The judgment of a Federal High Court in Kano recognising Mohammed Abacha as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kano State is a clog in the wheel of the presidential ambition of the party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Daily Trust reports.
The court, presided over by Justice A. A. Liman, yesterday affirmed Abacha as the duly elected governorship candidate of the party for Kano State, while nullifying the primary election that produced Sadiq Aminu Wali as PDP governorship candidate.
The judgment delivered virtually late evening on Thursday, invariably recognized the legitimacy of the Shehu Wada Sagagi-led state executives of the party which conducted the primary election that produced Abacha over the one that produced Wali that was conducted by the Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo faction.
Daily Trust reports that the Sagagi-led faction has always identified with the Nyesom Wike presidential ambition against that of Atiku Abubakar and severally joined the call for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of the party, after the convention of the party.
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Recall that a Court of Appeal judgment a few weeks earlier had also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize Laila Buhari as the senatorial candidate of the party for Kano Central as a replacement for Danburam Nuhu, whose name was submitted by the national headquarters of the party. Buhari belongs in the faction of the Sagagi-led executives while Nuhu belongs in the faction loyal to Gwarzo.
Daily Trust further recalls that Atiku Abubakar had identified with the Gwarzo-led faction of the party in the state when he was last in the state to receive former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau into the party, a move analysts said further confirmed that Atiku knew the position of the Sagagi-led executives at the convention of the party.
That, they noted, was especially as the Sagagi-led faction has been accused of being loyal to the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Sagagi has, however, denied the allegation at several occasions.
Speaking after the judgment, Sagagi said the judgement has proven that the national leadership of the party was wrong in going against the primaries conducted by his executive.
“They did whatever they could to implicate justice, today, the judiciary has held their arms and made sure that justice has prevailed.
“I would like to reiterate my call to the national leadership to have the interest of the party at heart, for the interest of the party members especially Nigerians and Nigeria in general.
“The present leadership at the national level has proven the inability to manage the party affairs judiciously and in a just and fair manner, and it appears the leadership still, after more than two decades, has the mentality of dictatorship,” he said.
Sagagi said in Kano, no one would be “allowed to destabilise democratic dispensation that we are enjoying now.”
“We appeal to all concerned to come and join hands together to make sure that PDP in Kano wins the state and the country in general.
“We assure every party member of just and fair leadership and contest in the interest of the country, especially now that everybody is in disarray.”
Sagagi also used the opportunity to reiterate support for the Wike-led G-5 “for their stance for justice and equity and also stand by what they stand for. To us, that is fair approach to the party affairs.
“We urge the national chairman to please resign so that a vibrant leadership will be constituted to ensure the victory of the party in the coming general elections.”
He added that the party will in seven days, reveal the date to commence campaign activities.
Meanwhile, the Wali and Gwarzo-led faction could not be reached at the time of filing this report for reaction, but sources close to the leadership told Daily Trust that the faction would exercise its right to appeal and seek to upturn the judgment.
From Clement A. Oloyede & Salim U. Ibrahim (Kano)
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