Either by providence or personal efforts, Alhaji Mansir Umar Toungo (a.k.a Dangerous Illiterate), a prominent politician in Adamawa State, is undoubtedly the main issue in the politics of the Southern part of the state. Daji Sani reports
He is popularly called â€œDangerous Illiterateâ€ because of his ability to hold firm the control of the political landscape of Adamawa State, especially the Southern senatorial district and in spite of his inability to read and write. This is no other person but Alhaji Mansir Umar Toungo, a man believed to be endowed with an uncanny wisdom to defeat even political scientists in the political chess games.
Toungo has been a political godfather and mentor to many politicians but has never occupied a political office in his life. He said he was comfortable being a political kingmaker and could not be desirous of any political seat.
Prominent among those who had benefitted from Toungoâ€™s political generosity are the Deputy Governor of the state, Martins Babale; the senator representing the state Southern senatorial district, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar Moallahyidi; the member representing Ganye, Toungo, Jada and Mayo Belwa at the House of Representatives and chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Abdulrazak Namdas, and the chairmen of the three local government areas of the chiefdom, among others.
Toungo recently revealed the secret of his political success and command in Adamawa State to THISDAY at his country home in Toungo town, the headquarters of Toungo Local Government Area of Adamawa State and border to the Republic of Cameroon, shortly after his coronation as the â€œDan Majeâ€ of Ganye Chiefdom, comprising three local government areas: Ganye, Jeda and Toungo.
In this rather revealing and interesting interaction, he traced his success to the wisdom God endowed him with to help others to achieve their ambitions in life. He further disclosed that it was his sheer philanthropy that further cemented his place in the political firmament of Adamawa today.
He opened up to THISDAY that he had trained more than 400 youths in various endeavors, some of them in schools, business and others in various skills acquisition, adding that he had also dug boreholes for communities in need of clean water as well as donated food items to the less privileged in the area.
Toungo said anyoneâ€™s success lies in making others and not in making oneself alone. He said the little he used to have from his farm and his business he usually shared among his relatives especially, those who were indigent. He however recalled a certain day when he had an inspiration from God that he should extend the gesture to others, who were not his relatives and is glad today that he did.
â€œSuccess lies in developing others to achieve their goals and also helping yourself. In those days, the little I earned from my business and farming, I used it to sponsor some youths to school and also distributed food items to the less privileged and the vulnerable in our society.â€
Dangerous Illiterate believed that the thought to expand the frontiers of his generosity emanated from God, so he obeyed it and before he knew it, his business and farming activities started blossoming and his name became popular even as people started coming for counseling and advice from him.
â€œBy the grace of God, today, our people believe in me to make decision for them politically and otherwise, because all the philanthropy works I did, by Godâ€™s grace, I did, not in return for anything or political post from them.
â€œToday, no matter your riches and affluence, whenever you come to Ganye chiefdom seeking votes or a political position, the people will direct you to Alhaji Mansir Toungo. If I donâ€™t anoint you, forget it, the people will not accept you,â€ he said
Ganye Chiefdom is the largest kingdom in the Southern senatorial zone of the state, which implies that any political party supported by the members of this kingdom or its candidate would surely win election in the zone.
And true to this, political gladiators like former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who also hails from Ganye chiefdom, most times seeks Toungoâ€™s support to achieve his political aim in the area. Interestingly, it is not because he could undo someone of Atikuâ€™s stature, but because Atiku as a shrewd politician also knows how to court everyone, from the low to the high in serious mobilisation drive.
The member representing Ganye Local Government Area, Alhaji Alhasan Hammanjoda described Toungo as a mentor and political godfather to many politicians from Ganye, Jada and Toungo axis. He revealed that the reason Toungo is relevant in the political artery of the zone is because Toungo always makes consultations with the masses before supporting a candidate and doesnâ€™t believe in imposition.
According to him, these character traits displayed by Toungo over the years have made the people in his zone to trust any candidate that he supports, adding that many candidates had lost elections to their opponents in the zone for neglecting Toungo.
â€œIf â€˜Dangerous Illiterateâ€™ supports you, youâ€™ll surely win election but if after winning, you refused to work for the people, you will be shown the way out in the next election, because Toungo believes that the masses are the major determining factor of election.â€
The Gangwari of Ganye Chiefdom, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Umar Adamu Sanda, also lauded the contributions of Toungo to the people of Ganye Chiefdom and the state. He said it was for the same reasons the emirate gave him the title of â€œDan Majeâ€, meaning a mediator among the illustrious sons and daughters of the chiefdom.
Sanda revealed that Toungo commands respect and is endowed with wisdom, which he has used very well in solving crisis in the kingdom, adding that, â€œhe is one of my subjects that I am proud of, because he is very humble and kindhearted. Give him any assignment and he will execute it to the letter.â€
A source also hinted that Toungo was deeply involved in containing the herdsmen versus farmersâ€™ crisis in the area.