Adamawa Guber: Ribadu Faces Hurdle as PDP Splits Over His Request for A Waiver
The appears to be a division in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over a waiver request for a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to enable him contest the party’s primaries and subsequently the October 11 governorship bye-election in Adamawa State.
Ribadu after joining the PDP, had on August 16 written a letter of waiver to the PDP National which he said would enable him to contest for elective office.
“I wish to humbly write to apply for a clearance/ waiver to enable me aspire for position on the platform of this great party.
“As a fresher in the party, I have duly obtained my membership, paid required dues. I hereby tender photocopies, including my voter’s card for your necessary action,” the letter reads.
But Ribadu’s waiver request has split the National Working Committee of the party and created a wedge between the Adamawa State chapter and the National Secretariat
While the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu through an emissary on Saturday, asked the state chapter of the party to request for a waiver for Ribadu, the Adamawa State chapter is demanding a written request to it by the National Secretariat for waiver for Ribadu.
According to sources, the state Chairman Chief Joel Madaki convened an emergency session of the State Executive Committee(SEC) where it was decided that it would not recommend any aspirant for a waiver – in line with Section 8(a and b) of the PDP Constitution.
The state chapter insists that if there must be a waiver, such waiver should cover Gen. Marwa and Mr. Gundiri to create a level-playing field for all.
Although the SEC acknowledged Ribadu’s letter to join PDP, it insisted on substantial compliance with the PDP Constitution.
It alleged that it had it on records that someone collected a membership card for Ribadu, contrary to the laid down regulations of the party.
A source in Adamawa PDP said: “We got a verbal message from the National Secretariat of PDP to make a formal request for a waiver for Ribadu but we said we cannot recommend. We can only submit list of members seeking waiver.
“We have written the National Secretariat of PDP to make its request formal instead of verbal in order to put the precedent that they are trying to lay in a good perspective for posterity.
“There are conditions for waiver which Ribadu is yet to meet. If we are truly a democratic party, we must abide by the party’s constitution. It appears some forces in the Presidency have decided to override due process. Even at that, there must be some elements of justice.
“We have also maintained that the case for a waiver cannot be limited to Ribadu alone, if we want to be fair to all. The same gesture ought to be extended to Marwa and Gundiri in order to be fair and just to all.”
Also speaking, the State PDP Secretary, Mr. A.T. Shehu said: “We got a directive from the National Secretariat to send a list of aspirants who have applied for waiver. We have forwarded the name of three of the aspirants to the National Secretariat. They are Ribadu, Marwa, and Gundiri.
“Section 8 subsection (a and b) of the PDP Constitution as amended does not empower a state chapter to grant waiver, it is the prerogative of the National Secretariat. There is even no provision for us to recommend or reject request for waiver.
Already, members of the NWC are divided over the waiver requested.
A source said: “So far, the National Chairman of PDP has not tabled any request before the NWC for waiver for Ribadu or any aspirant in Adamawa State. He has also not informed any member of the committee.
“Ideally, we ought to grant Ribadu a waiver before he can obtain the party’s governorship nomination form.
“Therefore, the issue of waiver is still a one-man business which is known to only Mu’azu.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “Maybe Muazu may bring his proposal for this waiver on Monday to the NWC.
“We will consider any request on merit. We are determined to reclaim Adamawa State; we will not fritter away this opportunity at all.
“I hope we will not be repeating the same mistake in Osun State where the party’s governorship candidate was already pre-determined.
“Some of us in the NWC are worried because this waiver syndrome may becloud our commitment to free and fair primaries for the 2015 polls.”
As at press time, it was learnt that there had been pressure on the presidency by some influential Nigerians and businessmen to concede the ticket to Ribadu.
Another source added: “The party has a major challenge at hand on this waiver palaver.”
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