Determined to create a level field for all aspirants as well as growing concerns that the acting governor of Adamawa state, Ahmed Umaru Fintiri, may contest the Saturday, October 11, 2014 by-election in the state on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the presidency stepped in at the weekend by asking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to void his disqualification by the screening panel led by Senator Ibrahim Mantu, THISDAY has learnt.
THISDAY gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan informed the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, to direct the Appeal Screening Committee to ensure that Fintiri’s disqualification was reversed.
It was also gathered that the president was worried that with his disqualification, the acting governor could head straight to APC, where he is alleged to be a registered member.
There was also concern that Fintiri had been assured of the main opposition party’s ticket by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
The president, THISDAY learnt, had a change of heart late Saturday, August 30, 2014 and promptly directed Mu’azu to void Fintiri’s disqualification on the grounds that as the incumbent governor, he could still win the election on the platform of any party of his choice.
It was a risk the president was unwilling to take, having just recaptured the state from APC, a presidency source explained to THISDAY.
The president was said to have reminded Mu’azu that Fintiri had defected with ex-Governor Murtala Nyako to APC last year, and as a purported registered member of the opposition party, the PDP had provided the loophole for APC to woo him to contest the by-election.
The decision to void Fintiri’s disqualification was also aimed at thwarting the directive by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC to Atiku that he must deliver his home state in the Saturday, October 11, 2014 governorship by-election, as this could improve his chances of securing the presidential ticket of the main opposition party.
The Mantu committee had on Saturday, August 30, 2014 disqualified the acting governor, citing section 191(2) of the 1999 Constitution for Fintiri’s disqualification, which also barred him from participating in the primary.