Ribadu picks form as Fintiri insists on ticket

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 18th, 2014

Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chair Nuhu Ribadu obtained yesterday the Adamawa State governorship election nomination form.

He is seeking to run on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ribadu is battling for the slot with eight others. They are: Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri;  former Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Executive Secretary  Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Modibbo;  immediate past presidential Special Adviser on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak;  former governorship aspirant Marcus Gundiri;  ex-Lagos Military Administrator Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa; a former presidential aide, Dr. Umaru Ardo; Minister of State for Health Dr. Idi Hong and former PDP National Chairman Bamanga Tukur’s son, Auwal Tukur.

But some of the aspirants have protested against the sales of nomination form for N11million.

It was learnt that the sudden jump in the nomination fee from N6 million to N11 milion was part of the plot to reduce the number of aspirants.

Ribadu’s nomination form was collected by his bosom friend, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud (Walin Mubi).

Ribadu, who spoke through Mahmud, said he was not in the PDP for an automatic ticket.

A source said: “Some stakeholders in PDP came together on Monday afternoon and raised N11million for Ribadu to buy the nomination form.

“Ribadu is going into the race as a poor man and he is banking on his integrity to secure the ticket. We only hope that the people of Adamawa will allow a man of impeccable character to lead them.

“This information is necessary to prove that Ribadu does not want to be the PDP candidate to compromise his integrity.”

Ribadu’s form is number 0000060.

Mahmud expressed the confidence that Ribadu would get a waiver to run, saying the PDP constitution did not insert the waiver clause in anticipation that the former EFCC boss would join the race.

The nomination form collection closes today. The return of the forms is expected to close on August 25. The party has fixed August 28 for the screening of aspirants.

The ward congress comes up on September 1. Appeals coming from the congress will be heard on September 3. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the by-election for October 11.

But some aspirants are not happy on the sudden increase in the nomination fee.

One said: “We learnt the party increased the fee to scale down the number of aspirants because the intrigues of nomination caused crises in some states in the past, leading to the defeat of the party.

“But our position is that the PDP is more or less saying that a poor man cannot seek its ticket for elective office. This is just unfortunate.

“Some of us have protested to some members of the National Working Committee to reduce this jumbo nomination fee. We should not allow the rich to hijack the party at any level.”

Hong urged Fintiri to forego his ambition in the interest of fairness and equity.

Hong, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “My advice to Fintiri is that he should reflect on his position as an acting governor and serve as an unbiased umpire than being a contestant.

“It is not fair to approbate and reprobate at the same time. Fintiri should forgo his ambition and return to the House of Assembly after 90 days. This is a path of honour. It is morally and ethically wrong for him to contest.”

But Fintiri insisted yesterday that he should be given the ticket, saying his performance should fetch him the prize.

He was received by the chairman, Chief Joel Hammanjoda Madaki, and elders of the party as well as local government chairmen.

The acting governor was accompanied by all 25 members of the state Assembly. He urged the party to endorse him for the by-election.

He said: “My performance as acting governor in less than two months has shown to all, especially the people of Adamawa State, that if I continue for another six months, the dividends of democracy will reach all and sundry.”

Fintiri, who spoke in a firm tone said: “The people have seen what I have done and that is why I’m directing the party to see my coming as important since I worked hard with others in the State Assembly to restore the stolen mandate of the party, which was given to Admiral Murtala Nyako but he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).”

“Mr. Chairman, since I assumed office as the acting governor, the people of Adamawa State have been calling on me daily to contest the by-election and even the election next year; that is why I have come with my team, all members of the State Assembly, to inform you that we are involved in this election and I will finish Nyako’s tenure ending May 2015.”

According to him, the House of Assembly wants him to complete Nyako’s tenure.

He said: “I want to assure the party that stability is maintained in the Adamawa PDP and also in the state as the good people have always been asking me to continue and therefore I’m here for the endorsement for the 6th September 2014 PDP primaries.”

Fintiri donated N10 million for the repair of the secretariat.

Acting Speaker Laori Kwamoti said the entire members of the House are behind Fintiri.

Madaki thanked the acting governor, saying:  “Let me remind you that PDP is a party for all and the party will not discriminate against anyone. Whoever wishes to contest elections on its platform should go and purchase the form because the party is a liberal one that will not reject anyone. Everyone should be allowed to play a role.”

He advised the party to be careful as flexing muscles would ruin its chances.

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