Adamawa Governorship: Ribadu, Seven Others Step Down To Contest In 2015

RibaduEight of the fourteen aspirants jostling for the Adamawa State Governorship election under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have stepped down from the race in the early hours of Friday.

Following the impeachment of the former Governor, Murtala Nyako, October 11, 2014 has been fixed for election to get a substantive governor for the state.

The PDP primary election billed for Saturday in the state was heading for crisis until the intervention of the Senate President, Senator David Mark, and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja.

After about four hours meeting with the aspirants, starting by 9.06P.M on Thursday and ending around 1.00A.M on Friday at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Mark along with other officials of the party were able to reach a compromise with the aspirants and pruned down the number of those contesting to six.

The six aspirants still in the race for the party’s ticket on Saturday are Ahmed Gulak, Buba Marwa, Ahmed Modibbo, Dr. Umar Ardo, Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri, and Jerry Kumdisi.

Those who have withdrawn from Saturday’s primary election include Nuhu Ribadu, Auwal Tukur, Aliyu Idi Hong, Andrawus Sawa, James Barka, Gen. Aliyu Kama, Markus Gundiri and Abubakar Girei.

It was agreed at the closed-door meeting that the six aspirants contesting for the party’s ticket on Saturday would not contest for the position in 2015.

The meeting also agreed that only those stepping down now can contest for the party’s governorship election ticket in 2015, with more consideration in 2015 for Adamawa Central that has never produced a governor.

Any aspirant who fails to win the party’s ticket in Saturday’s primary election, the meeting also agreed, must support the party’s flag bearer towards the October 11 election.

Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the party, Joel Madaki, said: “Fourteen aspirants contesting for the position earlier has now reduced to six aspirants due to this meeting. It is a very welcome idea. Nobody was forced to step them. Those who stepped down did so voluntarily in order to wait to contest for the position in 2015.

“The six aspirants contesting this election are Ahmed Gulak, Buba Marwa, Ahmed Modibbo, Dr. Umar Ardo, Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri, and Jerry Kumdisi,” he added.

Also, the former Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak, who is contesting for the ticket on Saturday, said: “The outcome of the meeting was fantastic. We met as family members of PDP, even before coming here all the aspirants in Adamawa have unanimously resolved that after the primaries, in a free, fair primaries, anybody that emerges will get our support.

“Today, in this meeting, the number of the aspirants have been drastically reduced to six, which is manageable. I am contesting, Gen. Marwa is contesting, Ahmed Modibbo is contesting, Dr. Umar Ardo is contesting, Hon. Jerry Kumdisi is contesting, and Acting Governor Fintiri is contesting.

“And we have resolved to go into the primaries without rancour, without acrimony and to come out of it as peaceful co-existing members.

“And at the end of it all, anybody that emerges, we will all queue behind him. And if I emerge as the candidate, they will all queue behind me. It is going to be a family affair and there will be no losers.”

On his chances of getting the ticket as Ribadu and others are now out of the race, he said, “Nuhu Ribadu or not, you know I prepared for this election. Even, if 14 of us are going into this election, I am confident of my ability, of my capability, of my mobilization, of my sensitization that the delegates will select me.”

Aliyu Idi Hong, who is among those who withdrew from the race, said, “Peace-building, negotiation, give-and-take, everything went well. We have been given a caveat and one thing we have succeeded in extracting from this meeting is that the meeting started with a preamble that whoever is going to contest and if he happens to win as a governor, he will not have the right to contest the 2015 election.”

“Some of us think that our aspirations, our ambition, our vision for Adamawa is a long term and more articulate vision.”

Return To The U.S. For Your Treatment– Taraba Lawmakers Tell Suntai

Some members of the Taraba state House of Assembly have asked Governor Danbaba Suntai to return to the United States to continue his medical treatment.

Sixteen out of the twenty-four members of the assembly today resolved that the acting governor of the state, Garba Umar, should continue to serve the state in acting capacity until such a time the governor is capable of administering the state.

In a three paragraph statement signed by the sixteen members led by the speaker, Haruna Tsokwa, the lawmakers maintained that having assessed the condition of the governor as at Wednesday, August the 28th, they are not convinced that he authored the purported letter transmitted to the house of his ability to resume office.

But in a swift reaction, a former leader and current member of the house Mr. Charles Maijankai, in a telephone interview with Channels Television accused the speaker, of bad leadership and having ulterior motives.

Mr. Maijankai says the governor is fit and capable of resuming his state duties.

They Voted For Suntai, Not Acting Governor – Analyst

Public affairs analyst, Achike Chude, has said that the long absence of Taraba’s Governor Danbaba Suntai from office, without redress, is evidence of loopholes in the Nigerian constitution as the governor is the one voted to rule and not an ‘acting governor’.

Although, the constitution has made provisions that the deputy governor take over as ‘acting governor’ when the governor is indisposed, Mr Chude argues that “the people who voted for the governor, voted for the governor, they didn’t vote for the acting governor to be governor”.

This he said while reacting to the news of Governor Suntai’s expected return to office after a plane accident which took place in October 2012.

Using former First Lady, Turai Yar’adua, as an example, he highlighted that there was a failure to learn from history whereby “a few people who do not have any legal basis for directing the affairs of state” hold government and the people to ransom.

“That was not resolved right” because the people involved in the various acts were never called to book.

The culture of impunity may be at play in Taraba state even though “it was unfortunate that the governor had an accident. Unfortunate that he was injured” but this is about “a few people who are in power, who have availed themselves with all the trappings of power in a most undemocratic manner.

They do that through subterfuge, intrigue, outright manipulation of the system, corruption, intimidation, and sometimes outright threats against political opponents and at the end of the day, the whole state lie in comatose”.

Arguing that such long absence from office is unacceptable, he said the constitution doesn’t provide adequate instructions on the proper steps to take in such situations.

He also attributed the citizens’ silence regarding the matter to ‘the complacency and docility of the people,” adding that, the ignorance and illiteracy of the people is to be blamed.

He said “all of these things have a role to play when you are talking about effective administration of a people.”

“Our people have been so much marginalised… so they have surrendered their mandate to a few people who has taken it upon themselves to determine the direction of their state”.