As Adamawa state gears up for the Saturday, October 11, 2014 gubernatorial bye-elections, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 to decide over applications for waiver by three aspirants of the party.
According to reports, the 3 applicants are Marcus Gindiri, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and former military administrator of Lagos state Brigadier-General Buba Marwa.
In a report by Thisday newspapers, news emanating from the PDP national secretariat via a reliable source have it that the NWC would deliberate on the applications and make necessary decisions and approve on behalf of the National Executice Committee (NEC) where necessary to ascertain the viability of the candidate for the office of governor.
“I can confirm to you that the NWC will discuss the waiver issue for the Adamawa State aspirants at its weekly, meeting tomorrow (today). I think about three applications or so were received, they will need the waiver to complete their nomination forms. Any aspirant without waiver is automatically disqualified,” the source declared.
Ribadu had through a letter dated Saturday, August 16, 2014 formally applied to the party for a waiver, having defected from the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP to pursue his governorship ambition.
However, other aspirants have reportedly kicked against granting Ribadu any waiver, alleging that the move was aimed at imposing him as the party’s candidates when the party had many qualified governorship materials among the old members
While commenting on the development, the National Secretary of the party, Professor Wale Oladipo, said it was not only in Adamawa State the party had received applications for waiver but from other states of the federation, adding that all applications would be treated on merits
This came as the number of the state governorship aspirants for the by-election reportedly rose to 14 on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 as another aspirant, Senator Abubakar Haliru Girei, collected his express of interest and nomination forms, declaring that it was time to clinch the PDP ticket and win the governorship seat of the state during the by -election.
Speaking with journalists shortly after he had picked his forms at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja, Girei said his administration would ensure good governance, transparency, progress and the rule of law.
Girei whose forms were picked on his behalf by his aide, Michael Tika, said he was a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2003 and had been seeking the governorship ticket of the state since then, stressing that his time had come to realise his governorship ambition.
According to Tika, “Senator Girei stands a very good chance to clinch the ticket if nominated by PDP, the greatest party in Africa. He will do well and defeat all the candidates in the governorship election in the state. I think Girei is a democrat and when he comes to that bridge, he will know how to cross it.
“He is not afraid of anybody but one is not saying the former chairman of EFCC is not a governorship material. All other aspirants for the governorship seat are good materials but I want to say that Girei is a better material. He will stand for transparency, he will stand for the rule of law and he will stand for progress.”
Meanwhile, Marwa has said a precedence was being set in the part on the issue of waiver.
He said for the sake of fairness, the issue of waiver had been overtaken by events.
The former military administrator, who spoke to journalists at his Yola residence shortly after arriving the state from Abuja, said in the past, some people who defected back to PDP were allowed to contest for executive positions after spending only two months in the party.
He contended that he expected that the same gesture would be extended to others such as himself in the spirit of fairness, “especially for those of us who left the party due to injustice meted to us and have returned to the party to contest.”
According to him, “Our constitution in the PDP says you can run for election on the platform for executive or party position after two years stay in the party unless if you get a waiver.
“Those with me in the CPC who went to PDP in less than two months participated in congresses, did anybody talked about waiver? Since nobody talked about waiver, that meant is they have been given waiver impliedly. So if those people were given waiver, why will our own be different?”
Marwa asked. Marwa, however, explained that he was following the process of securing the waiver, adding that their complaints are well situated at the national secretariat of the party and expressed confidence that the matter wouldbe resolved amicably. He said since he was allowed to obtain an expression of interest form of the party, he believed that the issue of waiver would not be a problem because PDP is looking for people who can win election.
However, the National Vice-Chairman of the South-south Zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Hilliard Eta, believes strongly that the party will win the governorship by-election despite his exit from its fold.
Eta, who spoke with THISDAY in Calabar yesterday, said though Ribadu has the right to associate and belong to any political party in the country, his defection to the PDP will not affect the fortunes of the APC adversely during the governorship election.
“As you know, politics is free entry, free exit. Nuhu Ribadu is a very decent Nigerian .He has done well in the offices he has held in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was with us until a few days ago when he decided to join the PDP. I wish him all the best. That is the only thing I can say about Nuhu Ribadu; I wish him all the best. But, I assure you that the APC will win Adamawa, with or without Nuhu Ribadu.”