The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Borno State has been advised against fielding ineligible candidates for the governorship forthcoming governorship election as well as Borno Central senatorial district seat.
A coalition within the party, Yerwa-Oodua PDP Support Group, which gave the advise at the weekend, declared that except the PDP forwards the names of former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil and a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Bukar Kachallah, as its governorship and Boorno Central senatorial district candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will go into the elections unopposed.
Chairman of the group, comprising PDP members from Borno State, who live in south western states of Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo, Bakura Goni-Makinta and the secretary, Mustapha Mustapha, who spoke in English and Hausa at a press conference in Lagos after their 26th quarterly stakeholders meeting, said as it stands the party has no valid candidates for the two positions in Borno State.
They added that whereas some PDP members were making reference to 2011, in which an incumbent governor lost the Borno Central senatorial election to the party, they ignored the fact that the party, then had the advantage of Mohammed Goni as its governorship candidate whose popularity influenced the outcome of the National Assembly election.
According to them, the leadership of the opposition PDP in the state should be wary of the fact that the APC currently has popular candidates besides the advantage of a President Muhammadu Buhari who was in the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, when an incumbent governor lost the Senate seat to the PDP.
“Ahead of the 2019 general election, the PDP in Borno State has no valid candidates particularly for the governorship and Borno Central senatorial elections until pending cases in the court between the two factions of the party are determined in weeks to come.
“Notwithstanding the publication of the names of Alhaji Mohammed Imam for the governorship and Senator Mohammed Abba Aji for the Borno Central senatorial election by INEC, the two persons are not valid candidates because their primaries were conducted by an unlawful state executive committee under the so-called chairmanship of Alhaji Zannah Gaddama, whereas a federal high court in Maiduguri has two months ago delivered a judgment clearly stating that the valid state executive of the PDP in Borno State is that under Alhaji Usman Baderi as state chairman,” Goni-Makinta and Mustapha said.
They insisted that Federal High Court judgement still subsists because there is, so far, no order by any court of competent jurisdiction setting aside the judgement, adding that the PDP state secretariat is under the use of Alhaji Baderi, while Gaddama operates from a private residence.
They further noted: “Based on its lawful recognition by the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, the PDP state executives under Usman Baderi’s leadership has since held its credible primary elections and has produced the former Minister of State for Oower, Mohammed Wakil as PDP governorship candidate in Borno State and a former speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Alhaji Bukar Kachallah as the PDP candidate for Borno Central senatorial election. We are very optimistic that very soon, the court will in reaffirming its earlier judgement, give an order to INEC to uphold the names of Alhaji Mohammed Wakil and Bukar Kachallah as our governorship candidate and Borno Central senatorial district given that they were elected from lawful primary elections.”
Speaking further, the group’s leaders said the PDP has no chance in the governorship and senatorial elections because “Alhaji Mohammed Imam does not have the pedigree to challenge the APC governorship candidate, who is a very popular professor with known records of deep involvement in the rebuilding of many communities destroyed by Boko Haram in about 20 local government areas of Borno State.”
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