The panel, raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to screen aspirants for the October 11 Adamawa State givernorship election has disqualified the Acting Governor, Umar Fintiri from the race.
Chairman of the five-man screening panel, Senator Ibrahim Mantu who anounced Fintiri’s disqualification at the end of the screening exercise Saturday, said the Acting Governor was disqualified by virtue of Section 191 (2) of the Constitution.
Mantu said the section does not permit someone to transform from acting capacity to a substantive governor.
“Fintiri is not qualified to contest in the primaries because he is not as a deputy governor emerged as acting governor.
“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 at the Screening Appeal Committee set up by the party.
The 13 successful aspirants 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 venue of the screening one after the other.
While some of the aspirants emerged from the screening exercise grinning from ear to ear, a few others emerged with long faces, as they avoided speaking with reporters.
A cheerless Acting Governor Umar Fintiri emerged from the screening at 6. pm and avoided anxious reporters with who he chatted heartily shortly before he went in for screening.
He walked briskly to his car and was driven away before any of the waiting journalists could ask him any question.
Similarly, ex Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak, also came out of the exercise not smiling. He declined speaking with the press, just like Umar Ardo who walked away unnoticed after taking his turn with the screening panel.
Former Lagos military administrator, Buba Marwa, who was the first to be screened, could not speak with reporters after the screening. He excused himself from the reporters, 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 November 6 primary election.
The son of the former PDP chair, Awwal Tukur also came out of the exercise to express satisfaction with the process. He also sounded positive about his chances.
Abubakar Girei came out of the exercise describing himself as the man to beat, just like Idi Hong who said he stood a steady chance of getting the ticket.