Nyako: A Post Mortem,By Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo
For the civil servants of Adamawa State, their sleepless nights are finally over. The Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako is finally impeached and only a miracle will #bring Nyako back to Dou Girei.
It had been two weeks of intense gerrymandering. From the speculation that some legislators were ferried to Akwa Ibom state to have their palms greased for the impeachment exercise, to Nyako’s brazen appearance at the national council of state meeting, where he was said to have been, to seek the president’s intervention or permission to return to the People Democratic Party, PDP, a report which was later denied, culminating in the action-packed cat-and-mouse game between the admiral and the postman, all provided pensive frenzy.
But like a fugitive, Nyako’s flight of fancy is all over. It is also all over for Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako, the son, who abandoned his hedonistic naval career to return to Adamawa to usurp the powers of the state’s public officials which he was alleged to have used to feast on the treasury. For father and son, therefore, it is the end of a beautiful dream. They must now awake. They must also prepare to face the music, as the evil that men do lives after them.
Some Adamawa indigenes had opposed Nyako’s impeachment for the simple fact that it was Aso Rock-induced. Two wrongs, they argue, do not make a right. But even as this thinking may be right, it also lacks objectivity. To the extent that Nyako’s handling of the public’s trust cannot be justified, he must go. In a million years to come, only a fool can proudly associate with Nyako’s actions as governor. It is easier to shove a camel through the eye of the needle than to get Nyako through an abstemious test, involving trust, decency, modesty, honesty, accountability, democracy and the general schoolwork of right from wrong.
The impeachment charges apart, a picture of Adamawa under Nyako brings tears; workers have not been paid for several months; the state assembly was cordoned off to deny it regular democratic proceedings; one of Nyako’s wives had dislodged the Deputy Governor from his official residence on Victoria Island Lagos and all contracts (were) allegedly only awarded to Nyako’s nuclear family members, most of who do not understand the need to execute the jobs, as a result of which Yola the state capital remains the most backward and the most neglected city in the country. In this overall view, Nyako was simply bad news.
There are those on the other hand who argue that Nyako is only being witch hunted on primordial sentiments, religious irredentism and bigotry by those who see nothing good in the Fulani stock and even think worse of Islam. This group is populated mostly by Nyako-apologists who try, tooth and nail, to reinvent the wheel. But regardless of how hard they try, the evidence on ground, at least in Adamawa state, disappoints them. Adamawa is perhaps the most appreciable tribal and religious rainbow in the whole of Nigeria. There are Muslims and Christians in virtually every family in the state, including the Lamido’s and Nyako’s himself, whose mother is from a predominantly Christian Tangale tribe in Gombe state, with an uncle that is a pastor. The late Lamido’s maternal parent, is also said to be a Vere, a mountainous people around Yola, with little or no history of affiliation to Islam. So who is hating on tribal and religious grounds? What about recent records of erstwhile Senator Grace Bent, a Yoruba woman married to a Bachama soldier who had represented the state at the highest political chamber as a sign of Adamawa people’s tolerance of tribes other than theirs? So those who argue that Nyako was removed for any reason other than incompetence and corruption are simply playing the ostrich. He deserved to go.
The bottom line in this absurd drama is that Murtala Nyako rode to power on the crest of a sound public appeal. He was once fanatically loved and admired by the same people who are jubilating over his removal today. When Nyako came to power, the tribal and religious colour-bars were nowhere. I remember his rerun election of April 2008 against Ibrahim Bapetel who was then backed by Atiku and Boni Haruna with this fond anecdote. Atiku had arrived at his polling booth to vote. One of Nyako’s sympathizers, a young man, perhaps in his twenties, brought out a huge mango and started shouting “Adamawa Sai Baba Mai Mangoro.” He shouted so hard that he got on Atiku’s nerves. To justify their presence around the former Vice president, a group of ACN thugs descended on him with a mission to get the mango out of the young man’s hands and out of Atiku’s view. But they couldn’t. I had to personally instruct a mobile policeman to restrain the mob from the Nyako die-hard, who again shouted in victory as he was led away, displaying his “beloved” mango, symbolizing Nyako. Atiku’s thugs could only watch in disappointment.
I am sure that the same guy would not touch Nyako’s mango with a mile long pole today. And that is a moral in all that has happened to Adamawa in the last eight years. Nyako presided over the most primitive form of administration in Nigeria. He ran the state like a fiefdom. His son was the law. He was the state and the rest of his family stuck their noses in the air. But the party is now over for the Nyakos.
As to whether or not Aso Rock was behind his removal is, to many, immaterial. Nyako had been running until he finally could not hide. It is time for him to taste his own medicine.