There is pressure on former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman Nuhu Ribadu to join the Adamawa governorship race on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The pressure on Ribadu is coming from PDP Muazu and party chief.
Besides some presidential aides, including a top official close to President Goodluck Jonathan, and some businessmen who have the President’s ears, have been pleading with Ribadu to accept PDP’s ticket.
A peaceful march has been fixed for tomorrow in Yola by some PDP leaders and stakeholders to demand Ribadu as the party’s next governorship candidate.
But the ex-EFCC chairman, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not accepted the PDP’s overtures.
The PDP is desperate to give him a waiver and make him its candidate.
It was gathered that the PDP is after Ribadu to “pull the carpet off the feet of APC” which may benefit from sympathy votes to compensate for Nyako’s impeachment.
Ribadu “credibility” is said to have attracted the PDP.
It was learnt that one of the permutations of the PDP is to use the “snatching of Ribadu” to checkmate the influence of a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is still keen on contesting the presidential race in 2015.
In line with the agenda to whittle down the influence of APC in Adamawa State, the Acting Governor, Umaru Fintiri, has forced all local government chairmen to rejoin PDP and all APC chairmen and secretaries in most local governments are being lured back to the ruling party.
Muazu, some principal aides to the President, some businessmen, who are friends of the President, and some respected stakeholders from Adamawa have met with Ribadu in the last two weeks.
A source in the PDP said: “Muazu, some presidential aides and some businessmen close to the seat of power have had audience with Ribadu in Abuja on the need to join PDP.
“We are begging Ribadu to join us to be our governorship candidate to prove to the people of Adamawa State that the removal of Nyako was well-intended and not directed at APC per se.
“Security reports confirmed the need to re-fix the state and we decided to use our majority in the House of Assembly to remove Nyako.
“Having tried many candidates in Adamawa State, PDP leaders and stakeholders within and outside the state have concluded that only Ribadu has the integrity to save the state.
“If Nyako is gone and another APC chieftain is coming under the cloak of PDP, the people will not see anything wrong.”
Asked if the PDP move was not a way of decimating APC, the source replied: “That is part of the game. After all some PDP governors have also defected to APC.
“Adamawa is strategic to the PDP as far as its plans for 2015 poll is concerned. It is one of the targeted states by this party.
“The way the PDP is zeroing in on Ribadu has local content. We want the best for Adamawa State.
“Even some forces in the presidency have agreed on the need to redirect the state.”
But some stakeholders have kicked against plans by PDP to “give Ribadu a waiver and readmit him into the party”.
Another source said: “There is no way PDP members can accept Ribadu as their candidate; he cannot come and reap where he did not sow.
“They are making some of us to regret Nyako’s removal. Are they saying the Acting Governor, Umaru Fintiri is not good enough to lead PDP to victory? What of ex-Governor Buba Marwa, ex-Minister Aliyu Idi Hong, Principal Secretary Hassan Tukur, ex-UBEC Executive Secretary Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Modibbo, Dr. Umar Ardo and many others?”
“So, what will be the outcome of ex-PDP National Chairman’s investment in the ouster of Nyako? Are they saying they are not giving Bamanga Tukur’s son also the ticket.
“Some of us will resist the granting of waiver to Ribadu. In fact, the waiver cannot work because it cannot be backdated. Ribadu is expected to spend at least one year in the PDP as a returnee before he can contest for any post,” the source added.
Ribadu, The Nation learnt, is said to be scared of joining PDP. But we want to hold a peaceful march on Thursday to prove to him that we are serious this time around in poaching him.
“Already Ribadu’s posters have flooded Yola without any party symbol. Some stakeholders were behind these,” another source said.
A top source in Ribadu’s camp said: “Since the day Nyako was removed, there have been overtures from PDP leaders and some bigwigs but he has not given them any response.
“They are just begging him to come and save the state but he has not make any commitment at all.
“You know Ribadu is not the ambitious type at all. He believes whatever is going to be will be. He is also a man of the people and he will allow their will to prevail.”