The issue of waiver for those aspirants in the Adamawa governorship bye election who recently joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new dimension yesterday as some others petitioned the party’s leadership urging it not to grant them the reprieve.
Those seeking for waiver in order to participate in the September 6th party primary in the state include the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former Military Administrator of Lagos state, Gen. Buba Marwa and the 2011 governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Engnr. Marcus Gundiri.
But in a quick reaction, a frontline aspirant who is among those the aggrieved members are urging the PDP leadership to disqualify from participating in the primary, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo described the claims as baseless.
Those five aspirants who petitioned the PDP leadership seeking to stop Ribadu and Modibbo include Dr. Umar Ardo, Barr. Ahmed Gulak, Hon. James Barka, Sen. Andrawus Sawa, Sen. Abubakar Halilu Girei, Dr. Idi Hong and Hon. Awwal Tukur.
The petition sent to the Chairman of waiver panel and National Organizing Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha was titled “objection to granting of waivers for the purpose of contesting the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primaries in Adamawa state for the forthcoming October 11 bye-election.”
The petitioners argued that Ribadu, Gunduri and Modibbo joined the PDP for the first time not long ago, while Marwa and Kama returned to the PDP only recently after earlier defecting from PDP to other political parties.
However, in their separate reaction, Modibbo and Ribadu described the aspirants claim as baseless.
Modibbo, in a statement by his Media Assistant, Julius Toba, said, “much as Dr Ahmed Mohammed Modibbo would not like to join issues with any politician or fellow aspirants in this race, we cannot afford to watch and allow a few un-serious elements to have a field day running him down.
“Just like other allegations made against any forward-looking politician of Adamawa extraction by Dr Umar Ardo in the past; this latest one too smacks of bad blood, it is ridiculous, baseless and laughable in its entirety.
“For avoidance of doubt and in our effort to put the record straight, Dr Modibbo is a foundation member of PDP, a party he had contributed immensely towards since its inception. He first got his initiation into PDP during the 1998 Jos Convention.
“Since 2009 till date, we have documentary evidences indicating that my principal is a key financial member of PDP both at the state and national levels”
“For instance, commencing from January 2009, he had received no fewer than ten letters of appreciation from Adamawa state executive committee of the party for several of his philanthropic gestures.”
Ribadu, in his reaction through a text message by his Media Assistant, Abdulazeez Abdulazeez said, “Those huffing and buffing over the entrance of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu into this race portray themselves as empty shells that they are.
The attempt to truncate a legitimate process is totally condemnable and uncalled for. There is no basis for opposition to granting of the waiver. We don’t seek for advantage over any aspirant. What we advocate for is for everybody to be allowed to participate in an open and transparent manner. No party member is superior to another.”
The petition signed by the seven aspirants reads in part “We would ordinarily have had no objection to their being granted waiver to contest the governorship election, but what we cannot consent to is their presenting themselves for contest without subjecting themselves to the constitutional provisions of seeking waivers and strictly adhering to the process and for the national leadership to act otherwise.”