Madaki warns Atiku, Lamido, Kwankwaso, others
Joel Madaki is the Chairman of Adamawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and in this interview, he put the blame of the political crisis in the state on the door post of Governor Murtala Nyako. He alleged that as a perpetrator of injustice, the governor cannot today kick against injustice in any form, warning that the imposition of 2007 when a few people did the selection of candidates at the party primaries will not repeat itself. He regrets that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, whom he described as a good man, is seen today associating with a set of undisciplined people all in a bid to express his grievances with the party. He praised President Goodluck Jonathan’s maturity in handling the crisis in the party and the effort to truly reconcile all. He spoke much more on all these and other national issues with JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE in Abuja. Excerpts:What exactly is happening in Adamawa in terms of politics right now?Actually what is happening in Adamawa should not have happened at all. Politically speaking, in Adamawa State we entangle ourselves in an internal crisis that is uncalled for. Politics is a game that people have to share positions representing interests, religious interests and local interests in terms of government, especially in Adamawa State where you have more than 80 tribes.
So, when I left the party to contest for governorship in 2007, Mijinyawa Kugama was asked to act on my behalf. When he was acting on my behalf and election was very near, there was no time to conduct congress to elect a party chairman. Therefore, elders of the party sat down and said, let him continue, let him act. He is not elected and, therefore, as God would have it, after the elections, though there were no proper elections and primaries, Nyako and few people, about 20 of them, ran to Bauchi to pass a resolution on behalf of over 600 Adamawa delegates and send it to Abuja and Abuja accepted it. That was the beginning of the problem in Adamawa State. We are operating under a constitution, we are no more operating under decrees, it was under the military we were doing that. Our constitution has spelt out all you should do if you are to govern this state, but that part of the constitution was neglected by Governor Nyako and those who brought him to power. So, it is an irony for people like Nyako to come out and say that they are fighting injustice in the PDP. He perpetrated this injustice because it favoured him. He is right now a governor, his governorship is injustice in itself. How can he talk to Nigerians about injustice when the people of Adamawa State had been subjected to this kind of injustice under Nyako since 2007.
Coming back to Adamawa, the man who the governor has imposed on the people as state PDP chairman is not only from the same local government with the governor, but in fact, the same ward as the governor.
When he was elected and elders of the party saw what was happening and said it was wrong for the governor and the party chairman to come from the same ward, they told him that we are operating a constitution and in line with that, they agreed that the chairmanship should be zoned somewhere else. I want to tell you that from that time till date, there has been no election to fill that vacancy. Nyako insisted that Kugama should be his chairman and by so doing, he turned Adamawa people into onlookers. He should thank God, because he was not a member of PDP before he was nominated. He was a member of ANPP, he left ANPP the week that he was to be given that mandate. Since then, the people kept clamouring that Kugama must go so that Nyako coming from Southern senatorial district, the chairman should come from the other senatorial district. We have three senatorial districts. But now the two of them are from the same senatorial district, local government and ward.
Nigerians are ignorant about all these things and Governor Nyako keeps telling Nigerians and decieving other governors that Bamanga Tukur is slighting him because Bamanga Tukur is insisting that the right thing must be done. At least, the governors should have asked, what is really happening in Adamawa like you asked me now and then from there they should judge. Is that constitutional? The constitution of PDP is under the constitution of Nigeria and both of them are against that, they are for power sharing.
Before Bamanga Tukur became our National Chairman, he led us to meet with Vincent Ogbulafor when he was the chairman that this thing must be corrected, Ogbulafor promised that it will be corrected but he could not effect it before he was removed. INEC later said there was no election in about nine states and Adamawa was one of them, where election must be repeated. Nyako refused to comply with INEC decision, all the facts and evidence are there. When Bamanga came, to be honest, he tried to make the conditions very simple and good for Governor Nyako to follow. They just sat down here and said since Governor Nyako comes from the same place with the chairman and from the same ward, well, we should ask Governor Nyako to correct this one, let him organise a congress and choose a chairman from one of the two zones remaining, a chairman of his choice. Bamanga could not have been there, it is written, it is there, from the national working committee, through the zonal chairman in Bauchi, the instruction was given, but Governor Nyako insisted that the status quo must remain. For him, Kugama cannot be removed.
When Boni Haruna was the governor from northern senatorial district, I was the chairman from central senatorial district and that is what it is supposed to be. Power sharing is enshrined in our constitution and also enshrined in the party constitution. Nyako refused, he said Kugama must be his chairman and he continues in this. Is this not what we call indiscipline?
Now, when the national working committee observed that he flouted the directive of the national working committee on the conduct of the local government primaries, they decided to dissolve all of them. They did not just pick people, Ambassador Damangu was nominated and along with him, eight members were appointed sole administrators, they were given a mandate to reunite the two factions in the party. Now Damangu was sent, with the terms of reference to go and harmonise the two factions, try and talk to aggrieved members of the party or new people coming in and after that conduct congresses, from ward to the state. They were there and everybody knew that they were all there. They worked harmoniously, intelligently, and at the end of the day, they were supported by INEC, by the national secretariat here in Abuja and there were congresses from ward to state where I emerged as the chairman in the state.
Even the lingering problems in the PDP in Nigeria today are caused by Nyako. I contested against him, he knew that he cannot win in a free and fair election. He still knows he cannot win primaries. It is the powers that be that brought him. It is, therefore, surprising that Nyako is talking about injustice today in Nigeria, and do you know why people listen to him? Because Nigerians are God- fearing people, both religions believe that power is from God. I was in his house to congratulate him, even though I knew he did not win the election. He is not working for the people but prefers to be alone. It is only in Adamawa that you have offices for four first ladies. This is the reason today, he is causing confusion even in Nigeria. He is undermining the powers that be.
So, what has the Adamawa crisis got to do with the 2015 politics at the national level?
Jonathan never said he wanted to be the President. It is circumstances of God that brought that man to be and Nyako is claiming that he is fighting for the North, how can he fight for the North? Northerners will fight for themselves. Northerners know what is best for them and you know when power belongs to some people, the best you can do is to support and wait for your turn. After 2015 elections, will the Presidency come from the South again? It will naturally not and it will be our time. People are saying Obasanjo has just gone, and Jonathan has come again, is it their making? It is the making of God and we must obey God. For that reason, the problem in Adamawa is man-made and its made by Nyako.
Nyako is trying to make other governors believe that he is right and we are here and we will tell the people, we will tell them the facts and figures and even Nyako, I challenge him here and now, to explain to Nigerians whether he was properly nominated as a candidate of PDP in 2007 in Adamawa State? Let him come out and tell the people how he emerged as the PDP candidate. He was nominated in Bauchi and those people who nominated him are today regretting, because of his actions. Before I was thinking the man should be respected because he has gone through military training and you know our military officers are good people, they check us, they have taken away power from the politicians, but they have done something good, if there is something bad they have done, there is a good part of it and we must respect them.
And somebody who has reached the rank Nyako attained in Nigeria and God again gave him opportunity to govern Adamawa State, to actually bring people together, he is there fighting for his family. His government has been named government of Family and Friends, not just family and friends but his family alone and when you talk, he begins to talk of how he picked his commissioners from different parts of the state.
But are the commissioners given the free hand to operate? Are they active? Do they actually have meetings, they are there to ratify everything. God created people and God also made leaders for the people, even right from the beginning and, therefore, he set rules and regulations of how these leaders will emerge and that is what we copy in our constitution, why should people come and change it? Why are people challenging President Goodluck Jonathan, why? If actually you have read the two books of our religion, I want to tell you that President Jonathan should not be challenged. He is acting correctly and he should be given the chance.
During the convention, we discovered that the crisis in the state was brought to the centre stage, Nyako and other aggrieved governors left the convention ground to form a new PDP, how do you see this?
We thank God that Goodluck Jonathan is a true democrat, if he were not a true democrat, what had happened should not have happened. There are rules and regulations governing every political party and PDP is a leading political party. If you want to create a faction, that is not the best way to go about it. I pity all of them who are involved in that one, no matter how highly placed they are. In the first place, in that convention was there position for chairmanship to be filled? Bamanga Tukur was elected in the past election, he was voted for, but people were given voice vote and this is why INEC faulted their ‘election’. As a result, only three people were said to have been properly elected and Bamanga was one of them. This was not a full but a mini convention and that was why it was referred to as ‘special’ . It was convened because the PDP must obey the supervisory body, INEC. So PDP obeyed and called for mini convention to fill in those spaces and the position of chairman was not there. If they were wise, they should have picked their candidates for all the positions contested, then if they were denied this opportunity, their action would have been justified. But instead, they chose to create confusion by forming a new PDP. They went ahead to pick a chairman, after staging a walk-out. This is an act of indiscipline on their part.
I have no regrets in saying that what they did amounts to an act of indiscipline, they want to show the world that all is not well with PDP, just for selfish reasons. They went and said there is a new PDP, but I want to tell you that following the constitution of PDP, there are ways to split the party instead of walking out on the President at the convention. There were no squabbles, no petitions and no complaint. In every party, there is room for disagreement and I insist they should have done the right thing. As far as we are concerned in the PDP, they are just disgruntled elements.
To have walked out on the President is an act of indiscipline and that is why I tell you that Jonathan is a true democrat. If he were not, he would have reacted like a typical dictator in addressing the issue.
Where lies the role of former Vice President Atiku in all of this?
I am the chairman of Adamawa State PDP, I worked with Atiku, I was his chairman. I took him to all the nooks and crannies of Adamawa in 1999 and he was governor-elect. Atiku is a good man but for one thing, today he has come back to PDP, all of us left PDP before we came back. I left the party because I couldn’t tolerate somebody running away with our primaries somewhere. But later, we all came back to PDP with him and he has been working very well. He has been greeting the national chairman and we thought they have been in good terms talking with the President of this nation. I made sure he was on our list, we came to convention together, we were at the convention ground sitting together, but I just noticed when I saw Kwankwaso going round, he just left us and joined them and up till this time I have not had the opportunity of sitting with him to know why. But politics is a game that you can choose where you want. Actually as the chairman, I was not happy at all to have seen him following them, he is greater than what he has done. He is a Nigerian, a great Nigerian too, a former Vice President of this nation, if there should be any faction or aggrieved group, he should not have just jumped there, maybe he should have waited, read the situation before making up his mind.
But I must tell you that I as the chairman, am not happy, because I am his chairman, no consultation, nothing, we were together and we feel Jonathan will do him good and they should work together. If they worked together, he would have nothing to regret. If you don’t work with somebody, can he help you? Anybody, who wants to rule Nigeria after Jonathan, must be close to Jonathan and work closely with him, because Nigerians are ready to vote Jonathan again. Despite all these odds, a lot of people don’t even know that they are empty, they don’t have followership. Look at how simple that man is. If I were the President, what has happened shouldn’t have happened. When I got back, I said people are underrating this man, Jonathan.
Talking about reconciliation, do you see the possibility of bringing all these people back together?
The people are not even talking of coming back and I want to tell you personally, since they have opted to go, let them go. Going by the conditions they are giving, I want to tell you that no Nigerian can accept that. They are saying that the President must go, or the National Chairman must go, but let them work it through the constitution. The man came in through the constitution and they should also oust him through the constitution. If they don’t want Jonathan to contest, let them go to court and let the court hear what their reasons are. If their reason is genuine, he will go. We are all Nigerians and Nigeria is a very big country, if you don’t respect the other zones, you cannot expect them to respect you. If you feel that you are born to rule and some people are not born to rule, you are a liar. God is not a liar, he has made all Nigerians to sit in this place, we are together, we must respect one another, respect each other’s religion, respect our tribes so that we can live together. But some people feel that some people are not even born to rule and this is why some people are undermining him and this is why it is not acceptable.
Northern people will not just go for their selfish interest and fight the Southerners, but if we actually want to fight as northerners, we must see reasons and we must fight together and for that reason, we have got to be very careful. Our leaders in Nigeria have to be very careful. Those who were on the top before, they were good and people followed them, let them also follow others. Let them also learn to take directives from others, let them not undermine some people and feel that they are boys. Nobody is a boy, once you are over 18 years, you can rule Nigeria if you want, if God gives you the mandate.