By Matthew Onah in Yola
The ‘Hurricane Atiku’ quietly traveling across Nigeria’s political landscape, has swept off first batch of top government officials loyal to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, with eight serving commissioners from Adamawa State government taking the lead, METROWATCH has gathered.
The development has made cabinet reshuffle not only imminent, but inevitable as the remainder cannot effectively keep the wheel of administration running.
The serving commissioners include Dr Fatima Atiku Abubakar, currently in charge of the ministry of health in the state; the commissioner of works and housing, Barrister Lilian Stephen; the commissioner of land and survey; Yayaji Mijinyawa and the commissioner of youths and sports, Mr Augustine Ayuba.
Others are Alhaji Daware, commerce and trade and Ahmadu Waziri, ministry of agriculture.
The decision of the commissioners to go with their principal, Atiku Abubakar, out of the APC to the PDP, has totally crippled the activities of the state government in the last three weeks as it means over half of the cabinet members might have effectively pulled out.
What is not yet known is whether the State Governor, Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, and his deputy, Martins Babale, would also eventually pull out of the party.
Atiku, who is also Waziri Adamawa, was believed to have funded the 2015 governorship elections of the Governor. A fact which has pitted most of the stakeholders of the party against the Governor as they accused him of being loyal to the Waziri.
It would be recalled that the chairman of the state branch of the party, APC, Alhaji Ibrahim Bilal, had while endorsing President Mohammed Buhari for 2019 presidential race asked party members not comfortable with the decision to align themselves with the majority or opt out as the APC was interested in keeping a united front.
The call to shape up or ship out by Bilal has not gone down well with most of the state government functionaries, who belonged to the Atiku platform.
Alhaji Yayaji Mijinyawa, the commissioner of land and survey, confirmed to METROWATCH that his loyalty and that of some others is to the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
“Waziri Atiku is our leader, our association with him dates a long while. It would be childish for anybody to think we would go against him.
“Even if some of us are deserting the Waziri now due to the pressure of office, definitely you don’t expect his own daughter, Dr. Fatima, to desert him, and remember, Waziri funded the campaign of this party in 2015, his funds brought this government to power”.