- Group says It will Ensure Sheriff Goes To Prison
On 11thDecember, 2014 Alhaji Gambo Lawan emerged as the PDP Governorship candidate for the February 2015 gubernatorial election in Borno State, a scenario which was heralded by every Borno State indigene, and stakeholder of the State that is committed to the peace and wellbeing of Borno State.
The saw Gambo Lawan as messiah coming to rescue them from the doldrums of insecurity, wanton poverty and others; however, that hopes, jubilation and dancing all died down 14 days after he was declared winner of the PDP primary as his name was wrongly substituted by the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu.
Desertherald investigation reveals prior to the Primary election that was held at the presidential villa, there was a rigorous meeting that was held to select who emerges the consensus candidate of the party, for the governorship election, it was gathered by this paper that rigorous meeting took place up to 20 times and at the end Gambo Lawan emerged as the winner and he became the consensus candidate, this paper gathered that there was 26 stakeholders from both the old and the new PDP.
According to a close source who was privy to all the happenings, said that the stakeholders however rejected and said that there should a primary election to elect who will emerge as the Guber candidate for the party in Borno, a demand which the source said Gambo Lawan also agreed to even though he has emerged the consensus candidate of the party.
“According to the Source, then every person agreed that we need to conduct an election and we all went to the President, the President and every person including the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, PDP BOT chairman, Tony Anenih and the 26 stakeholders 13 from the old PDP and 13 from the new PDP which are from the Ali Modu Sheriff’s corner agreed that because of the insecurity situation in the state, it is will be good the party holds its election at the Presidential villa to elect who its guber candidate for Borno will be.”
“President Jonathan then told all the stakeholders to write three names that they want to emerge as their flagbearer, with the most preferred name as the first to be followed by two other names. After everything name were collected, it was discovered that Gambo Lawan got 15 votes, Imam Muhammed has 15 votes, while Kashim Imam had 14 votes. Mr, President told the stakeholders and other person that he, the Vice President, the PDP National Chairman, and BOT chairman will be excused for about two hours so as to choose who will emerge the candidate of the party. After two hours, the president came out with them and the gathering resumed, President Jonathan told everyone who was there that after much consultations with all the stakeholders of the party, both from Borno and outside Borno, they have agreed that Gambo Lawan is the party’s Guber candidate for Borno, that he is the most qualified candidate for the party for the 2015 election.”
“Infact I can tell you that Gambo Lawan was not even there when all this happened, so there is no issue of lobbying any person,” the source told this paper.
Speaking further, the source told this paper that; “from there went straight to Arewa suites in Abuja where over 200 statutory delegates were waiting, and when we got there we told them how everything happened, and we went straight into an election so that the delegates will ratify the candidate, Gambo Lawan, surprisingly of the 193 delegates Gambo Lawan was their chosen candidate, as he won again there as 185 out of the 193 delegates voted for him as 8 votes were invalid.”
This paper gathered that Alhaji Gambo Lawan was issued certificate of return as the Governorship candidate of the Party, the certificate of Return which was signed by the Returning Officer Dr. Pius Senibe, the Electoral Officer, Iyom Adaobi, as well as the National Chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu, other signatories to the Certificate of Return include Prof. Adewale Oladipo the National Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha ,the National Organising secretary. The certificate of return has a code number PD004/G/2014.
Also interestingly, report of the conduct of the primary election for the governorship of the Borno State held on the 11th of December, 2014 available to this paper stated thus; “The National Working Committee constituted this panel to conduct the primary elections of the party for the purpose of producing the governorship candidate of the party for the Borno State during the upcoming general elections.”
The Panel is made up of the following person; Dr. Pius Sinebe as Chairman, Iyom Adaobi Obijiaku served as secretary, members are Barrister Anthony Oka, Chairman of PDP Borno State and Hon. Uche Stanley Ebere.
The Panel’s report stated further that; “following the constitution of the panel, the National Working Committee(NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party directed that the primary election be held in Abuja dur to the serious security concerns in Borno State.
Upon receipt of the above directive from the National Working Committee, the panel met with the party officials and stakeholders from Borno State, and agreed on the modalities for the primary election and resolved to invite all the delegates to Abuja.”
“The election was subsequently held on the 11th of December 2014. The delegates to the election were the party’s statutory delegates from Borno State because the party didn’t produce 3 man ad-hoc delegates.
The election was orderly, peaceful and duly held at the end of which Alhaji Gambo Lawan was duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast at the election.”
As learnt by this paper, on the 24th of December, former Governor, Sheriff, allegedly on Wednesday, 24th December, 2014, connived with the PDP National Chairman Adamu Muazu and the PDP National Organising Secretary Abubakar replaced Lawan’s name with that of Muhammed Imam, this paper finding reveals that Adamu Muazu gave another form to Imam to fill his name.
This finding also reveals that Adamu Muazu may have done the shoddy deals for Muhammed Imam because Muazu’s wife is sister to Muhammed Imam’s wife, the two women are the daughters of Late Brigadier Abba Kyari, infact it was gathered that Adamu Muazu was met with Muhammed Imam’s Wife last Monday in Dubai.
Meanwhile in an open letter written by Borno State PDP Concerned Stakeholders dated 26thDecember forwarded to President Jonathan and copied to the Vice President, PDP National Secretary, Senate President, Chairman BOT, Chairman Borno State PDP Governorship Electoral Panel, Hon. Minister of State Power, and the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, stated thus; “with due respect and out of strong conviction, we write to inform your Excellency about the illegal substitution of the PDP candidate, Gambo Lawan for Governorship of Borno Sstate in the forthcoming General elections by the National Chairman of our great party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu.”
The letter which was entitled; An open letter to Mr. President on the wrongful substitution of Gambo Lawan as the PDP governorship candidate of Borno State for 2015 elections;stated thus; “Your Excellency may wish to recall your intervention on the long disagreement over the emergency of the Borno State PDP governorship candidate with a view to solving it. In this regard, you ordered for a process which you personally supervised in which Gambo Lawan emerged as the PDP Gubernatorial candidate for Borno Sstate fir the 2015 general elections. Subsequently, he was affirmed by the delegates and a certificate of return was issued to him.”
According to open letter which was signed by Hon. Aminu Yakudima, Hon. Ibrahim Abatcha and Hon. Salisu Aliyu on behalf of the Borno State PDP Concerned Stakeholders, stated that the process which was personally supervised by yourself in the presence of; the Vice President, Senate President, National Chairman of the PDP, the Chairman Board of Trustees, PDP, Borno State PDP Chairman, The Hon. Minister of State Power, and BOT members and other Stakeholders from Borno State.
Infact it was also learnt from the letter that President Jonathan described as the Supreme Court of the Party whose decision is final.
According to the letter, the group stated that President Jonathan directed that Gambo Lawan having emerged from the old PDP as the candidate, which he directed the new entrants to the party to nominate the candidate for the Deputy Governor.
The Group in their letter insisted that in the best interest of the party as they call for the immediate reversal of the decision to substitute Gambo Lawan, it also stated thus; your Excellency may wish to note that; Gambo Lawan is the only candidate who is recognised and acceptable to the party and party faithful in the state because he is the one elected and holds the certificate of return to fly the party flag; That it is completely unacceptable to have mohammed Imam (a nominee of Senator Ali Modu Sherif) as the PDP governorship flag bearer. It is on record that Imam contested and lost the House of Representatives seat in the 2011 general elections to the incumbent, Hon. Kaka Kyari Gujbawu of the PDP; that in 2011 general elections the PDP did well having won two senatorial setas in the process of which the then incumbent Governor, Senator Ali Sheriff was defeated by the PDP candidate for Borno Central Senatorial seat. In addition, two House of Representatives and six House of Assembly seats were also won by the PDP.
The letter further stated that; “In the spirit of accommodation and in spite of Senator Ken Nnamani Reconciliation Committee’s template of sharing 60/40 in favour of the old PDP, the new entrants were allowed to have two out of three Senatorial seats, five out of ten House of Representatives seats and fifteen out of twenty eight House of Assembly seats. These concessions were agreed to by the old PDP as a result of the fact that the governorship candidate in the person of Gambo Lawan has already emerged from the old PDP. All these concessions and magnanimity notwithstanding, the new entrants surreptitiously took over the Governorship candidate of the party in total disregard in the spirit of give and take extended to them. This tantamount to short-changing the old PDP members and the party in the state.
According to their letter, they said; allowing Mohammed Imam to be the flag bearer of the party will completely disenfranchise and disposes the old members of the party from any stake in the forthcoming 2015 general election. It said furthermore, it will deepen the dichotomy among PDP members and discourage the loyalty and commitment of the old members who have laboured to build the party over the last sixteen years, Gambo Lawan is one of such loyal party men.
Moreover, another group of Borno indigenes living in Lagos and other parts of the Southwestern States of Nigeria has told ex-Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff that he had no right to impose an associate of his, Alhaji Mohammed Imam as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state.
Sheriff had allegedly refused allowing Imam to marry his daughter on the basis that Imam was not a “responsible man”.
According to the group it said former Governor, Sheriff, allegedly on Wednesday, 24th December, 2014, replaced Lawan’s name with that of Imam.
Lawan has, however, filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging his substitution.
The group,YERWA-OODU’A SOCIO-ECONOMIC SOCIETY, a union of Concerned Indigenes of Borno State in Southwestern States of Nigeria.
In a press briefing which was titled “2015 and the Future of Borno People: URGENT MATTERS ARISING.”
The statement signed by the group chairman, Alhaji Kachalla G. Bulama and Haruna Womdio, the secretary reads in part:
“It is very important for us to inform the general public that from 2007 to 2011, this same Alhaji Mimam went into courtship with the first daughter of former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff (SAS). Her name is Hadiza. Imam was so much in love with that lady and many people in Borno knew about it. Imam was at that time about 40 years or so, but Sheriff refused to allow Imam to marry her because he said Imam was not responsible.
“We will not go into specifics about his character; you can please investigate that yourselves. As journalists, you that should lead the public to making informed decisions. Imam was mostly living in hotels whenever he was in Maiduguri. He had houses in Maiduguri and didn’t lack money. Imam travels almost all the time to Dubai for reasons we don’t know and we don’t want a governor that will relocate the Borno state government to Dubai. Nobody can clearly point what Imam does for a living.
“He is known to have a network of rich friends here and there. Imam dropped out of school when his peers became graduates many years ago and he didn’t lack anyone to pay his fees because his father wasn’t a poor man. He only returned to university of Maiduguri about five years ago. Till date, we don’t know the status of his education. SAS refused to allow imam to marry his daughter and that made them become open enemies. In February, 2011, SAS married out his daughter to another man who took her out of Borno state, perhaps Kano or Abuja.
“When Imam finally got a woman to marry in 2012, SAS boycotted Imam’s wedding on the argument that Imam was an irresponsible man who do not deserve his presence. SAS also directed his close associates not to attend the wedding. Mind you, the lady imam married was a cousin to the wife of SAS.
“Now, how could SAS today impose on the people of Borno state the same man he refused to allow him become his son-in-law because he was not a responsible man? Why should a man who was not suitable for his own daughter suddenly become suitable to manage the affairs of over three million people of Borno state under a difficult time that requires a governor with extraordinary qualities of leadership? What have we done to SAS in Borno that he wants to sacrifice our future just for his political interest? Have we done anything wrong by electing him twice as governor and three times as a senator? Some of our members voted for SAS in 2003 and 2007 as governor under the app. some voted PDP.
“We are worried because we have seen what happened in Ekiti State and we all know the developments there today, whether good or bad. We have no interest in whether the APC in Government in Borno State retains the seat or not, all we want is a credible person in PDP such that whoever Allah chooses to become Governor of Borno will be someone we can look up not someone that will allow Borno to disappear due to terrible leadership. There is a common saying in the northern Nigeria that “JUMMA’A MAI KYAW TUN DAGA LARABA A KE GANE SHI” in direct translations it means ‘A Friday that will be good gives sings by Wednesday’ but the wisdom here is that you can predict whether something will be good or bad in future based on what you see today, ahead of the future.
“Ahead of Mohammed Imam as Governor, we see a bad Friday and this is not good for Borno. Some of you may ask why don’t we refuse to vote Imam if we think he is not good. But we all know how politics works and how our kind of democracy is. SAS is close to the Presidency; we do not want to take chances. Borno is greater than any individual and we will do anything legal to safeguard Borno. Borno is a friend to you in need today; Borno State can become a friend indeed to you tomorrow.
“We know the developments going on in Borno and we are all full of hope that the problems will one day end if our leaders in the State remain committed as they are now. Recent political development makes one afraid for the future of Borno State. We are not card carrying members of any party but we want the best candidates in the major political parties in Borno, that is the APC which is in Government and the PDP, the main opposition in Borno. In politics, anything can happen no matter what expectations people have for a particular person. This is why we prefer both APC and PDP to have credible candidates for the Governorship so that in the event anyone of them wins, Borno State will have a good future.
“However, as we speak today, Sheriff has imposed on the PDP a person that is not fit in any way to be a Governor of Borno even in normal times not to talk of the critical time Borno has found its self. We reiterate that Alhaji Mohammed Imam was on Wednesday, 24th of December, 2014 dubiously imposed as the new candidate of the PDP. His name was smuggled in to replace the validly elected Governorship candidate in the person of Alhaji Gambo Lawan that was elected by delegates and given certificate of return by the INEC. We are not really concerned with the political intricacies in PDP but we are concerned with the person of Alhaji Mohammed Imam in the event that kind of man is to become the Governor of Borno State with all our challenges”.
The group had earlier explained the existence of its group, saying it was established to support indigenes of the State living in the Southwest.
“By way of a short introduction, our union is the coming together of some indigenes of Borno State operating in different States within the Southwest of Nigeria, for the sole aim of helping ourselves and being our brothers keepers through economic support for one another. We do this in the form of having cooperative ‘Adashi’, which we give as loan to anyone of us in need to pay back without interest. We help each other to start business; help each other with links to customers and other business contacts and we are always there for each other to offer moral support at the time of need and at happy social events.
“We have members who go to Dubai, China, Malaysia and many European countries to do businesses. We are not a poor organization even though many of our members are not really educated. As a policy all our members have something doing. We have our rules and we have been a silent union that is open only to our members.
“Gentlemen of the Press, we are holding this press briefing because we are concerned with what is happening in Borno State and it affects our relations and all of us. Every one of us has either lost a relation or friend or his community has been affected one way or the other by the unfortunate developments in Borno State. Some of us here have families who escaped to us to take refuge in our houses in the southwest.
“Some of us have businesses in Borno that have collapsed. Many of us used to bring in some Agricultural products from Borno to Lagos and the southwest but everything has stopped today because farmers cannot go to farmlands in many parts of Borno, while cattle cannot go for grazing. In short, we are directly affected by the crisis in our State” the group explained.
Also another group, Borno Coalition for Good Governance, declared on last week also that it will ensure that former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, moves from his new party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the prison.
“We are gathering all documented evidences at our disposal to ensure that Sheriff pays dearly for his crime by ensuring that he moves from PDP to prison,” the group said, adding: “This is because in as much as Sheriff remains a free man, Borno will never be in peace due to his evil machinations.”
The group also asked Alhaji Gambo Lawan, who won the PDP governorship primary in the state but was substituted at the weekend with Alhaji Mohammed Imam , to fight his substitution by the party in court.
In a statement issued by its Chairman, Modu Wulgo and Secretary, John Ndirbula, the Borno Coalition for Good Governance said: “The emergence of Mohamed Imam as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in Borno state is a rape on democracy and another desperate attempt by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to rule by proxy.”
The group said Modu Sheriff , who was given a tough time by Governor Kashim Shettima and had to run for cover in PDP, was positioning his “lackey or surrogate” for the take-over of power from Shettima.
According to the group, “After Sheriff failed to control the resources of Borno State through Governor Kashim Shettima, out of frustration, he dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for PDP.”
The group also maintained that “A vote for Mohammed Imam in the forthcoming governorship election is a vote for Ali Sheriff to continue his eight-year misrule,” alleging that it would also be another opportunity for his father, Galadima Modu Sheriff, to continue to drain the state resources through dubious contracts.”
Advising the people of the state to resist the substitution, the group said : “We must avoid mortgaging the future of our children and generations yet unborn by voting wisely against Ali Sheriff and his agents of backwardness.
“We agree with Governor Kashim Shettima that he remains indebted to him, but this does not belittle the grievous sins of Sheriff against the people of Borno State.
“He has inflicted a deep cut on the lives of the people through the ongoing insurgency that it will take the state another 50 years to recover from the economic and social life support that it is presently experiencing.
Shetttima’s severance of ties with Sheriff remains the best thing to have happened in the political landscape of Borno that has remained under the whims and caprices of the alleged Boko Haram sponsor.”
Describing the new PDP candidate, Mohammed Imam, “as the worst candidate to be selected as torchbearer with his drinking habit well known to all Borno people.,” the group said :“ His short stay as MMC chairman where he sometimes skips office due to hangover is a major reason why we cannot handover the onerous task of rebuilding of Borno to him, an alcoholic.”
The group therefore urged Gambo Lawan whose name was illegally substituted as the Borno PDP flagbearer to seek redress in court, saying “ this cannot stand in any court of law nor any party that has respect for internal democracy and party stakeholders.”