral Nyako and his Fulani brothers have been implementing Fulani agenda to the detriment of the other 102 tribes in Adamawa State.
In a well attended conference in Yolaã€€ironically on June 12, 2010 which was a Saturday, speaker after speaker castigated the Nyako government for parochialism, nepotism, ethnic chauvinism and favoritism in favour of his Fulani kinsmen and women.
What is interesting about the attendance was that it cut across tribe and religion and even political party affiliation. The shakers and movers of Adamawa State politics were all there.
The roll call include Baba Paul Wapana as he is popularly called in Mubi/Michika/Hong axis. It is also worthy of mention that he is the Vice Chairman of PDP, North-East zone.
The indomitable Ambassador Dan Suleiman was there.
The list included former governors Wilberforce Juta, General Aliyu Kama and Chief David Barau. The list is not exhaustive as it includedã€€Baba Joel Madaki, General Haladu Hananiya, Hajia Fati Abubukar, Chief John Manassehã€€and many notable Adamawa elders.
Among their charges against the Nyako administration in their state is the fact that all the institutions of higher learning in the states are headed by Fulanis and they gave statistics to back their claims.
-Adamawa State University Mubi- Alhaji Alkasum Abba as VC.
-College of Education Hong-Alhaji Hamidu Maiha as Provost.
-College of Agriculture Ganye- Mohammed Jada as Provost.
-College of Health Technology Michika though still operating on temporary site in Mubi has Dauda Mahmud as Provost.
-College of Education Mubi- Dr Aminu Chiroma as Provost.
-The Federal Polytechnic Mubi has Dr Mustapha Barau as Rector.
The Provost of the College of Legal Studies Yola is also a Fulani man.
One other charge by the elders against the Murtala Nyako administration is that he forcefully seized people's farm in all the 21 local government areas in the state in the pretext of creating low cost housing scheme only to re-settle Fulani herdsmen on those farms acquired forcefully from the natives.
The Adamawa elders came hardest on Governor Murtala Nyako when they listed 10 out of his 14 commissioners as Fulanis and or Muslims.
As for his defense, Governor Nyako fired by to say that the Deputy Governor and the SSG are non -Fulanis.
As it is now the battle line has been drawn in Adamawa State. Statistically, the other ethnic groups can comfortably take the Dougeri Government House Yola for good from the Fulanis if they so wish and make some sacrifices.
Unfortunately since the creation of old Gongola State and even Adamawa State, no other tribe apart from the Fulani has won election to be the governor despite their numerical strength.
As it is now, the battle line has been drawn, will Rear-Admiral Nyako make amend or will he rather have the Adamawa elders kick him out of government houseã€€in 2011/2012. One thing is certain, President Goodluck Jonathan has promised that People's vote shall and must count in all elections in Nigeria henceforth. We saw it in Anambra State in February 2010.
Can the new and invigorated Adamawa elders used their new found unity and strength to push Murtala Nyako out of Dougorei Government House Yola and put their own there? Only time will tell. As we wait the unfolding drama, we wait and see how they can unite and put a Bachama (Bwatiye) man or Mbula man or Kilba man or Lunguda man or Kanakuru man in Government House Yola in 2011/2012.
Ndiameeh Babrik is @ [email protected]