There is tension in Adamawa State following sudden interest of Dr. Mahmoud Halilu, a brother to First Lady Aisha Buhari, in the governorship race.
Mahmoud, popularly called Modi, wants to unseat Governor Jibrilla Bindow, who is from Adamawa North Senatorial District.
But stakeholders are said to be opposed to Mahmoud who is relying on powerful forces in Abuja to clinch the ticket.
It was unclear last night whether the First Lady had given her blessing to Mahmoud whose intimidating electronic bill boards have flooded Yola.
If Mahmoud gets the ticket, Bindow, who is in control of the party’s structure, may have to use another party to seek re-election in 2019.
It was also learnt that if Mahmoud is adamant, he has to vie for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) with Bindow, a former governorship candidate, Marcus Nada Gundiri, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes( EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and Senator Ahmad Abubakar Mo’Allahyidi, who currently represents Adamawa South Senatorial District.
According to investigation, all attempts to convince Mahmoud to shelve his governorship ambition has failed.
A top source said: “APC in Adamawa has a big challenge at hand. There is tension ahead of our primaries. We do not want Governor Bindow to defect to PDP but Mahmoud Halilu, who is a younger brother to the First Lady is insisting on seeking the governorship ticket.
“He has all his posters in Yola. A graduate of Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, he has no known political pedigree except that he belongs to the First Family and carries that about.
“He is not known in any political cycle in Adamawa. He had attempted to previously contest for a seat in the House of Representatives on the platform of the defunct CPC only to chicken out.
“Under the current dispensation, he toyed with the idea of intimidating the party and Bindow by pressurizing them to assure him of a ticket to contest for Senate but he failed to actualize it.
“We are suspecting that he is challenging the incumbent governor for refusing to do his bidding.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “although the governor has control of the party’s structure, he might be helpless if there is an order from above because the court has ruled that the party has the final say on any ticket.
“Our greatest fear is the likelihood of losing Bindow to PDP or any other party if he is denied APC re-election slot.”
But apart from Bindow, the First Lady’s brother has to vie for the governorship slot with a former governorship candidate, Marcus Nada Gundiri, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and Senator Ahmad Abubakar Mo’Allahyidi.
Another source said: “Gundiri is a retired Director in Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and a close ally of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal. He has been a serial governorship candidate in Adamawa politics.
“He had previously contested on two occasions on the platform of SDP. He romanced with PDP and ACN in the past until he found himself in APC through the influence of Babachir when he was made Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign coordinator in Adamawa.
“His greatest problem is that his politics is largely religious and ethnic which has been widely rejected by Adamawa electorate.
“There is also Mo’Allahyidi, a serving senator from Adamawa South. He was among the young technocrats who worked with the defunct Afri-project Consortium during the PTF days.
“He got the Senate seat on a platter of gold in 2015 because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s factor. He is not known much beyond that he is a senator and has close friends near the President.
“But on his part, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is bringing his integrity on board having served credibly as the pioneer chairman of the nation’s foremost anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“There is a general consensus that Ribadu’s choice will be an asset to Adamawa. But the corrupt elements have always stood against his ambition. He contested for a similar position on the platform of PDP in 2015 and lost to Bindow.
“He is yet to formally declare his ambition because of ongoing consultations with party leaders like the President, top leaders of APC and his associates.”