Yola — Madagali or Madagli is a town and local government area in Adamawa State. The town became a local government area in 1991 when Taraba State was created out of Gongola State. It borders Michika to the north, Askira Uba to the west, Gwoza Local Government Area to the south and the Republic of Cameroon to the east.
There are many ethnic groups in this area, but Marghi and Fulani are the major local languages. Madagali council, which has wards such as Hyambula and Gulak among others, also has many villages, including Bitiku Juli which was founded by Juli, Kirchinga, Gubla, and Magar among others.
The town or the local government area has produced many important personalities, including Adamawa State deputy governor Bala James Ngillari, Speaker of the state House of Assembly Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and Ahmed Ali Gulak, Special Adviser on Political Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan.
This town that has produced these political bigwigs is now witnessing disquiet due to what pundits described as 'personality conflict' over who could become the next governor of the state from among interested political figures.
An impeccable source, who is close to Governor Murtala Nyako's cabinet, pointed out that the governor is now contemplating who should succeed him in 2016 since his eldest son, Abdul'Aziz, was afraid of facing the Adamawa political gladiators.
While Adamawa State was recently awash with screaming political news on the lingering crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) occasioned by power struggle between Nyako and the party's National Chairman Dr Bamanga Tukur, the current 'cold war' between Ngillari, Fintiri and Gulak was said to have further fueled the political crisis in the state.
The feud is said to have pitched loyalists of the deputy governor and the speaker against one another. This can be seen from the outcome of the recent PDP primaries in the area where supporters of the two camps decided on who to back in the ongoing crisis rocking the party.
Fresh facts that emerged showed that the political battle between the deputy governor and the speaker over the control of Madagali local government is yet to be over as one of the PDP local government aspirants had rushed to court seeking nullification of the election of the 'speaker's political son', Mr James Abawa Watharda.
Mr Maina Ularamu, the deputy governor's backed aspirant, had filed a suit at the state High Court sitting in Yola seeking nullification of the election and nomination of Watharda as Madagali local government council chairman.
Ularamu through his counsel, Barr. Abel Ozioko, had during court sitting, told the court that due process was not followed in the nomination of Fintiri's backed candidate, Watharda.
"Our prayer is that the purported election and nomination of the first respondent be nullified," Ozioko told the court.
In the alternative, the deputy governor's 'political son' prayed that the whole local government elections allegedly conducted without due process of law be nullified.
It was observed that during the sitting the first defendant served the plaintiff his defense in court and with a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
The presiding judge, Justice Ambrose Mamadi, adjourned the case to February 14, 2013 for both objection and continuation of the hearing.
It will be recalled that there was a 'political cold war' between the deputy governor and the speaker on who should be the PDP's candidate during the last local government polls. The speaker's candidate eventually clinched the seat.
Prior to this, the local government congress of the PDP in Madagali had produced two chairmen of the party, following alleged internal squabbles among three key political figures from the area. Sources told Sunday Trust that efforts by Governor Nyako to settle the dispute were futile as none of the warring factions was willing to sheath it's swords.
The cat-and-mouse game
Pundits are arguing that despite his loyalty and submission to his boss, the state deputy governor might not succeed Nyako for reasons best known to the governor. Others believe Nyako is just playing cat-and-mouse politics as he is yet to endorse the person whom he would want to take over from him.
While Ngillari is working assiduously to take over from his boss, Nyako may pay back his dues to Fintiri who was said to have supported Nyako during his trying moments.
Before his emergence as speaker, Fintiri was the Majority Leader of the 25-member PDP - dominated House with Sadiq Ibrahim as the Speaker. Ibrahim and his former Deputy, Mrs Wale Fwa, the only female legislator to have held that position in the history of the House, were impeached for alleged incompetence leading to the emergence of Fintiri and Kamoti La'ore as speaker and deputy speaker respectively.
Until the recent 'reconciliation', the governor and the speaker belonged to two opposing camps. But his new romance with Nyako is believed to be a major boost for the Adamawa State PDP chapter led by Kugama, which has been torn apart by divided loyalties to different actors.
It could be recalled that Adamawa Assembly was locked following a political fracas between the legislative and executive arms over Ibrahim and Fwa's impeachment shortly after Fintiri's emergence as Speaker.
Armed political thugs loyal to the two parties reportedly stationed themselves at the Assembly complex with the road as security men watched them from afar.
The complex was re-opened later following the Supreme Court landmark judgment that sacked Nyako and four others. Moments after the court verdict, indications emerged that Fintiri, the then embattled speaker would emerge as the acting governor forcing the executive arm to re-open the Assembly.