The opposition is very strong – Umar Ardo

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A politician and academic, Dr. Umar Ardo, from Adamawa State has admitted that the opposition in the forthcoming elections, (especially the presidential) is very strong. “This is the first time we are having a strong opposition since forth republic took off. The opposition is very strong, All Progressive Congress (APC) has an upper hand in the forthcoming election”, he admitted. He argued that the issues that made President Goodluck Jonathan to win in 2011 are no longer there. He said that power brokers like Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Olusola Saraki, Bola Tinubu etc. supported the candidature of President Jonathan. And according to him, these people are no longer in support of the candidacy of Goodluck Jonathan.

Dr. Ardo noted that another factor that is favor of APC, is that Mohammad Buhari was all alone and never had any power broker by him in 2011, but today Buhari has many power brokers supporting him.

He said that in 2011 many Nigerians, especially those from Northern Nigeria believed that the South-South should be appreciated for their loyalty to the North, which he put thus, “There was the need to reciprocate the tradition alliance between the North and South-South, in the hope that it will advance the course of the North. Six years down the line, this hope has been dashed”, he said.

Dr. Ardo observed that the economy has gone from bad to worst since 2011. “In 2011 the economy was a whole lot better than now. People will tell you that they are worse off now than they were in 2011. Many people have been pauperized”, he posited.

On whether election will hold in Adamawa State, Dr. Ardo said insecurity in the state, especially in the northern senatorial zone of the state where Boko Haram is holding sway is one reason election might not take place in the state. “One third of the state is under Boko Haram. You cannot go anywhere in the northern senatorial district of the state for more than 200 meters without getting a check point. There are many areas you cannot go by car, you have to trek on foot”, he admitted. He said that conducting elections in those areas will be extremely very difficult.

Another aspect he noted that might stop elections in the state – the gubernatorial election- is the fact that election that ushered in Murtala Nyako for his second tenure was held in 2012 and will terminate in 2016. He said that if Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not cancel governorship election in Adamawa State and in Sokoto and Cross River States, he will go to court to stop them.

Dr. Ardo and Dr. Rilwanu Lukeman are on record as the only public servant that resigned their appointments during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was the Special Assistant to the then Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on strategy.  He is strong Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member.

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