All the candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) that lost in the just concluded 2015 general elections, especially in the northern part of the country lost because of same factors regardless of their states. These factors include President Jonathan’s extreme unpopularity in the north, Buhari’s cult-like followers in the region, and most Nigerians being angry with the PDP because of certain reasons, especially its failure to combat the insurgency that has devastated the North-eastern part of the country with the attendant socio-economic effects being felt throughout the North. In fact, in some parts of Nigeria, including Adamawa State, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was overwhelmingly rejected that anybody the All Progressives Congress (APC) presented, was voted for.
Apart from the above generic factors that affected Nuhu Ribadu’s fortunes in the Adamawa governorship race, there are other factors which were peculiar to Nuhu’s ambition. Mother-tongue; geography; faith and the usual Nigerian money-politics are deeply rooted in Adamawa polity and often shape the voting pattern in the state. The Adamawa 2015 governorship election was embroiled in deep religious sentiment. For instance, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate, Engineer Markus Gundiri ran his campaign on the sole platform of faith- banking on only Christian votes. Gundiri’s envisaged that since there were three Muslim-Hausa-Fulani running on the platforms of the APC, PDP and PDM, he will carry the day. Gundiri’s misadventure affected Nuhu’s chances; most of PDP strongholds gave their votes to Gundiri. In fact, Gundiri candidacy was a product of anger with the PDP for failing to allow the candidacy of a Christian. There were rumors that Governor Bala Ngilari supported the SDP instead of his party, the PDP.
The second issue that effected Nuhu was the SDP campaign style which forced the Muslim Hausa-Fulani to follow the path and direction of their cousins in the northwest- the famous APC SAK. Thirdly, Buhari has a special relationship with Adamawa people- his wife is from Adamawa state. In fact, Buhari’s voice was aired on some radio stations in most states in the north asking people not to disgrace him and his party, the APC. That singular statement was very instrumental in denying Nuhu huge number of votes especially from the Hausa-Fulani dominated areas.
The internal crisis within the PDP was also a disaster to Nuhu’s ambition. The crisis in the PDP was not settled up to the time of elections, the aggrieved were not fully integrated into the party.
The Atiku factor was another of Nuhu’s albatross – at the tail-end of the governorship campaign period Atiku became very determined to deliver his state to the APC. This affected Nuhu in the southern part of Adamawa, especially in the Chamba chiefdom.
Boy set ablaze for ‘being a Christian’
A 15-year-old boy was set on fire in Lahore, Pakistan recently, because he said he was a Christian.
Nauman Masih has said that two men approached him and asked him about his religion. When he said he was a Christian, they beat him, and when he tried to run away they followed him, threw kerosene over him and set him on fire, Mehwish Bhatti, Pakistan officer for the British Pakistani Christian Association, told Christian Today.
The young man was training to be a tailor, and was on his way to the tailor’s shop when the attack took place.
The attackers started insulting his mother and sisters, and Nauman fought back in defence, before the kerosene was poured over him. He put out the flames by rolling in the sand on the ground.
Nauman reportedly said: “I was running when a heap of sand came my way, I lay down on the sand, and a few people from the community put out the fire by putting sand on me. I became unconscious, and they called the emergency medical helpline and called [for] an ambulance.”
Doctors said that 55 per cent of his body was burnt, and he has a high fever, but he is expected to make a good recovery.
He is being treated at Mayo Hospital in Lahore, where a senior political health advisor has visited him. Adviser to Minister of Health Khwaja Salman Rafique told the medical team to give the boy the best possible care, the Express Tribune reports.
The attackers were masked when the incident took place, making it unlikely that they will be caught.
Nauman said the men didn’t give any reason why they were stopping him. According to Bhatti the boy said he “doesn’t have any enmity with anybody” and doesn’t know why someone would do this.
His father died a few months ago and Nauman’s uncle and aunt have taken him into their care. Bhatti told Christian Today that Nauman’s aunt, who he refers to as his mother, was very distressed when she spoke to her today.
“She was crying so much on the phone… He’s so young, he’s calling for his mother,” Bhatti said.
There have been conflicting reports about who might be responsible. The investigating officer told the Express Tribune that the boy’s grandfather had blamed Nauman’s uncle for planning the attack.
“We have recorded the statement of Nauman’s grandfather. He has accused Nauman’s uncle, Nadeem, and his wife, for ordering the attack. He said the couple wants to kill Nauman to get his three-marla house. Nauman’s father had passed away three months ago,” the officer said.