Adamawa: PDP disqualifies Acting Governor
•Clears Ribadu, Marwa, Modibbo, 10 others
The ambition of Adamawa State Acting Governor Umar Fintiri to assume the office in substantive capacity came crashing down last night.
The panel raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to screen aspirants seeking its ticket for the October 11 governorship election disqualified him from the race.
Chairman of the five-man screening panel, Senator Ibrahim Mantu said at the end of the screening that the disqualification was in consonance with Section 191 (2) of the 1999 Constitution which precludes an Acting Governor from transforming to substantive governor.
The development confirms our story of yesterday that the Presidency and the PDP had advised Fintiri to shelve his ambition having supervised then impeachment of Admiral Murtala Nyako last month.
He rebuffed them all.
“Fintiri is not qualified to contest in the primaries because he is not as a deputy governor emerged as acting governor,” Mantu said last night.
“He is a child of circumstance. He is the midwife and should not be the one carrying the pregnancy. He is like a referee who cannot participate in the match”, Mantu said.
The panel chairman, who described the screening as a transparent exercise, however said Fintiri was free to appeal the decision to the Screening Appeal Committee set up by the party.
However, 13 other aspirants got the nod of the party to take part in the primaries scheduled for Saturday, September 6.
They are: Nuhu Ribadu, Awwal Tukur, Mohammed Modibbo, Idi Hong, Marcus Gundidri, Buba Marwa, Abubakar Girei, Umar Ardo, Ahmed Gulak, James Barka, Jerry Kundusi, Andrawus Sawa, Aliyu Kama.
It was different strokes as the 14 aspirants filed out of the screening room one after the other.
While some of them s emerged smiling, others wore long faces.
Fintiri particularly looked unhappy as he came out of the room at 6p.m.
He avoided anxious reporters with whom he had chatted heartily shortly before he went in for his interview.
He practically dashed into his car and was driven away before any of the waiting journalists could ask him any question.
Ex- Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak and Dr. Umar Ardo also came out of the exercise wearing long faces. Gulak declined to speak to reporters.
Former Lagos military administrator, Buba Marwa, who was the first to be screened, also refused to speak with reporters after the screening. He excused himself, saying he was a bit under the weather.
However, it was all smiles for the former chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who described the exercise as transparent. He sounded optimistic about his chances of winning the party’s primary election.
The son of the former PDP chair, Awwal Tukur also came out of the exercise expressing satisfaction with the process. He also sounded positive about his chances.
Abubakar Girei said he was the man to beat while former minister Idi Hong said he stood a good chance of getting the ticket.
Even before the screening the chances of Fintiri appeared to be depreciating following claim by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that was still a member of the party.
The PDP was jolted by the APC claim.
It was learnt that the APC might take legal action if the Acting Governor was fielded by PDP.
The Concerned Youths for Good Governance in Adamawa State had on Friday petitioned the PDP National Secretariat alleging that the Acting Governor had registered at KIRSHINGA unit of K/WURO NGAYANDI ward of MADAGALI Local Government Area.
His details were put at NAME: UMORU AHMADU REG NO: 05009281; TEL: 08058536087; GENDER: MALE; AGE: 44 YRS.
The APC said it might raise legal issue on Fintiri’s qualification to contest on PDP platform for the primary and October governorship poll.
There were indications that the APC might join issues with Fintiri and PDP to pay him back for spearheading the removal of the party’s former Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako.
The State Secretary of APC, Mr. Abdullahi Bakari, who spoke with our correspondent yesterday, said: “During the registration of members by APC in February, the Acting Governor registered as Umaru Ahmadu in Kirshinga Ward in Madagali Local Government Area.
“We also have evidence to show that he has been attending our meetings as a stakeholder. As I am talking to you, we have not received any official document from him indicating that he has left our party for PDP.
“I think the party will take a legal stand when the State Executive Committee of APC meets. We are going to take action.”
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