Dissecting Party Primaries: Conflicts In Sokoto, Kaduna, Other States — Leadership Newspaper
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Dissecting Party Primaries: Conflicts In Sokoto, Kaduna, Other States

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Political observers are of the belief that though parties primary elections ahead of  the 2019 general elections has come and gone, the ripples it left behind will continue to pose threats to some of the parties, Our Correspondents write.

LEADERSHIP Sunday underscores the interplay between intra-party conflicts, candidate selection and party primaries in all the political parties in some states,   hence,  the need to employ theoretical explanations of the conflicts that characterised the aftermath of the exercise borne out of incompatible interests catalysed by selfish nature of individuals.

It’s a fact that Party primaries have come and gone but the ripples are yet to douse. The rancour and the backlash from the contest within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continue to raise concern among members ahead of the general election which will hold in a matter of months.

Sokoto

The ripples from the primaries that held in Sokoto State are not limited to either of the parties, PDP and APC. The extent to which the ripples will linger might affect the chance of some flag bearers except pacifiing committees are urgently set up.

Though, the PDP which is now in control of the state seems not to have much post primary election challenge, that,  however does not mean all is well with the choice of going by consensus candidate for the state 2019 governorship election.

Much as political pundits continue to wonder why the expected disagreement never sprang up, those in the know admitted that all sides were duely consulted and carried along in the whole process.

A source from within the party who preferred anonimity said,  all the areas where disagreement arose where hitherto envisaged and were adequately consulted upon. “You see,  PDP being a truly democratic party,  was able to allow all those who nurse  gubernatorial ambitions to come forth for negotiation.

“The negotiation was not basically about their capacities, because we are convinced beyond doubt that they are all good, tested and trusted in several leadership positions before then.  The negotiation was about how best to come out with a formidable  stand on how to continue to not only retain the state but also win Nigeria at large.

“All of them understood the need for internal democracy that will manifest into expected victory hence it was pretty easy for them to come to a common front on a particular aspirant”.

When asked about those behind the scene that helped to pacify other key players, the source said,  nobody was promised anything, “They freely agreed to the neccesity of the moment and zeroed down on a candidate to forestall fragmentation and division of interest.”

Though, some political observers are of the insinuation that some political big shots in the party accepted the arrangement because their interest was covered, they inferred that, both chieftain of the PDP and APC were consulted and some high level of victory agreement was reached.

“One of the most respected chieftain of the APC whose personality alone commands respect and follwership gave his consent on the choice of the PDP gubernatorial aspirant because he has some level of trust and confidence in him.

“Another renowned grassroots politician in the state PDP whom many thought will go against the consensus was however comfortable with it because it was alleged that his child would be made deputy governor “.

As expected, the Sokoto state PDP gubernatorial primary election  could by every standard be adjudged as not only commendable but a display of high degree of political maturity hence every delegate was unanimous on their mission.

They came out in good time and unanimously voted for Manir Dan’Iya as their 2019 general elections governirship flag bearer.

For now, the the ovation is still high, in the party. While some of the insinuation that the table might change with time, others are equally saying,  the possibility of bringing any other aggrieved contestant from another political party could also be considered.

Be that as it may, the stakes seem not to be as high as earlier expected by political pundits.

The scenario in the APC however was a different ball game altogether. This was because the interplay before and after  the  primary elections is still generating bitter feelings in the minds of both the aspirants and their loyalists.

When many felt the APC would tow the path that they did with the presidential primaries by replicating the consensus arrangement, many political watchers within and outside the state had concluded that Sokoto APC would certainly settle for consensus gubernatorial flag-bearer.

But the reality was different. The aspirants insisted on heading to the primary elections as four aspirants partook in the Sokoto APC gubernatorial  primaries and the outcome.

The state deputy governor, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto who refused to defect to the PDP with his governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal eventually won the primaries. It however seems other defeated aspirants might be on their way out of the party.

Prior to the primaries, permutations emerged that Faruk Malami Yabo, a former commissioner for Finance and later Local Government would be the preferred and favourite aspirant. He had stepped down his ambition in 2014 for the current governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to emerge.

However, that was not to be as both Senator Abubakar Gada, Abubakar Gumbi and deputy governor, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto were all in the race.

After the dust settled, the deputy governor, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto pulled the highest vote to defeat his closest rival Faruk Malami Yabo.

As it is now, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto remains the state APC governorship flag bearer for the 2019 general elections.

How ever the pendulum swings, the alignments and re-alignments  ahead of the D. Day will play a greater role in the 2019 general elections in the state.

Kaduna

In Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, expectedly emerged unopposed as the APC governorship candidate for 2019 governorship polls.

El-Rufai, who had no challenger pulled  2,427 votes from delegates at the primaries held at Indoor Hall of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua sports complex, Murtala Square.

The governor will be warming up to canvass for Kaduna votes with the main opposition PDP candidate, Hon.Isah Ashiru,ahead of next year’s much awaited polls.

Announcing El-Rufai  as the APC Kaduna state  candidate by the chairman Governorship Primary Election Committee, Hon Mathew Iduoriyekemwen, said: “At the end of the voting, we have 33 invalid votes,governor Nasir El-Rufai, the only APC aspirant in Kaduna state scored 2,427  votes. By the powers conferred on me I hereby return Nasir El-Rufai as APC governorship candidate for 2019.”

In his acceptance speech, the governor thanked the delegates and APC for the vote of confidence on him saying he would not let the  people of Kaduna State down.

El-Rufai, who highlighted his numerous achievements in the area of health,education,agriculture and investment drives said Kaduna will witness  more development in 2019 and beyond.

“I have accepted this nomination and see it as a vote of confidence for us to continue with our programmes for the good people of Kaduna state” he noted.

“It is with delight and humility that I stand before you today to accept the nomination as our party’s candidate for the governorship of Kaduna State in the 2019 elections.

“With gratitude to Almighty Allah, I accept this nomination as your vote of confidence to continue the work of delivering progressive outcomes for our people. I view your acceptance of my candidature as a mandate not to relent in promoting equality of opportunity. And I welcome it as your call to vigorously continue the path outlined in the Restoration Programme where we committed to create for ordinary people platforms for human capital development.

“I wish to thank our party members and leaders for this vote of confidence. We have travelled far together in the service of our people, but the journey is still long. Since July 2013, we have worked together with many of you here to build the Kaduna APC as a new party that is committed to improving the life chances of our people” the governor said.

The result of the PDP flag bearer for Kaduna State did not come to many as a surprise, as many had posited that the man who won eventually will be the right candidate to give the incumbent governor a good fight. However this did not come without relevant stakeholders in the state engaging in necessary permutation, lobbying, alignment and realignment to make this come through.

Two terms House of Representatives member, Honourable Isa Ashiru Kudan who emerged the flag bearer of PDP for the Kaduna State gubernatorial election in 2019 was a runner up to the incumbent governor in 2015 under the APC before retracing his steps back to the PDP. He had said the APC lacked cohesion and ‘good’ governance and promises made to the good people of Kaduna state was not being adhered to.

In the PDP governorship contest, 10 aspirants purchased the form to contest for the party ticket. They include, Hon. Isa Ashiru Kudan,  former director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Honourable Mohammed Sani Sidi, serving senator representing Kaduna North senatorial district, Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi,  immediate past Governor of the State, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, Barrister Jonathan Kish Adamu, Dauda Ahmadu Ibrahim, Dr.Mohammed Sani Bello, Dr. Jaafaru Saad, Mohammed Bello Umar and Shuaibu Idris Mikati.

Meanwhile, shortly after the voting had started, Dr. Jaafaru Saad and Mohammed Bello Umar in a written letter addressed to the Chairman of the PDP gubernatorial primary election for Kaduna State, Mr. Philip Aivoji announced their withdrawal from the contest.

Although, it was gathered that Adamu, Bello and Ahmadu Ibrahim also reached an agreement with the winner and same communicated to their delegates. Perhaps that may have also informed the speech of the winner when he assured that, he will carry his contenders along in his campaign team, as well as in government if elected the next Governor of Kaduna State.

Ashiru while saying that, his emergence will surely bring victory to the PDP, equally harped on the unity of the party, saying that, it is only in unity the party can defeat the incumbent. Whether or not he would live up to his word or not, only time will tell.

For the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Haruna Sa’eed Kajuru was affirmed as their sole candidate during the party’s primary which held at the State secretariat of the party in Kaduna.

For the SDP candidate, he is not new in the game, in 2011, he was the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) but was not successful as he lost to the incumbent governor on the platform of the PDP, late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.

When the CPC merged to become the present APC prior to the 2015 general elections, Alhaji Sa’eed also aspired to still become the state governor and again, was not successful at the primary. Not satisfied also with way the party was being run in the state, he decided to withdraw his membership of the party like his governorship counterpart in PDP to his present party where he has been given the opportunity again to see to the reality of his dreams.

Katsina

Last Sunday, Senator Yakubu Lado won the gubernatorial primary election of the main opposition party, PDP while Governor Aminu Bello Masari emerged victorious in the governorship primaries of the ruling APC in Katsina State for 2019 governorship race in the state.

There are many implications of their emergence, particularly the fact that some of the aspirants they defeated have reacted negatively or rightly condemned the primaries as unconstitutional and illegal.

Truly, the last has not been heard of the emergence of lado as the governorship candidate of PDP in the forthcoming general elections as no fewer than four of the seven contenders in the race shunned the primary of the party as one of them, Umar Abdullahi Tata, dumped the party for the APC.

Meanwhile six, if not the entire seven aspirants, participated in the controversial mock primary that produced Lado as consensus candidate. Before the official primary election, only one aspirant, Ahmed Aminu Yar’adua, actually faced Lado some few days ago.

“To all intent purposes, it was clear that the prospect of denying Lado the governorship ticket of PDP by any of the aspirants was a misplaced expectation. Let’s face the reality, Lado stands a better chance to dislodge the incumbent APC led government,” an elder of the party, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told this reporter.

The disquiet over APC governorship primary is no less ominous as the two aspirants defeated in the just concluded primaries, Abubakar Ismail Isa and Garba Sani Dankani, have indicated that they would contest in court the emergence of Masari as the party flag bearer.

“Even though, APC may boast that it is not moved by any threat of legal battle following the emergence of Masari, the truth is that a repeat of the costly mistake the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) made in 2011 may be in the offing ahead of 2019,” an official of the party who did not want his name in print warned.

In katsina, all is being set for an epic governorship battle an incumbent governor and arch rival who would definitely not cower until he gets the plum job in Katsina. This move must have informed the PDP leadership choice and preference for Lado, who had vied twice for the governorship, in search for a candidate to fly its flag.

Indications are that at the end of the day, APC will likely have an upper hand in the gubernatorial fight because among others President Muhammadu Buhari hails from the state although the contributions of Lado to PDP chances of winning Katsina back from APC are immeasurable.

Jigawa

APC and PDP just like some other states, witnessed a peaceful conduct of their gubernatorial primary election  in Jigawa State.

The incumbent state governor Alhaji Badaru Abubakar emerged as the winner of APC primary election as he scored 3,123 votes against his opponent Pharmacist Ubale Hashim who scored 54 votes.

The returning officer of the APC primary election senator Sadiq Yar’Adua who made the declaration at 11.45 am also stated that 35 invalid votes was recorded from 3,800 accredited delegates.

He said though about 600 delegates could not cast their votes for no obvious reason however announced Alhaji Muhammed Badaru Abubakar as the duly elected candidate for the 2019 governorship election in Jigawa state.

In his acceptance speech, Governor Muhammed Badaru Abubakar expresses his humility and appreciation to the delegates that have waited patiently for almost 24 hours in deference to a meticulous and transparent primary election that saw two accreditations to ensure strict adherence to the parties guidelines.

Similarly Mallam Aminu Ibrahim was declared winner of the PDP gubernatorial ticket after scoring 2027 out of the total 3200 votes cast by the delegates.

Meanwhile other aspirants who participated in the race are: Ali sa’adu Birnin Kudu scores 30,Tijjani Ibrahim Gaya 394 and Honorable Usaini Namadi scored 154 respectively.

Commenting shortly after the announcement of  the result , the PDP flag bearer Mallam Aminu Ringim thanked the delegates and leaders of the party for the confidence reposed on him and promised to carry everybody along and not to let them down.



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