Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on
Front runner in the 2007 gubernatorial polls in Katsina State and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, has alleged plans by Governor Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to manipulate the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries
Front runner in the 2007 gubernatorial polls in Katsina State and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, has alleged plans by Governor Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to manipulate the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in Katsina in favour of his 'anointed' candidate, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, the party's deputy national chairman (North), and a former commisioner in Yar'Adua's cabinet.
In a statement weekend, Mustapha Aliyu, an aide to the Speaker, said part of the plot was to deny delegates and candidates at the ward elections scheduled to hold this week, accreditation papers, except handpicked candidates and those sympathetic to the government's preferred candidate.
He warned that if that was allowed to happen, the hitherto tranquil political atmosphere in Katsina could be ruptured.
His words: "Some disturbing reports recently emerged from Katsina to the effect that the governor has finalised arrangements to foist Alhaji Ibrahim Shema as the People's Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate on the state. Shema is currently the party's deputy chairman (North). This attempt at imposition has already left a sour taste in the mouth of the teeming populace and the political repercussion may be too grave for the PDP itself to contemplate.
The party must therefore rise up, act fast and retrieve itself from the dangerous precipice which the governor appears to be driving it."
The statement urged the party leadership at the state and national levels "to ensure compliance with the party's electoral guidelines for gubernatorial and other offices, which the Yar'Adua group are bent on subverting for their selfish ends."
Only recently, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Alhaji Iro Abubakar Dan Musa, raised alarm that the whole process for the state's gubernatorial primaries had been hijacked by the governor and forces loyal to the government who, he said, are hellbent on foisting their preferred candidate as the party's flagbearer.
Speaking at a press conference in Katsina on behalf of three leading gubernatorial hopefuls: Speaker Masari, former Internal Affairs minister, Magaji Mohammed and Ibrahim Safana, the party stalwart feared that even though "the state special ward congress is only a few days away, nobody, except aspirants presumably favoured by Governor Yar'Adua, are aware of the congress or where to obtain forms for it."
He alleged plot by the government to fill elective positions in the forthcoming elections in 2007 by appointment. He alleged that "nomination forms have been printed and secretly distributed to those slated to be appointed."