Ahead of tomorrow’s primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Adamawa State by-election, eight of the fourteen aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket, have stepped down from the race in the early hours of Friday.
Following the impeachment of the former Governor, Murtala Nyako, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, fixed October 11 as date for by-election to get a substantive governor for the state.
It was learnt that after about four hours of deliberations with the aspirants, which started by 9.06 p.m on Thursday and ended around 1.00 a.m on Friday at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, Senate President, David Mark, along with other officials of the party, were able to reach a compromise with the aspirants and pruned down the number of those contesting to six.
The six aspirants still in the race for the party’s ticket on Saturday are former political adviser to the president, Ahmed Gulak; former Lagos State military administrator, Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd); former executive secretary of UBEC, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo; Dr. Umar Ardo, Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri, and Jerry Kumdisi.
Those who have withdrawn from Saturday primary election include former EFCC Boss, Nuhu Ribadu; former PDP national chairman’s son, Auwal Tukur; former minister of state for health, Aliyu Idi Hong; Andrawus Sawa; James Barka; Gen. Aliyu Kama; Markus Gundiri and Abubakar Girei.
It was agreed at the closed-door meeting that the six aspirants contesting for the party’s ticket on Saturday will not contest for the position in 2015 general elections.
The meeting also agreed that only those stepping down now would be allowed to contest for the party’s governorship ticket in the 2015 general elections, with more consideration in 2015 for Adamawa Central, which has never produced a governor.
Any aspirant who fails to win the party’s ticket in tomorrow’s primary election, the meeting also agreed, must queue behind the party’s flag bearer towards the October 11 by-election.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the party, Joel Madaki said: “Fourteen aspirants contesting for the position earlier has now reduced to six aspirants due to this meeting. It is a very welcome idea. Nobody was forced to step them. Those who stepped down did so voluntarily in order to wait to contest for the position in 2015”.
Those who attended the meeting included the PDP National Vice Chairman, Uche Secondus and the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali.
Also at the meeting were two PDP governors, Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi).
The Secretary of the Adamawa state PDP, Barrister Ati Shehu and the former governor of the state, Wilberforce Jutta were also present at the crucial meeting.