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FCT senatorial seat: Kingibe, Modibbo may clash

Posted by By UBONG UKPONG, Abuja on 2008/03/28 | Views: 558 |

FCT senatorial seat: Kingibe, Modibbo may clash


As the election countdown for the vacant Federal Capital Territory (FCT) senatorial seat approaches, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and the FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, are set to clash over who should fly the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the polls.

As the election countdown for the vacant Federal Capital Territory (FCT) senatorial seat approaches, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and the FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, are set to clash over who should fly the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the polls.

Kingibe is said to have mounted a sustained campaign to get the powers that be in the party to endorse his wife, Ireti, as the PDP candidate, and had reportedly sent a note to the minister, informing him that it was possible for the PDP to present his wife as the partyís standard bearer in the by-election despite the fact that she did not take part in the April 21, 2007 election whose result was annulled by the court.

Modibbo, who, by virtue of his position as the FCT minister, is seen as the leader of the party in the FCT, has come under intense pressure from the SGF and his group, which wants the party to back the candidature of Mrs. Kingibe, who had, in 2003, contested for the FCT senatorial seat on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

However, the minister, Daily Sun learnt, has somebody in mind to fly the banner of the party in the by-election. He was said to have reasoned that since Alhaji Sidi Ali and not Mrs. Kingibe was the PDP standard bearer in the annulled election, he should also be given the ticket for the by-election.

The minister was said to have hinged his argument on the fact that the court had only ordered a re-run of the senatorial election and not for substitution of candidates, an argument the SGF was said to have refused to buy, even as he insisted that it was possible for the PDP to have a fresh candidate altogether.

To demonstrate how unyielding the Kingibes were, the day the FCT PDP presented its banner to Ali, in preparation for his campaign, Mrs. Kingibe pasted bills, announcing herself as the PDP standard bearer in the senatorial by-election.

The SGF was said to have been displeased with Modibbo for what he perceived as the ministerís refusal to back his wife and, according to a source, is "digging holes round the minister."

Alhaji Jubrin Wowo of the ANPP was declared winner of the FCT senatorial election in last yearís election, but was stripped of the position by the FCT Electoral Petitions Tribunal.
The tribunal nullified the election of Wowo and ordered a fresh election, a position that was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

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