Governor Bala James Ngilari of Adamawa State is a Senatorial candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the forthcoming polls for the Northern Senatorial district of the state. In this interview with WALE AKINTUNDE in Yola, his Director of Public Affairs, Mr. P.P. Elisha made a shocking revelation that President Goodluck Jonathan is not aware of his gubernatorial ambition in the last year PDP, Primaries that produced Malam Nuhu Ribadu as the flag bearer of the party. He denied that President Jonathan endorsed his candidature however promised to work for the victory of President Jonathan and Malam Ribadu and others at the polls.
In about three weeks now, the general elections is holding, how prepared is Governor Bala Nggilari as state leader of the party?
To the best of my knowledge, Governor Nggilari is fully prepared to face the upcoming general polls squarely. The Governor is fully committed to PDP victory. As a party man, he had already assembled all the party political Generals ahead the forth coming polls. Governor Nggilari is a party man to the core and will not trade the political fortune of his party. I recall when his former boss, Governor Murtala Nyako defected to All Progressives Congress, (APC) Nggilari declined to join him in the APC on the ground that the mandate he has is for the PDP and will not betray the party that brought him to power.
Before the shifting of the elections time table, preparation has been going on in the state showing that the governor has fully identified with the course of the party. As the party state leader he has set up of a strong committee- the PDP 2015 campaign organization headed by Chief Felix Tangwami The committee is made up of notable figure in the state political landscape. The former DG of Nuhu Ribadu campaign organisation Kelvin Peter collapsed his campaign organisation structure for this committee which he now serves as a member. What is your take on the advertorial placed in one of the national dailies by Governor Nggilari’s political supporters accusing President Goodluck of truncating the governor’s ambition? The so called Bala Rabo Jadan who made the advertorial on behalf of certain political group is a faceless person as far as we are concerned. The governor has not come across such a person throughout his political life and everything he said in his write up is a lie from the pit of hell. We believed the advertorial was planted by the governor’s antagonists who want to dent his image at the presidency.
The fact of the matter remain that President Goodluck Jonathan has been very supportive to Governor Bala Nggilari and his administration. We tend to believe that the man that placed the advertorial did it with evil intention aiming to bring bad blood between Governor Nggilari and the President. Its sad that the writer, tried to politicise the pilgrimage by Nggilari when he was a deputy governor as a sort of political endorsement by Mr. President. The governor was not the only governor that accompanied Mr. President on the said Holy Journey, can we then say that President Goodluck Jonathan endorsed all the Christian Governors that featured in the trip. Governor Bala Nggilari is committed to delivering Mr President and all other PDP candidates in the forthcoming general elections. Let those behind the advertorial know fully well that no amount of blackmail will stop Nggilari’s mission to deliver his party.
Words making the round in Yola is that Bala Nggilari is working for the victory of SDP gubernatorial candidate, Eng Markus Gundiri. Honestly, this is an irresponsible statement; It’s a campaign of calumnyto distract the attention of the governor from pursuing the goal of PDP in the state. I just mentioned how Nggilari ditched Governor Nyako when he defected to APC. Nggilari who was Nyako’s deputy objected to defect to APC because of the mandate given to him by the PDP. Now the same man is the Chief Executive of the state and also coordinator of President Goodluck Campaign Organisation. A Senatorial candidate of PDP, for the Northern district, how on earth can such a man turn around to pull down the party that gave him senatorial ticket?
Recently the Deputy to Gov Bala Nggilari received the Presidential candidate of APC at Yola International Airport some said that he was sent by the Governor to seal up a political arrangement between the Governor and Presidential candidate of APC ahead of the poll? Governor Nggilari did not send his deputy to receive General Muhammadu Buhari at the Yola International Airport neither has he any political arrangement with APC, presidential candidate. President Goodluck Jonathan is the presidential candidate of Governor Nggilari.
When the Presidential candidate of APC visited the state on a campaign, the Deputy Governor decided to receive him at the airport since he was a former military head of state and elder statesman. The Governor was away on official engagement in Abuja while the deputy governor in his own wisdom decided to receive the former military head of state as a person. What I am saying is that the Deputy Governor was not there to stand in for the governor. It is very clear that throughout that particular trip, there was nowhere the deputy governor pronounced that it was the governor that sent him to receive Buhari even to take him to any other place. APC rally took place at Ribadu Square and the Deputy Governor was not there with Buhari.
The reception given to Buhari by the Deputy Governor may have been for his recognition of his status as former Head of State and elder statesman. We had similar experiences in the state before when President Jonathan was accorded the same treatment by former Governor Nyako who was then in APC, nobody read meaning to it that Nyako wanted to retrace his step back to PDP. But the Deputy Governor, Saad Tahir received Buhari at the airport and accompanied him to Lamido’ Palace but did not go with him to attend political activities. When President Jonathan came, the then Governor Nyako who was in the APC received him but did not join him at the PDP rally. Nobody can claim that the Deputy Governor was with Buhari at APC presidential rally. As spokesman to Governor Nggilari, the deputy governor’s visit to Yola international airport is not an official assignment and it could not be that the Deputy Governor represented his boss. If that has been the particular case, the governor would have been there or sent a good will message to welcome Buhari. Gov. Ngillari’s Administration will be one of the shortest in the history of Adamawa State what will he be remembered for?
He will be remembered for the way and manner he tackled insurgency in the state. The governor provided a level playground for the military and other security agents which included the vigilantes and local hunters to operate effectively. The other security agents rallied round the military and flushed and out the insurgents out of the state based on the governor’s initiative by bringing vigilante and local hunters on board. Governor Nggilari dedicated his time and resources in the war against the insurgents who have seized his local government at Madagali. The governor personally took his case to Mr. President cried out to him for assistance in addressing the spread of Boko Haram in the state because of the fear that they may overrun the state capital if urgent measures are not taken.
The speed with which Boko Haram captured Gombi, Hong, Michika, Maiha, Madagali, Mubi North and South local government areas of the state was the same speed taken by the soldiers to push them out of the areas after the governor visited President for assistance. As I am speaking to you right now, the military is already in the secretariat of the last local government to liberate it from the insurgents. The governor also paid attention to the displaced persons at their various camps, his first official engagement was the visit to IDPs camps of Damare and others.