Niger PDP Divided Over Choice Of North-East Senatorial Candidate
CONTRARY to the party’s position, there appears to be a crack in the Niger State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the emergence of two candidates for the Niger-East Senatorial bye-election slated for August 16, 2014,
This is coming barely two weeks after the party had unanimously endorsed the former gubernatorial aspirant of the party in the 2007 general election, Dr. Shem Nuhu Zagbayi, as the candidate for the August 16 bye-election after a stakeholders’ meeting in Minna, the state capital.
Another aspirant, Abdullahi Musa, a former House of Representatives member, emerged on the party’s platform to contest for Niger-East Senatorial bye-election in Niger State.
In a letter dated July 24, 2014, by Musa, who was a member of the House of Representatives between 1999 to 2003, and made available to journalists in Minna at the weekend, he noted that the state party’s Chairman, Mallam Abdulrahaman Enagi, “after consulting with stakeholders in the zone, has decided to contest the bye-election”.
According to the letter: “I, Abdullahi Musa, after consulting widely with well-meaning indigenes and stakeholders of our dear zone, wish to inform you of my intention to contest for the position (Niger-East senatorial seat)”
Musa stated that his experience as one of the foremost members of the National Assembly where he served as the House Committee Chairman on Commerce, has availed him the needed experience to contest and will be an added advantage for the party.
While seeking the chairman’s support, Musa said with the support of the party, he would carry out the mandate of the people and also complete the works started by the late Senator Dahiru Aweisu.
However, speaking with journalists on why he decided to contest the bye-election after the party had already endorsed Zagbayi as its candidate, Musa said: “I don’t believe that there is an endorsement. A party like ours should be seen to be democratic; PDP is a democratic party, I can remember vividly when the current national chairman came, he made it clear that there was no automatic ticket”.
He noted that PDP, which is regarded as the largest party in Africa, must be seen to be “democratic” and due process must be followed in all its activities, adding that he was not consulted before the said endorsement because by virtue of his position, he was supposed to be a member of the caucus.
“I was not consulted or invited to any meeting and as such, the issue of consensus does not arise. But I can see some people want to be smart, that is why they want to fast track everything. I have written my letter to them and I intend to pursue it through democratic process”.