From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Following the national assembly tribunal’s declaration making him winner of the Niger East Senatorial Bye-Elections, Barrister David Umaru yesterday, said he is not afraid of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu when the two line up for February 28th polls, adding that PDP can no longer steal the mandate of the people.
Barrister Umaru spoke to journalists at a press conference in Minna yesterday that his victory at the tribunal will further boost his chances and galvanise the efforts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections.
“I am not afraid, we are very ready. I can assure you that this election is not going to be for the high and mighty but for credible people. I predict something higher than a landslide victory”.
He further stated that “the verdict by the tribunal has shown that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not have the power to do and undo anymore in the state. What is wrong is wrong. We need re-orientation”.
Reacting to the PDP’s claim that it will appeal the verdict of the tribunal, Umaru said “I am not afraid that somebody is appealing. There are competent lawyers who understand the law and I am sure they will defend it.
“A statement has been made, that the PDP cannot keep on trampling on the rights of the people or continue to do the wrong thing. This is a clear message to the PDP that time is over for its reliance over the years, on rigging and manipulations of results.
“It doesn’t really matter if I spend only one day as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to represent my people, but the mandate of the people is what matter. The right to appeal is fundamental in our legal system. Everybody has the right to exercise it”.
He however expressed worry that PDP, out of panic, has began to intimidate and harass supporters of the APC in the state in order to cajole them into voting for their party during the general elections.
Accordingly, he said “I will like to sound a serious warning to the PDP and its administration that we will no longer allow them steal our mandate as they have always done since 2003; we will protect our votes in accordance with the laws of the land. We will embrace peace and shun violence.”