Seven PDP Governorship Aspirants Writes To PDP National Leadership Seven Governorship aspirants of the People Democratic Party, PDP for the October 11 guber election in Adamawa state, which are Dr. Umar Ardo; Bar. AA Gulak; Hon. James Barka; Sen. Andrawus Sawa; Sen. Abubakar Halilu Gire; Dr. Idi Hong and Hon. Auwal D. Tukur, for the Adamawa October 11 Guber elections, have objected to the granting of waivers to five governorship aspirants.
The National Organizing Secretary, The Chairman, Adamawa State PDP Governorship Waiver Panel National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse, Abuja. 28th August, 2014
Sir, RE: OBJECTION TO GRANTING OF WAIVERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONTESTING THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S GOVERNOSHIP PRIMARIES IN ADAMAWA STATE FOR THE FORTHCOMING OCTOBER 11TH BYE-ELECTION
We, the undersigned bonafide members of the PDP in Adamawa State and Aspirants for nomination for governorship under the platform of the party, do hereby congratulate you and your members for being appointed to this very crucial panel. We are sure it will not be an exaggeration if we say the final recommendation of your panel to the party national leadership on the current waiver issue to contest the governorship of Adamawa State in the October 11th bye-election will be a watershed in our democratization process as it will have profound effects on our nation’s politics.
We are confident therefore that your deliberations will be incisive, thorough and far-reaching; taking into account all major political variables involved especially public views and people’s interests and sentiments in relation to fairness and justice to all. Without doubt, this issue and its resolution will affect the image and fortune of the party in both Adamawa state and the country. No wonder therefore the issue has generated huge public interests across the nation. As key stakeholders who are directly involved and therefore concerned with the well-being of the PDP in our state, we feel bound to collectively seize this great opportunity to write you and state our position on the matter.
Mr. Chairman, sir, you may be aware that amongst the list of Aspirants who bought the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to contest the PDP Guber Primaries are some who constitutionally need waivers to be able to aspire. These include:- vi. Engr. Marcus Gundiri; vii. Gen. Buba Marwa; viii. Mal. Nuhu Ribadu; ix. Gen. Aliyu Kama; and x. Dr. Ahmed Modibbo. We believe it is to determine their fate in the contest that your panel was constituted. While on personal level we have absolutely no reason to wish to inhibit them from contesting the governorship of our state under the platform of our great party – for they are all eminently qualified – but on the principle of playing a healthy political game, everybody must play according to the rules of the game. On this ground therefore we object to their contest as their participation will be an aberration to the election process.
The issues against them are both constitutional and moral. Constitutionally, Mal. Ribadu, Engr. Gundiri and Dr. Modibbo joined the PDP for the first time only recently, while Gens. Marwa and Kama returned to the PDP also only recently after earlier defecting from PDP to other political parties. Going by the provisions of Sections 50 (9) and (10) and 8 (b) of the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party 2012 (as amended), Ribadu, Gundiri and Modibbo are required to sustain continued membership of the PDP for a minimum of two years to be eligible to contest for the post of Governor, while Marwa and Kama remain on probation for at least one year, during which they will not be eligible to vote or be voted for except they are granted waivers as stipulated. Both sides have not met the requirements. The purpose of the waiting period, subject to waiver, is to test the fidelity of persons who have joined or decamped to the party.
These provisions are important as they are actually meant to ensure that only credible and loyal members of the party are allowed the benefits and privileges of the party and also to ward off the proclivity of Nigerian politicians to defect from one party to the other at will without consequences. That, notwithstanding, we would ordinarily have had no objection to their being granted waiver to contest the governorship election, but what we cannot consent to is their presenting themselves for contest without subjecting themselves to the constitutional provisions of seeking waivers and strictly adhering to the processes, and for the national leadership to act likewise.
For Ribadu, Marwa and Gundiri, their waiver requests, if any, have not followed the processes constitutionally required. While the letter forwarding their names by the state chapter of the party did not expressly recommend them for waiver, we know for a fact also that neither the State, LGA, nor Ward executives chapters sat to deliberate on the issue and make or decline the required recommendations. For Modibbo and Kama they are not even said to have applied for the waiver as if though it is not applicable to them. Under the circumstances, if these are granted waivers, or if they are allowed to contest, it would mean not only that some people are made immune to the provisions of the constitution of the party, thereby denigrating the status and sanctity of the party constitution and creating conditions for drift and anarchy, but also reducing our whole democratization process to a joke. All we ask for is for them, like all members, to abide by the party’s constitution and tow its processes.
We do know that the National Executive Committee of the party has the final say on this matter, but its powers is exercisable only if the processes duly emanate from the ward levels. As our party slogan holds “Power to the People”, it basically means the people from the grassroots shall have right to exercise their power on such matters. That is the essence of such constitutional provisions. But where the people are ignored and decisions are taken arbitrarily at the highest level of the party, it then makes hollow our party slogan. It is important to state that subject to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the PDP is regulated by its Constitution. That is why Section 2 of the party Constitution provides “Subject to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this Constitution shall be supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all the members and organs of the party”. Morally, the current PDP leadership and followership in Adamawa state are products of a long drawn out concerted struggle to institute constitutionalism, rule of law and due process and remove dictatorship and willful impositions in our party system.
In the course of the struggle some of these aspirants, Marwa and Kama, abandoned it and moved to rival political parties leaving some of us to continue the fight to victory only for them now to come back and wanting to be our co-contestants under the same platform. While others, like Ribadu, Gundiri remained our major opponents with whom we fought and defeated in both the course of reinventing our party in the state and creating the vacancy for which they are now applying to contest against us. This is morally wrong; and as the saying goes, what is morally wrong cannot be politically right. For this, the PDP should not venture into what is politically wrong.
While we trust that the panel will tow the path of law, we urge you to observe and enforce the unambiguous terms of the Constitution and avoid the road to lawlessness. We understand that in politics there must be political flirts and strangers. We equally understand that it is second nature to our latter-day politicians to have the zeal of reaping from where they have not sown. But even at these we must do within the framework of the law. Their actions have denigrated the party constitution and they must not be allowed to scale through. It is on the basis of these that we respectfully besiege your Panel to object to the granting of waivers to these 5 gentlemen to contest the forthcoming October 11 bye-election.
If, however, waivers need to be granted them for any extenuating political reasons, then it should be made effective in the 2015 gubernatorial elections. But to give them waiver to contest this bye-election would mean no consideration is given to those who stood by the party and fought for its survival and interests. This would be unfair and politically unwise.
With all due respects, as we approach the general election, it will even be more unwise for the party to take subjective actions against the law and public interests.
Thank you. Signed: 1. Dr. Umar Ardo
…………………………………………. 2. Bart. AA Gulak …………………………………………. 3. Hon. James Barka …………………………………………. 4. Sen. Andrawus Sawa ………………………………………….. 5. Sen. Abubakar Halilu Gire ………………………………………….. 6. Dr. Idi Hong ………………………………………….. 7. Hon. Auwal D. Tukur
…………………………………………… Cc: The National Chairman Chairman BOT The Political Adviser to C-in-C