As the Adamawa polls draw closer, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu and seven other aspirants out of the fourteen that have indicated their interests for the Adamawa State Gubernatorial election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stepped down from the race in the early hours of today.
Senate President, David Mark along with other officials of the party were able to reach an agreement with the aspirants and pruned down the number of those contesting to six at a closed-door meeting which started at about 9.06 p.m on Thursday and ended around 1.00 a.m on Friday, it was agreed that the six aspirants will not contest again for the governorship position in 2015 elections.
Under the new arrangement, those who will take part in the primaries scheduled for Saturday are the former Political Adviser to President Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak; former Military administrator of Lagos state, Buba Marwa, Ahmed Modibbo, Dr. Umar Ardo, Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri, and Jerry Kumdisi. While those who have withdrawn from Saturday primary election include Nuhu Ribadu; Auwal Tukur; Aliyu Idi Hong, Andrawus Sawa; James Barka; Gen. Aliyu Kama; Markus Gundiri and Abubakar Girei.
Following the new arrangements, only those who stepped down, have the opportunity of contesting for the party’s governorship election ticket in 2015, with more consideration in 2015 for Adamawa Central that has never produced a governor.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the party, Joel Madaki said nobody was compelled to step down; all those who agreed to step down did so voluntarily in order to wait to contest for the position in 2015.
The former Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak, who is contesting for the ticket on Saturday, hailed the decision arrived at the meeting as ‘fantastic’.
“The outcome of the meeting was fantastic. We met as family members of PDP, even before coming here all the aspirants in Adamawa have unanimously resolved that after the primaries, in a free, fair primaries, anybody that emerges will get our support.”
“Today, in this meeting, the number of the aspirants have been drastically reduced to six, which is manageable. I am contesting, Gen. Marwa is contesting, Ahmed Modibbo is contesting, Dr. Umar Ardo is contesting, Hon. Jerry Kumdisi is contesting, and Acting Governor Fintiri is contesting.”
Among those who withdrew from the race also, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Aliyu Idi Hong, expressed satisfaction with the decisions reached.
“Peace-building, negotiation, give-and-take, everything went well. 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.”
Following the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako by the State House on July 15, 2014, an election has been fixed for October 11, to get a substantive governor for the state who will rule till another election comes up in 2015.
The various parties would be holding primary elections to pick a candidate to who will be their flag-bearer in the October 11 election.