• 10 aspirants gang-up, vow to resist imposition of any aspirant
By Lawrence Olaoye & Umar Dankano, Yola
The Adamawa bye election Appeal Panel, set up by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to review the decision of the Screening Committee which disqualified the Acting Governor of the state, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, from participating in the primary for the state bye-election, yesterday cleared him to contest the primary scheduled for September 6th.
The Appeal Panel, chaired by Senator James Manager, upturned the decision of the Senator Ibrahim Mantu-led Screening Committee, which sat on Saturday and approved provisional clearance for Fintiri to contest the primary.
With the clearance, 14 aspirants have been cleared to test their strength for the PDP sole ticket to contest the October 11 governorship bye-election in the state.
Those who are contesting alongside Fintiri include the former Chairman of the EFCC, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, former UBEC boss, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo, former Lagos state military administrator, Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) and Hon. Awwal Tukur.
Others in the race are the former Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Barrister Ahmed Gulak, Dr. Umar Ardo, defunct ACN 2011governorship candidate, Engnr. Marcus Gundiri, former Minister of State for Health, Dr. Aliyu Idi-Hong amongst others.
Addressing newsmen after the committee’s interaction with Fintiri, Manager said the Screening committee erred, by hinging the reason for disqualifying the Adamawa acting governor on the provisions of Section 191(2) of the 1999 Constitution, saying such did not apply to his situation.
Manager, who clarified that his committee arrived at its decision based on the strength of the petition presented to it by Fintiri, stressed that the panel was not influenced by any extraneous factor.
Reacting to the development, Fintiri said “I’m happy; this is victory for the people of Adamawa state. I will go back and ensure that the coast is clear for the PDP at all levels.”
On his earlier position that he would only serve out the remaining eight months Murtala Nyako tenure and not contest again in 2015, Fintiri clarified that he would be left with no option than to heed the call of his people if they also beckon on him to continue beyond 2015.
In a related development, ten, out of the fourteen aspirants cleared to contest the primaries of the party for the governorship ticket of the October 11th bye-election have vowed to resist the imposition of any aspirant.
Indications to this emerged from some of the aspirants, at the state party secretariat, who came to intimate the Executive of the party of their decision yesterday.
The aspirants are Barrister Ahmed Gulak, Dr. Idi Hong, Dr. Umar Ardo, Alhaji Awwal Tukur and Mr. James Barka.
Others are Senator Abubakar Halilu Girei, General Aliyu Kama (rtd) Hon. Jerry Kumdisi, while the Acting Governor Ahmadu Fintiri and Col. Andrawus Sawa (rtd) sent in their apology for their inability to attend.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Barrister Ahmed Gulak stated that they came together after yesterday’s screening in Abuja, because of their love for Adamawa state. He declared that outside the ten of them, no other aspirant can claim to be a true member of the PDP.
Receiving the aspirants, the vice-chairman of Adamawa PDP, Alhaji Jingi Rufa’i vowed that the party will not accept any external force in the conduct of the October 11th gubernatorial election.
Rufa’i promised the aspirants that the constitution of the party will be followed strictly in the conduct of the ward congresses and the party primaries.