Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, is under “intense pressure” to run for governorship in Adamawa State, TheCable understands.
A fresh governorship election will be held in the state within the next three months following the impeachment of Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako on Tuesday.
Nyako, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year, was impeached moments after his deputy, Bala Ngilari, resigned, thereby paving the way for the speaker of the house of assembly, Alhaji Umaru Fintiri, to be sworn in as acting governor.
Ribadu, who was the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN, which is now part of APC), is seen as a credible candidate by some of the party faithful and they have already started moves to draft him into the race.
Some non-party members are also putting pressure on him to run, but so far, Ribadu, TheCable learnt, has not made any commitment.
He is believed to enjoy the backing of key national party figures, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but he is yet to indicate interest in the race.
However, Nyako and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar will have the biggest say in who picks the ticket of APC.
Nyako currently absolutely controls the state party machinery, reportedly because he wanted his son, Abdul-Aziz, to succeed him.
Abdul-Aziz’s ambition is generally held responsible for Nyako’s weakened hold on the politics of the state which eventually made it easy for him to be impeached.
With him out of power, it is still unclear if he will continue to push his son for the governorship ─ since most leaders of the party’s wards in the state were picked by him. The numerical advantage will count in the party’s primary.
The state chair of APC, Hon. Binta Masi, was also the choice of Nyako.
Ribadu was often seen in company with Nyako when the impeachment crisis broke out and is believed to enjoy the confidence of the former chief of naval staff.
PDP clearly enjoys an advantage over APC in the state, but the entry of Ribadu into the fray has the potential of changing the game.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to fix a date for the election.