The governorship election in Adamawa State is clearly between two candidates: Ahmadu Fintiri of PDP who also happens to be the incumbent governor and Aishatu Ahmed Binani of APC who enjoys near equal rating with Fintiri and could spring surprises.
With his power of incumbency, coupled with widely acknowledged high performance in office as governor since 2019, plus flying the flag of a united PDP under which he carried out extensive campaigns, Fintiri on first glance appears unassailable for any opponent.
Fintiri will, however, be coming against Binani who has been praised for great representation since she has been in the National Assembly first as a House of Representatives member and now as a senator and perhaps more importantly, appears to be made of sterner stuff for electoral victory.
She is always playing a card that trumps those of the opponents, the most recent one being last year when she surprised everyone by defeating five otherwise political heavyweights to become the sole woman in Nigeria to bear the governorship ticket of a major political party.
Being Nigeria’s only major female governorship candidate may however not be too much help come March 18, as the fact in itself makes her ambition unpopular with admittedly few but determined power players even within her APC who do not wish a woman to be governor.
Also, the APC in the state is a divided party, in a fashion which reminds political watchers of 2019 when disunity was blamed for the party’s failure which led to the emergence of PDP’s Ahmadu Fintiri who defeated APC’s Jibrilla Bindow who was the incumbent governor and APC’s candidate for the 2019 election.
Today, Bindow is in PDP campaigning for Fintiri, just as at least three other APC men who contested with Binani for the party’s ticket and their supporters and some other big party men who are unhappy for their own reasons and are highly believed to be working against Binani, even as they remain in APC.
However, the governorship contest in Adamawa State, up to the evening of Wednesday, remains uncertain.
The belief holds water in many quarters that Binani is to be underrated at your own peril, that just as she unexpectedly outshined five men to pick the APC ticket, she could overtake Fintiri to become the next Adamawa State governor.
And unlike Fintiri who lost the advantage he would have had in the March 18 governorship election if his political godfather Atiku Abubakar had won the February 25 presidential election, Binani will go into the governorship election with a morale boosted by the emergence of her party man, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu as the President-elect.
Fintiri on the other hand has the benefit of having two senators-elect and seven House of Representatives members-elect as fellow party men, unlike Binani who has just one senator-elect and one House of Representatives member-elect on her side.
As analysts observed, the governorship election in Adamawa State remains unpredictable.