Anxiety has enveloped the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State over pressure on the party leadership to drop Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani and field Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as its governorship candidate.
LEADERSHIP gathered that party bigwigs angling for the replacement of Binani with the former chairman of EFCC are preempting the decision of the Court of Appeal which they suspect may order a fresh governorship primary this week.
It was learnt that the issue came up at a meeting of the State Working Committee and stakeholders of the Adamawa State chapter of the APC to discuss ways out of the current crisis rocking the party in the state.
Ribadu is said to have the support of Abuja and is the preferred choice of the first lady, Aisha Buhari.
A source at the meeting told this paper that the Adamawa APC stakeholders were compelled to sign a document endorsing Ribadu as the governorship candidate and Ambassador Patricia, the current women leader, as his running mate.
“The stakeholders were asked to sign the endorsement in preparation for the unlikely event that Binani recovers the ticket at the Appeal Court, they would work against her the way they treated Bindow in 2019.
“All the candidates made it clear at the meeting that two major problems may impede their success at the next circle of elections, if the party failed to secure a governorship ticket and lack of funds for an aggressive campaign,” the source who did not want his name in print said.
Corroborating the hint from our source, the state chairman of APC, Mr Samaila Tadawus, said the party is hopeful of getting a governorship candidate for the party through the appellate court verdict this week.
In a chat with LEADERSHIP on telephone, Taduwus said there expectations are high that the Court of Appeal would announce a governorship candidate for APC in Adamawa this week.
“Our major concern as a party is to get a governorship candidate, and reclaim the mandate of the state”, he stated.
Meanwhile, Ribadu’s supporters have engaged in last minute consultations ahead of the court judgement, with the hope that it would favour Ribadu.
The pro-Ribadu party members, including a former elected political officer, met for the first time at City Green Hotel last week in Yola, where they were said to have rally support for him, assuring those they were lobbying that the anticipated court verdict would favour their candidate.
The convener of the meeting, Alhaji Abdullahi Musa, urged party members to remain steadfast, saying the matter was dragged to the Court of Appeal in order to seek justice for Ribadu.
He expressed optimism that APC would emerge victorious in the 2023 Adamawa governorship election.
The Court of Appeal had reserved judgement in a case instituted by the winner of the APC governorship primary election in Adamawa State, Senator Aishatu Binani.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court, Yola, had in October nullified Binani’s victory, citing over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
This followed a complaint filed by her closest opponent, Nuhu Ribadu, who came second in the election.