The last may not have been heard of the controversial zoning of Adamawa governorship slot to the Central Senatorial District by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as interest groups and stakeholders have begun to question the rationale behind the decision. Umar Dankano writes on the recent development.
As coalition of communities and youth groups on the aegis of ‘The Adamawa Collective’ (TAC) has kicked against the position of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over what it described as tilted and unacceptable zoning of the governorship ticket of the state to the Central Senatorial District.
TAC, which stated its position on the zoning of the governorship ticket in Adamawa state at a press conference in Abuja at the weekend, noted that the PDP NWC’s position was not only unjust, but smacks of double standards in the policy drive of the party.
National Coordinator of TAC, Eli Gamaniel and Secretary, Dr. Panny Boga, said it is absurd to compel someone that was not part of a meeting to accept a decision that is not known to law but taken as a form of exigency to solve a particular situation that has now been overtaken by events.
Gamaniel said: “It is important to state in very clear and unmistaken terms that when the decision was taken to zone the governorship of Adamawa to Central Senatorial District, Governor Bala James Ngilari was not in office neither he was part of the meeting.
“The Doctrine of Necessity that brought President Goodluck Jonathan to office during the illness and later death of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua remains a good reference point for the PDP. It was in that same spirit of the doctrine of necessity that Late Governor Patrick Yakowa continued in office and contested in 2011 and won.
Speaking in the same vein, Secretary of TAC, Dr. Boga said the new twist in the PDP is being orchestrated by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Muázu and the Principal Private Secretary to the President, Alhaji Hassan Tukur, all in an effort to foist a particular ethnic group and a candidate on the majority of Adamawa people.
He said: “It is on record that Muázu and Tukur have mounted tremendous pressure on Governor Ngilari to drop his governorship ambition in 2015 for the Senate, with the excuse that it has been zoned and reserved for the Fulanis, particularly, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
“Yet, it is on record that impeached Governor Murtala Nyako, who spent almost eight years in office, is of the Fulani ethnic extraction.
We are not shocked by the stance of these hegemonists because this was the same stance the likes of Professor Ango Abdullahi took when he insisted that President Jonathan should not contest in 2011 or the heavens will fall.
“We therefore insist that since Governor Ngilari was never a party to the agreement that zoned the governorship to Adamawa Central, it can therefore not be used against him in any material particular,” Dr. Boga insisted.
TAC assured Governor Ngilari of the support of the majority of Adamawa people towards his legitimate aspirations, adding however that if he is forced out, the PDP can as well forget the votes of the majority of Adamawa people.
Gamaniel further said:”There comes a time in the life of a man that he must stand up to be counted and this is the time. Governor Ngilari must not negotiate away the rights of every tribe and faith to govern Adamawa State.”
The Adamawa Collective demand in unequivocal terms that Governor Ngilari should, like other PDP governors, be given the option of First Refusal in line with the policy of the party and not the adoption of a different dancing steps.
Bala Ngilari has successfully articled as Deputy-Governor for almost eight years under Governor Murtal Nyako’s PDP Government and was faithful enough to the PDP as a party when he refused to jump ship into APC with Nyako. Is it a fair way to reward his loyalty by zoning him out of the race for the position he apprenticed faithfully for eight years?
“We say NO to the move for the adoption of different interpretations of rules to suit the whims and caprices of certain individuals within the government and the party,” Gamaniel stressed.
When the PDP resolved to zone the governorship position to Adamawa Central, Ngilari was not in office as governor neither was he part of the meeting and decision.
Following the court’s ruling that quashed the resignation of Ngilari as Deputy Governor and directed that he should be sworn in as governor, the Court equally quashed the scheduled governorship election in which Hon Umar Fintiri was the party’s candidate.
From every logical reasoning, it was clear that the zoning arrangement was predicated on the cancelled election and thus cannot be used for the next election, with Ngilari now as governor.
Since other first-term governors on the platform of the PDP are being given the ‘’Right of First Refusal,’’ why is the case of Ngilari different? Is it a case of different rules for same set of people?