Modu Sheriff’s Imposition Of Own Candidate Over Victorious Lawan At Borno Primaries Bombs State PDP

Janjaweed Connection: President Jonathan embraces Borno ex governor implicated as Boko Haram sponsor
  • As tension mount over illegal substitution of Gambo Lawan with Imam, Sheriff’s candidate
  • Sheriff paid N2billion for the deal

The sudden swap of Alhaji Gambo Lawan, who emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for 2015 governorship election in Borno State is causing tension within the party in the state.

Lawan emerged winner of the party’s governorship primaries in Abuja where it was held due to the security situation in the state.

He polled a total of 185 on December 11 in Abuja, However, his name was curiously replaced Thursday with that of Alhaji Mohammed Imam, a former chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party ( ANPP) in the state.

Imam had left the PDP in 2011 when he failed to get the ticket of the party but returned to its fold this year.

But Lawan has objected to his replacement, insisting that he was not just handpicked, but “carefully elected by delegates at mini primaries” in Abuja

Sources close to the party said Imam has the support of former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and the minister of state for power, Mohammed Wakil.”The two strong men pressurize President Goodluck Jonathan and the national chairman of the party, Ahmadu Adamu Muazu to give the ticket to their preferred candidate (Imam),” one of the sources said.

Both Sheriff and Imam defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) some months ago. Some members of the Borno PDP accused the national secretariat of the party of “unjustifiably and unjustly substituting the name of Alhaji Gambo Lawan with that of Hon. Mohammed Imam, an Ali Modu Sheriff ally, in the list of candidates submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”. In a petition addressed to the National Chairman of the party,copied to the President Jonathan and others, they cautioned that the PDP risks losing the governorship poll in Borno”unless this glaring injustice is redressed”.

The petition, signed by Aminu Yakudima and Ibrahim Abatcha on behalf of‘ Concerned Borno PDP Stakeholders’, alleged that the name of their candidate, Alhaji Lawan has been substituted with that of Imam without any justification.

They also decried that PDP members in the tate have suffered over a decade of humiliating defeat in various elections, mainly due to injustices meted very popular candidates of the party, like the late stone, done to Lawan.

“There was a nocturnal meeting in Abuja on Christmas even though most of the PDP stakeholders from Borno State, including the chairman, Baba Basharu were not invited. It was there that Gambo Lawan was replaced with Mohammed Imam,” another source said. He said President Jonathan wants to please Sheriff, based on the assumption that the former governor has the strength and grassroots outreach to deliver Borno for the PDP during the forthcoming presidential election.

Our correspondent reports that since the decamping of Sheriff and his close associates to the PDP, there is mutual suspicion between old members and newcomers as the founding members of the party believe that the gubernatorial candidate of the party must be chosen from among them.

Acting Secretary of the Youth Forum of the Party, Umar Sanda, who spoke to Weekly Trust last night condemned what he called “confusion in our party”, pointing out that the development will not augur well as election draws nearer.”Why will they replace the candidate that was chosen by delegates?”

He queried, noting that “this is an expensive mistake and we the youth are suspecting that some people are trading with our party.”

The rumour mill spreading within Maiduguri has it that about N2billion may have been traded for the deal, even as the former governor did not deem it fit to donate such amount to internally displaced persons in the state. But KSM News could not independently verify the authenticity of such rumour.