Eight 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Those who have withdrawn from Saturday’s primary election include Nuhu Ribadu, Auwal Tukur, Aliyu Idi Hong, Andrawus Sawa, James Barka, Gen.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.”