The race for the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship ticket in Adamawa State is heating up with the possibility of Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, joining the fray
| By Vincent Nzemeke | Aug. 25, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
THE ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is now like a house divided against itself in Adamawa State. Since the removal of Murtala Nyako as governor of the state in July 15, various individuals and groups have jostling to outdo one another in a slugfest to determine who will eventually get the party’s ticket to replace Nyako.
As at last count, at least seven individuals are jostling for the party ticket for the election slated for October 11. What perhaps makes the race interesting is the fact that Ahamadu Fintiri, former speaker of the state House of Assembly, who became the acting governor because the substantive deputy governor resigned, is among the frontrunners for the ticket. Fintiri’s ambition is said to be fuelling the crisis in the PDP because he reportedly promised not to seek election after his reign as acting governor.
Other front runners in the race are Buba Marwa, a former Lagos State military administrator, who defected from the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, to the PDP after Nyako joined the APC; Ahmed Gulak, a former adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on political matters; Abubakar Girei, chairman of national mathematical centre; Abubakar Girei, a senator; Idi Hong, former minister of state for health, Awaal Tukur, son of Bamanga Tukur, the immediate past national chairman of PDP and Jerry Kumdisi, chief whip of the house of assembly.
Until about a week ago, it was believed that the battle was strictly a two-horse race between Marwa and Fintiri. But the calculation has now been altered with yet to be confirmed defection of Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who is expected to defect from the APC to the party.
Ribadu, who was the presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, one of the parties that metamorphosed into the APC, is seen as a formidable candidate in the state. If he eventually dumps the APC for the PDP, it is believed that battle for the PDP ticket would be a three-dog-fight between him, Fintiri and Marwa.
But Ribadu may have a tough hurdle to cross as some members of the PDP in the state have vowed to make it difficult for him and other defectors from other parties to clinch the party’s ticket.
One of the chieftains who attended the meeting was quoted in news reports as saying: “As it stands today, Tukur and other chieftains of the party in the state have agreed that we will not allow somebody from APC to come and pick the ticket of our party, “adding: “We are aware that Ribadu has been promised the ticket of the party, but we will not allow that to happen. We will do everything to scuttle this plan. Not only that Ribadu will be a hard sell because the electorate will not accept the possibility of being ruled by another retired military or paramilitary officer, the PDP in the state cannot, after labouring so hard to keep the party together, accept imposition of an outsider as our candidate.”
As a party, the leadership of the PDP has promised to ensure a transparent primary election that would afford all the candidate an equal chance of clinching the party’s ticket. Adamu Mu’azu, national chairman of the PDP, said in a recent interview that era of imposition of candidates in the party was gone and that the party’s flag-bearers at all levels must emerge through primary elections.
“We should be united to conduct free, fair and credible primaries as that would enable the party win elections. We must conduct primaries that should be acceptable to all and the candidate must be a winner. I know we cannot satisfy everybody, but we must try our best,” Mu’azu said.
Despite the current in-fighting among the PDP aspirants in the state, political observers believe that with a right candidate the state is going to return to the ruling party in October.