Posted by News Express | 1 September 2014 | 3,514 times
Ten of the 14 aspirants contesting for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket in the Adamawa State governorship by-election have come together against former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and three others.
The others are former Lagos State Military Administrator Gen. Buba Marwa, ex-Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Executive Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Modibo, and former governorship candidate Marcus Gundiri.
In the gang-up are Acting Governor Umar Fintiri, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, Awwal Tukur, James Barka, Sen Abubakar Girei, Dr. Idi Hong, Aliyu Kama, Umar Ardo, Jerry Kumdisi and Dr. Andrawus Sawa.
Eight of the aspirants stormed the party secretariat in Yola yesterday. Finitiri and Dr. Sawa were absent.
Spokesman of the group and former presidential adviser Ahmed Gulak said the 10 of them had resolved to come together in the interest of the party and the people.
“We are the only PDP family members; any other person outside is not PDP. Any other person outside the listed persons is not PDP,” Gulak said.
Gulak said they would remain vigilant for today’s ward congress to check any attempt to use non party members as delegates by any person or group.
“Tomorrow (today) is ward congress. Anybody who brings three delegates from the 226 wards outside the party structure will be resisted,” Gulak warned.
He said they would resist any imposition of candidate from the national leadership of the PDP and the Presidency for the October 11 bye-election.
Gulak said they resolved not to allow a stranger to become the standard bearer of the party they laboured for.
Gulak said they would not recognise Ribadu, Dr. Moddibo, Gen. Marwa and Mr. Gundiri as bonafide members of the party.
He insisted that the group would not allow an outsider to rob them of their right in the house they built.
Gulak boasted that one of the 10 aspirants will emerge as the party’s standard bearer.
The party’s state deputy chairman, Alhaji Jingi Rufai, praised the aspirants for their decision to unite for a common cause saying their action would ensure transparency in the primary.
Rufai said party officials had met over the ward congress and resolved that strict compliance with the party constitution would be observed.
Rufai said the party was aware of some “fake registers” and membership forms in circulation, warning that those planning to rig the congress would be disappointed.
But the immediate past state Secretary of PDP and a leading campaigner for the Ribadu candidacy, Mr. Phinehas Elisha, said the action of the aspirants amounted to indiscipline as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP had cleared them to contest.
Elisha said the party’s constitution should determine who is a member and not individuals.
“You cannot just come out because you hate the face of a person to say he is not a member.
“How can you say that a person that registered, request for and was granted waiver is not a member of a party? People need to show respect to the party’s constitution,” Elisha said.
PDP had yesterday beat a dramatic retreat and cleared Fintiri to participate in the party primary election. This was disclosed by a 13-member appeal panel setup by PDP to review a ruling by the screening committee of the party last Saturday which stopped Fintiri from participating in its September 6 primaries on moral grounds.
The Senator Ibrahim Mantu-led screening committee had cited section 191 of the Nigerian Constitution as a basis for their ruling, noting that the acting governor was expected to midwife or serve as a referee for the bye-elections and not contest for the position. They, however, told him to appeal their decision.
Section 191 reads: “The Deputy Governor of a State shall hold the office of Governor of the State if the office of Governor becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal of the governor from office for any other reason in accordance with section 188 or 189 of this constitution.
(2) Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Deputy Governor of the State is also vacant, the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the State ‘shall’ hold the office of Governor of the State for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new Governor of the State who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.”
However, following an appeal filed by the acting governor over his exclusion to participate in the election, the panel, led by Senator James Manager, declared Fintiri fit to contest the election, stressing: “We have come to the irresistible conclusion that the provisions as quoted by the screening panel does not affect the aspirant in this matter.”
•Based on reports in The Nation and LEADERSHIP. Photo shows Nuhu Ribadu.
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