5th September, 2014
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission early Friday morning withdrew from the primary to choose the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the Adamawa State gubernatorial election scheduled for 11 October.
Seven other aspirants also accepted to withdraw from the primary scheduled to hold tomorrow as announced after an all night meeting of the leadership of the National Working Committee, NWC of the party with all those who had expressed interest in the party ticket in Abuja.
Apart from the former anti graft chief, the other aspirants who also agreed to step down are Awwal Tukur, Aliyu Idi Hong, Andrawus Sawa, James Barka, Aliyu Kama, Markus Gundiri and Abubakar Girei.
The meeting which was held at the Banquet Hall of Aso Rock presidential villa was presided over by Senate President, David Mark.
The all night meeting was convened out of fears that the party may be thrown into crisis which may jeopardise its chances at the gubernatorial election if all the aspirants are allowed to participate in the primary.
However, General Buba Marwa, former military administrator of Lagos and Borno states and Umaru Fintiri, the acting governor of the state will participate in the primary.
The other aspirants that are still in the race include Ahmed Gulak, a former aide of President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Modibbo, a former Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Umar Ardo, and Jerry Kumdisi who is the chief whip of the State House of Assembly.
PM NEWS however learnt that the withdrawal of Ribadu from the gubernatorial race may be a tactical move as any
aspirant who was elected the torch bearer of PDP from tomorrow’s primary will spend only about seven months which is the remnant of Nyako’s tenure in office if he eventually gets elected as governor in the October bye election.
A fresh election will be conducted to choose another governor for Adamawa just like for the other states in February 2015.
It was learnt that the eight aspirants were convinced to step down after it was resolved at the meeting that those who participate in Saturday’s primary will not be allowed take part in the 2015 poll.
“We have been given a caveat and one thing we have succeeded in extracting from this meeting is that the meeting started with a preamble that whoever is going to contest and if he happens to win as a governor, he will not have the right to contest the 2015 election,” Hong, one of the aspirants who withdrew from the race said while confirming this in a chat with journalists after the meeting
Joel Madaki, chairman, Adamawa state chapter of PDP confirmed to journalists that the number of aspirants have been reduced from 14 to six at the end of the meeting.
“Nobody was forced to step them. Those who stepped down did so voluntarily in order to wait to contest for the position in 2015,” said Madaki.
It was also agreed that the party’s ticket should be zoned to Adamawa central district for the 2015 election.
The former EFCC Chairman is from the central district which has never produced a governor in the state and it is believed that this has placed him in a strong position to emerge PDP gubernatorial flag bearer for the 2015 election.
A source told PM NEWS this morning that Ribadu who defected from All Progressives Congress, APC to PDP some weeks ago, considered the fact that if he contested now, he will spend just seven months in the office.
But if he waited till February 2015, he will have the opportunity of enjoying the full four year tenure.
Also, the decision to zone the 2015 ticket of the party to the central district of the state has enhanced Ribadu the chance of emerging the gubernatorial flag bearer of PDP in 2015.
Still, the decision to withdraw now in anticipation of the ‘bigger prize’ ahead is a big risk for the former anti graft chief given as Nigerian politicians are not known to respect ‘one term agreement’.