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Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri: E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one)

The ruling by the Supreme Court in the petition filed by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani) contesting the outcome of the April 2023 gubernatorial election…

The ruling by the Supreme Court in the petition filed by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani) contesting the outcome of the April 2023 gubernatorial election in Adamawa State, hopefully will end all acrimony between all politicians in the state and the governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.  The litigation has been lengthy and needless in my opinion, but Alhamdulillah it has come to an end. 

The ruling should also be seen as a clarion call for all and sundry to sheath their political swords and join hands in moving the state forward.  It is a sign, if we need one, that the campaign phase of our politics is over and the governance phase is in full swing.  This distraction is now out of the way.  We have a governor in the office who has a state to govern.

The intervening period between the declaration of Fintiri as the lawfully elected governor of Adamawa was joyful to some and painful to others. Joyful because those who queued up behind the governor had maintained a strong sense of belief that their man would carry the day, that the courts would uphold the declaration by the electoral umpire. Yet painful to those who cannot see the devastating electoral and judicial loss even while it stared them in the face. 

The takeover of the social media space with toxic and divisive postings was a testament to this dismay and despair.  While the election was won and lost at the polling units, some still believe the drama scripted by a rogue public official – with no stake in the well-being of our citizens – will be given life by the judiciary.

The judgment of the Supreme Court on January 31 literally dismantled any shred of hope lingering in the minds of the gullible who were led by the nose to the make-believe world of judicial success based on a pronouncement by a would-be coup plotter. 

Every single person out there – those who are happy with the outcome of the litigation and those who are saddened by it –are all people of Adamawa State; it is the only place we can all call our own.  Contests, in whatever form or shape throw up winners and losers. Our ability to accept the outcome and move on is what we lack, or even to some extent incapable of.  But lose, we must. 

Our minds must be conditioned to accept the downside of contests and comfort ourselves with the fact that such outcomes are also part of any contest.  We should avoid heating the polity and dragging our supporters, who are mostly naive, into needless enmity that at times tear relationships apart, and even leads to violence.  When we feel our differences are becoming too vast to bridge, we need to step back, cool off, and try again. That may sound facile, but the alternative is too dire not to try.

Each of us, not just our leaders, has agency and responsibility. Each of us can contribute to catalysing our healing. It may sound difficult, but we have the tools and we can develop the will.

Our potential to continue to grow and thrive as a people united by our diversity, to innovate and contribute is almost limitless, if and when we pull together—as a people. We ought to heal and flush the remnants of the toxic campaign that defined the 2023 gubernatorial campaign in our state – a campaign that pitted brother against brother – remake and renew our bond as a people bound by our common geographical location. 

The alternative is to continue on the path charted by our divisive politicians while seeking our support and our votes; to continue to tear ourselves apart, ensuring the continued existence of our fissures.  

We need leaders who put our state over some primordial interests.  We need leaders who will always champion the worth, dignity, and well-being of every citizen of Adamawa state—regardless of creed, ideology or ethnicity. 

For better, for worse, we are in this together.

 

Babayola M. Toungo wrote from Yola

 

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