As the race for who gets the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the Saturday, October 11, 2014 gubernatorial elections in Adamawa state gathers heat, feelers have it that the presidency might have had a change of mind for its support for former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu following criticisms from several quarters.
The purported decision by the presidency comes on the heels of alleged plans of a gang-up against Ribadu in the eventuality of him getting the PDP ticket by other aspirants and party leaders.
According to sources, Ribadu was drafted into the race by the presidency on advice by Hassan Tukur, the principal private secretary to the president as both men were said to be former classmates and close associates.
Meanwhile, former military administrator of Lagos and Borno States, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (Rtd.) yesterday declared that he will contest the governorship race of Adamawa state under the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party adding that he will win the seat for the Party in the bye election slated for Saturday, October 11, 2014 this year.
Disclosing that he was sure of getting the party’s waiver to contest the election, General Marwa said that the decampment of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who is being touted as ‘anointed candidate’ as well as others, posed no threat to his ambition.
Also, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Barrister Ahmed Gulak has warned that imposition would have a disastrous effect on the chance of the party in winning the state’s guber election, stressed that the least anybody could wish the people at this trying moment was for them to be allowed to choose their leader.
However, following the support from the Presidency, Ribadu who was the 2011 Presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and a Chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APCRibadu, picked his governorship form through his political associate, Hammidu Mahmud, at the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja where he told Journalists that he was not aware that President Goodluck Jonathan had anointed him as the party’s governorship candidate.
According to him, “We are not aware that the president wants Ribadu, it was some PDP chieftains in the state who called on Ribadu to come and contest for the governorship of the state. So the question of the president wanting Ribadu does not arise in the case.”
It will be recalled that the Presidency, particularly the PPS has neither denied nor confirmed the speculations, Ribadu has consistently denied that he was running for the governorship of Adamawa on the strength of an alleged presidential support.
Ribadu who has just joined the party must get a waiver from the PDP in line with PDP’s constitution, Section 50 (9) which says: “There shall be a minimum of two year membership span for a member to be eligible to stand for election into any public office, unless the appropriate executive committee gives a waiver or rules to the contrary.”
According to a member of Board of Trustees, BoT of PDP from the South-South zone and a member of the president’s inner caucus, “The race in the coming days is likely to be very interesting but we have all resolved to be very careful because in politics, you cannot take chances, especially ones that are likely to jeopardize the chances of your party.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, a source said was waiting for aggrieved members of PDP who will kick when Ribadu eventually becomes the PDP candidate as he was said to be waiting to lure them to the APC.
Those who bought forms according to the record at the Mobilisation office in the office of the National Organising Secretary and obtained by Saturday Vanguard on Friday, August 22, 2014 are the Acting Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri; a three time gubernatorial aspirant, Dr. Umar Ardo; former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Senator Abubakar Girei; former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak; Erstwhile Military Administrator of Lagos and Borno States, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa and former Minister of Statement Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aliyu Idi- Hong. Others are the immediate Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed; Son of former PDP National Chairman, Awwal Bamanga Tukur; Marcus Natina Gundiri; James Shuiabu Barka; Jerry Kundusi; Engr. Brig. Gen. A.A.V. Kana and Andrawus Sawa.