BY UMAR YUSUF, YOLA
On the 21st of July, 2018, former vice president and presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP held a mega rally to showcase his ambition for the 2019 presidential race.
The rally attracted Atiku’s supporters from all the regions of the country and from the diaspora.
The crowd that attended the rally was adjudged as one of the largest political gatherings to have been held at the Mahmoud Ribadu Square in the Adamawa state capital.
Before his recent decamp to PDP, Atiku Abubakar was Governor Mohammed Jibrilla’s political godfather. Atiku’s move to PDP has therefore sent a signal to Governor Mohammed Jibrilla that he should be prepared for a bigger hurdle as he warms-up for re-election.
At the rally attended by all the bigwigs of PDP at both national and state levels led by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus and the leaders of the party from the six geo-political zones of the country, Atiku called on the people of Adamawa state, the North-East and the entire Nigerians to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari and all the governors elected on the platform of the APC. He said that the APC led Federal government and at the states have disappointed Nigerians.
Atiku also accused the APC government of not fulfilling its electioneering campaign promises as unemployment, poverty, corruption and insecurity have become the order of the day in the country,.
According to him, the number of Nigerians killed under the present regime either through assassinations or conflicts ran into tens of thousands. Atiku maintained that the killings were ongoing and it was only the PDP government that could stop it.
It was gathered that both Atiku and Governor Governor Jibrilla have vowed to truncate each other’s political ambitions
According to a source close to both camps, Atiku has vowed to ensure that Governor Jibrilla will not be re-elected, while Jbirilla popularly called Bindow has also vowed to halt Atiku’s presidential ambition right from his home state.
Governor Mohammed Jibrilla, was away in Europe when Atiku held his rally in Yola.
Some political observers argued that the governor left the state to avoid meeting face to face with Atiku or witness the display of the political power of his former godfather.
The Governor returned to the state from his overseas trip on Tuesday the 24th of July precisely four days after Atiku’s rally and the manner of his arrival appeared as if to show that as far as Adamawa was concerned he was in firm control.
The heat of the sun was at its peak that Tuesday afternoon when the governor arrived while thousands of the governor’s supporters besieged the Yola Airport as early as 7 am to await the arrival of the Governor.
Both human and vehicular traffic was unprecedented, as they came from far and near in an attempt to surpass the crowd witnessed during Atiku Abubakar’s mega rally.
Markets, shops and other business places were shut down even as the gates of Jimeta market were under lock and key as all the traders trooped out to welcome the governor back to the state.
The chairman of Gamzaki Traders Union, the umbrella body of market men and women in Jimeta modern market, Alhaji Adamu Mai Gold told Vanguard that his union decided to close shops and show solidarity with the Governor because of the new lease of life he has brought to the people of Adamawa state. “Mohammed Jibrilla’s administration in the socio-economic development of the state in his three years in office is equal to none”, he remarked.
“As the grassroot people, we have seen the achievements of Governor Jibrilla’s government on the ground. That is why we are solidly behind him for a second term” Adamu Mai Gold stated.
Earlier at the Yola airport before the governor arrived, airport security men had a tough time controlling the crowd that trooped out to welcome the governor as they defied the order on restricted areas within the Airport premises.
The crowd drove in a motorcade with the Governor through some major roads in the state capital and the traffic was at a snail speed as it took the motorcade of the Governor and his supporters over two hours to move from the airport to the gate of Government House where he addressed the supporters.
The Governor told the crowd in a brief and short address that Adamawa state has been an APC state and will remain so for a long time to come.
He told the people to discountenance the report by the opposition party that eight of his cabinet members had resigned and decamped to the PDP.
Governor Jibrilla told the crowd that the speculated defection and resignation of his commissioners were the handiwork of the opposition party, saying that his cabinet was still intact.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, the three senators, the eight members of the House of Representatives and the twenty-five members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, all elected on the platform of the APC would be returned in the 2019 general elections”, the Governor gave the assurance.
Earlier, Adamawa state Chairman of APC, Ibrahim Bilal assured the Governor that the party was 100% behind him as the march towards 2019 elections draws nearer.
Bilal added that with the backing of the North-East Executive of the party, the governorship and all other elective positions will be won by the All Progressive Congress, APC.
With the gale of defection and cross carpeting among the political parties and their followers rocking the country, time will tell who will have the upper hand between Governor Mohammed Jibrilla and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, who hitherto was the governor’s political godfather as they both battle for the political soul of their home state, Adamawa