Between Senator Ishaku Abbo and gov. Ahmadu Fintiri: What Many Do Not Know

He kept aside all the backstabs, mockery, the anti-party skirmishes and betrayals behind and look into the future with optimism for the State and country he so cherishes to change. - Jabs
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri (Left) and Senator Ishaku Abbo (RIght)

By Yusuf Jabatawa

This write-up is inspired by the many commentators who genuinely love the progress of Adamawa state from their hearts.

Many of them do call, text or make comments on social media PLEADING with Distinguished Senator Ishaku Abbo (SIA) to make peace with Governor Ahmadu Fintiri.

Of course, the imperative of peace as a key to development cannot be overemphasized. There is no gainsaying that the impasse caused by their differences has been an impediment to the state in one way or the other.

Both Governor Fintiri and Senator Ishaku Abbo belong to the PDP family and hence, all lovers of progress expect a harmonious working relationship that will engender peace, growth and development in the state.

Sadly, wishes were not Horses and expectedly, there is now no love lost between them. No thanks to the several irreconcilable differences partly due to their personalities, leadership traits and temperaments.

Instructively, I have decided to be as dispassionate and objective as best as my conscience and information lead me. It is expected that supporters of the Governor may disagree or fault my submission.

Nonetheless, it is worth the ride to make the intrigues, power play and underdealings that defined, defines and is still defining every move, action and inactions of the key political gladiators in this context.

PRE 2019.

Unarguably, every PDP member (and most observers) knows that the then-candidate Ishaku Abbo worked for the party and the victory of candidate Ahmadu Fintiri. Candidate Fintiri too worked for SIA- though with some reservations.

Yes! It is an open secret that many followers of the political trend are aware of the fact that candidate Ahmadu Fintiri's preferred choice for PDP senatorial ticket for the Northern Senatorial District is Hon. Isa Ahmadu -Marafa.

So, candidate Ahmadu Fintiri (then) never minces words nor pretend about his preferred choice. So many skirmishes were attributed to him to thwart the ambition of (candidate) Ishaku Abbo, who clinched the PDP flag and the subsequent victory.

Naturally, every good politician worth his onion knows that immediately after every electioneering processes, the victory earned is consolidated and new alliances are forged, new promises made while the train of victory carry everyone along.

That was exactly what  Senator-Elect (then) Ishaku Abbo sought to build. He kept aside all the backstabs, mockery, the anti-party skirmishes and betrayals behind and look into the future with optimism for the State and country he so cherishes to change.

Unfortunately, it wasn't so in some quarters. I remember vividly sometime around March 2019 when the Senator-Elect called me to intimate me on the PDP zoning formula that will favour my zone the (Central) in 2027.

He authoritatively disclosed to me that by the stakeholder's arrangements of their party -the PDP, which Governor-Elect (then) Fintiri is part of, they plan to hopefully allow him (AUF) complete two terms and shift power to the central zone.

The question now is if the Senator believed then that Governor Ahmadu Fintiri is fit and capable of completing two terms for eight years, what then makes SIA now the major or rather the most conspicuous Challenger of the Governor for 2023 elections?

Two events in my own estimation are the defining moments for the now frosty relationship between the Governor and Senator: the tussle for speaker Adamawa State House of Assembly and the Local government's elections of 2019.

Interestingly, readers may conclude that the two aforementioned events may be "trivial" and too inconsequential in sowing the seeds of mistrust that have blossomed into the full-blown animosity we see today.

However, for the obvious fact that the Senator-Elect (then) was a dogged goal-getter and unarguably, a "potential disruptor" known for springing surprises! Gov. Elect (then) Ahmadu Fintiri is reputed to be uncompromising, rigid and very opinionated when it comes to politics.

I have always loved the definition of politics by Harold Lasswell that politics is "who gets what, when, why and how." Now, the following revelation will show clearly how the quest to pocket the state politically- by either Governor Fintiri or Senator Ishaku Abbo brought us to where we are today.


As expected, a PDP stakeholders meeting was summoned. This meeting comprises all elected officials both into state and federal offices. The issue is to map out a way to allot public offices to victorious party members.

The agenda is the candidate to support and crown as the Speaker of the State House of Assembly. While it remains obvious that the speaker should naturally come from the central zone - since the Governor and Deputy are from North and South respectively.

Senator Ishaku Abbo canvassed for Hon. Simon Isa (Song) but the Governor was adamant. He clearly says he will NEVER work with Hon. Simon Isa. He gave no concrete reason but vehemently stood his ground that he will NOT work with Hon. Isa.

So, Senator  Ishaku Abbo then told Hon. Isa to step down from the race and suggested Hon. Japhet (Gombi). Still, Governor vehemently opposed him on that. The Governor wanted Hon. Aminu Iya Abbas (Uba/Gaya) and stood his ground.

The Senator was prevailed upon to allow the Governor to have his way, which he obediently did. However, in my estimation, the Governor NEVER forgave that internal wrangling and probably began keeping a close tab on the Senator.

The swearing-in of the Governor came in May while that of the Senator in June 2019. Both assume office amidst great fanfare and expectations as both were younger politicians filled with gusto and energy. We all were optimistic about expecting great development from them both.

Then came the Local government's elections in 2019. Another meeting was concerned where the PDP family agreed that all candidates should be freely allowed to contest as long as they are party members and are cleared.

In an unusual twist of event, a screening committee headed by Hon. Kwamoti Laori was created and the general perception was that since Hon. Kwamoti was a close friend and political ally of the GOVERNOR, he won't be fair to many.

And true to the general misgivings, Hon. Laori did a 'hatchet job' and all candidates who are close to Senator Ishaku Abbo or who have been identified with him and those not favourably aligned to the Governor were 'frivolously' disqualified!

In virtually all 21 LGAs in the state, all candidates who purchased forms but seen as "threats" or will be uncontrollable were outrightly disqualified citing some outrageous reasons like non-payment of party dues among others.

Senator Ishaku Abbo as a seasoned political consultant and politician knows the full import of the action of the Governor. However, he made several attempts at seeking an audience with the Governor to find a political way out but the Governor failed to Grant him an audience.

And so, it became obvious (or seems) that the Governor is hell-bent on incapacitating the Senator within the party and northern zone in particular and of course, suffocating him politically. Naturally, no sane man will watch his hard earning being swept off his feet and pretend all is well.

Instructively, Senator Ishaku Abbo is no novice in such game. He took his destiny in his own hands and decided to write to the National Secretariat of the PDP. In his write up, he mentioned some anti-democratic tendencies of the Governor in regards to the December 2019 LGA polls.

On his part, "Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State has advised Senator Elisha Abbo (PDP- Adamawa North) to explore internal party mechanisms to pursue his allegation of manipulation of the recently concluded Peoples Democratic Party primaries for the November Local Government chairmanship election in the state".


"So many people are making a political meal out of my political misunderstanding with the Governor. I am his Senator, he is my Governor, whether I like it or not he is my Governor, whether he likes it or not, I am his Senator. He contributed for my campaign I contributed also for his campaign" Sen. Ishaku Abbo.

The above statement by Senator Ishaku Abbo made me ponder if some unforeseen hands are actually fuelling their political impasse or working on reconciling them both. But my conclusion is that those happy with the crises are mostly shameless political jobbers.

Even though Senator Ishaku Abbo has openly declared his intentions to run for the exalted seat of the Dougirei Government House come 2023. This is evident by the fact that most political and humanitarian activities of the Senator are spread like wildfire across the length and breadth of the State.

For instance, the SIA MOVEMENT- an all-encompassing socio-political and economic movement (similar to kwankwasia in Kano) is gaining more grounds, conquering territories and building young leaders and followers along with the Senator Ishaku Abbo model.

Governor Fintiri, on the other hand, is building a coalition of mostly the older brigade politicians from across all political parties to form a shield against the imminent implosion within the PDP. There are numerous disenchantments within the ranks of the PDP-especially after the LGA polls.

While thousands of the supporters of Senator Ishaku Abbo (SIA) are calling on him to jump ship to the APC, his cosy and strong relationship with the President of the Senate Ahmed Lawal, Sen. Binani, Oluremi Tinubu and other APC heavyweights, obviously show that they may not be far from the eventuality.

Interestingly, if he eventually makes such move, that would be the death knell that may abruptly end the reign of the PDP in Adamawa state. Already, there is strong indication that the Waziri Adamawa (Alhaji Atiku GCFR) is not on the same page with Governor Fintiri for some political reasons too.

Objectively, a way out politically is near impossible. Trust is like milk. When spilt on the floor it cannot be taken back into the bowl complete and in good shape! Mutual trust is broken between the duo and merchants of political wars are beating the drums harder to feast on the crumbs.

No doubt that a political truce will go a long way in positioning the state for better dividends of democracy. The continued hostilities will have its toll on supporters and party loyalist and the general development of the state too!

Recently, two illustrious and well-deserving  sons of Kamue land (Michika) were denied appointments by the Fintiri led administration for the obvious fact that their respective sons are very close Aides to Senator Ishaku Abbo. Their names were purportedly expunged by the Governor himself.  

As petty and trivial as this may sound, it behoves on all well-meaning political commentators and onlookers to grasp the magnitude of harm political disagreements can bring. There are several other examples of such happenings.

For now, political alliances are being engineered, permutations are designed and loyalties are forged. All these are not done in the open. But one thing is palpable: 2023 will be a tough but defining political year for Adamawa state in particular and Nigeria in general.

Both Governor Fintiri and Senator Ishaku Abbo have the merits of being young and vibrant. Dogged and resilient fighters. Their political differences may be exaggerated and overblown out of proportion. But it is certainly not a pushover political schism.

Majority of their supporters are avid optimist in a peaceful resolution of this prolonged deadlock!  While their individual personality traits are responsible for keeping them wide apart - each avoiding to be the first to blink or swerve! Students of politics and economics can well relate the situation in the "zero-sum game."

Finally, any political differences, calculations, rigmaroles and permutations that relegates the people is at best a waste and at its worst stage, counterproductive. As Senator Ishaku Abbo rightly assert, many have turned it into a "political meal ticket"

There are some fights that are necessary and unavoidable. This one perfectly falls in such an equation. Unfortunately, those who are "supposed" to proffer the much-needed panacea are those needlessly fanning the embers of hostilities. Politics is beautifully conceived to better the lives and welfare of the people.

Mallam Usman Tar beautifully asserts that there exists an intertwining relationship between politics (good governance) and peace. Governance cannot thrive in an atmosphere of hostilities. (My paraphrasing from introduction to political science PLA 101 lecture notes by Usman Tar UNIMAID 2000/2001)


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