The controversy trailing the defection of former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has taken a deeper dimension, with the Adamawa State chapter of the party already polarized.
LEADERSHIP gathered that key members of the party are strongly opposed to alleged attempt by the party’s national, Adamu Muazu, to impose Ribadu as the candidate of the party in the state by all means.
Ribadu, a former presidential flagbearer of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), had been a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until his defection last Saturday.
Muazu, who is said to be the mastermind of Ribadu’s defection, is believed to be enjoying the support and collaboration of the Principal Private Secretary to President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Hassan Tukur, a native of Adamawa State, who said to be scheming frantically at the presidency to actualise Ribadu’s governorship bid.
While Muazu and Tukur are allegedly misleading the president about the true position in the state, the support for Ribadu is, however, believed to have hit the rock, as a majority of the party elders in the state may have made their point to Jonathan on the negative impact Ribadu’s candidature would have on the fortunes of the party in the governorship election in the state as well as the 2015 presidential election.
A PDP source in Adamawa told our correspondent that party stalwarts in the state, including the acting governor, Umaru Fintiri, former special adviser to the president on political matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, and a party chieftain in the state, Dr Panny Boga, who was in the forefront of the fight against the maladministration of impeached governor of the state, Murtala Nyako, “have vowed to work against the interest of the party in the state should their past efforts and hardwork to keep the party intact in the face of deliberate moves by some former PDP members to destroy the party and reduce it to rumbles during the reign of Nyako be jettisoned.”
The source, who was at a meeting in Yola on Saturday which lasted till the early hours of Sunday, said tensions were raised among party faithful as active members wondered why Ribadu worked with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to frustrate the impeachment process of Nyako by members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly “in addition to the garbage of insults and vicissitudes he poured on the PDP, now to suddenly become a bride as against those that fought to keep the party afloat in the face of extreme difficulties.”
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity continued: “The National Chairman of the party has a choice to make and the choice is simple, Ribadu or the party’s victory. The Osun outing of the PDP is still fresh and must be noted that it has a long way in affecting the 2015 presidential election.
“This was how we fought in 2007 and the ticket was eventually given to Murtala Nyako, who was a member of the ANPP then and we are all witnesses to the eventual result. What is the difference between what happened in 2007 and now with regards to Nyako and now Ribadu. Can’t our leaders ever see the handwriting on the wall and learn?” he quried.
The crisis being generated by Ribadu’s entrance into the governorship race has deepened the more, following declaration of interest by the duo of former Lagos and Borno States military administrator, Brig-General Buba Marwa and former governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Adamawa State, Engr. Marcus Gundiri who recently defected from the APC to contest the governorship ticket of the PDP.