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Keyamo Writes PDP, Protest Planned Exclusion Of Ngilari From Adamawa Guber Primaries

By Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo has written the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to protest the planned exclusion of Governor Bala James Nggilari from contesting the Adamawa governorship primary election.

Keyamo, in the letter released on Tuesday said as the solicitor of Nggilari, the governor had briefed him that he has been a committed and loyal member of the PDP since 1999, saying this was evident when his former boss, Admiral Murtala Hammanyero Nyako defected from the party to the rival All Progressives Congress (APC).

Lagos Lawyer Festus Keyamo

Lagos Lawyer Festus Keyamo

“Our client stayed put in your Party, unlike other Deputy Governors who found themselves in the same position. When our client was again illegally removed from office as Deputy Governor over a legally non-existent resignation, he remained within the PDP to pursue his rights in court. Thankfully, at the end of the day, the court restored him as Governor of Adamawa State.

“However, whilst our client was in Court pursuing his right to be sworn-in as Governor, we understand that some stakeholders of your great Party from Adamawa State agreed that the governorship slot in 2015 should be zoned to Adamawa Central Senatorial District. Our client was not part of that agreement and he was not factored into that agreement.

“Consequently, on or about Thursday, October 30, 2014, the National Working Committee of your Party issued a statement that the zoning of the Governorship to Adamawa Central Senatorial District (which was done in our client’s absence from office) remains sacrosanct. The implication of this is that our client has been schemed out of the race since he is not from Adamawa Central, but from Adamawa North Senatorial District.

“However, on the day President Goodluck Jonathan collected his Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms at the PDP Headquarters, the PDP Chairman remarked that the same gesture extended to the President as the sitting President, would also be extended to sitting Governors – that is, automatic tickets or the right of first refusal. Why then, would the case of Adamawa State be different? Why would Governor Bala Nggilari be singled out for special treatment and why would he not benefit from the gesture extended to his colleagues?” He asked.

Keyamo said since the birth of the PDP in 1999 up till this moment, the party had never denied any sitting Governor who is eligible for re-election the ticket to re-contest, saying that the only isolated incident was the case of Mbadinuju of Anambra State in 2003, and that the consequence of that decision was that the PDP has lost Anambra State till date to rival political parties, due to the crises that followed that decision.

“It is therefore inconceivable, that our client be deprived the ticket to run for the Governorship election in 2015. It may interest you to know that since the existence of the old Gongola State up to the creation and existence of Adamawa State, no zoning formula based on Senatorial Districts has been used to produce the various Governors of the State. The only unwritten power-rotation arrangement that has been in place (without conceding it is legal) is the one between Christians and Muslims. As a result, when Boni Haruna (a Christian) completed his eight-year tenure from 1999 to 2003, stakeholders insisted and produced Rear Admiral Murtala Hammanyero Nyako (a Muslim) who almost completed his eight-year tenure. Why, then, this sudden “zoning policy” when it is the turn of the Christians?

“In any case, you may wish to know that the decision of PDP on zoning so as to deprive our client of his right to contest the gubernatorial election is against the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which we have all sworn to uphold and which is superior to your internal Party schemes and policies,” he stated.

According to him, Nggilari was never invited to any meeting and was not allowed to make representation to any organ of the Party before a decision affecting his right was taken, which he said, was contrary to section 36 (2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said that the purported official position of the National Working Committee of the Party to scheme his client out of the gubernatorial race on account of his ethnic background was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

“Besides, he is not stopped from challenging that initial agreement between aspirants since he was never part of it. In view of the above, kindly take note that this is an official complaint to seek a reversal or redress of your purported zoning arrangement in Adamawa State regarding the governorship primaries of the PDP. Because of time constraint, we kindly request that you should address these issues within 48 hours of the receipt of this complaint. If you fail, refuse and/or neglect to act, we may have no option left than to proceed to a court of law to seek redress for Governor Bala Nggilari,” he warned.



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