Adamawa Governorship Election: Why PDP disqualified Acting Gov. Fintiri

Acting Governor Of Adamawa state, Ahmed Fintiri

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has explained that allowing the Adamawa State acting governor, Umaru Fintiri, to contest its primary next week, ahead of the state’s governorship poll October, would contravene the Constitution.

The party announced Mr. Fintiri’s disqualification Saturday, saying the decision was taken on “moral grounds”.

Speaking later to reporters, the chairman of the PDP screening committee, Ibrahim Mantu, said Mr. Fintiri’s aspiration would be a violation of Section 191 (2) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution.

The section explains the circumstance under which the Speaker of a State Assembly can act as a state governor where a vacancy exist in which both the governor and his deputy have vacated office.

“Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Deputy Governor of the State is also vacant, the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the State shall hold the office of Governor of the State for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new Governor of the State who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office,” the Constitution says.

Mr. Fintiri, a former Speaker, became the acting governor after the state assembly impeached former Governor Murtala Nyako and his Deputy, Bala Ngillari.

Saturday’s screening started 12pm and ended about 8:30pm.

Mr. Mantu said Mr. Fintiri’s role as acting governor is to ensure a smooth transition and a free and fair poll.
He said the duty of the acting governor “is to play the role of a midwife and not the one carrying the pregnancy”.

“Of all the contestants only one aspirant was found short of the requirement to contest the poll and his name is Ahmadu Umar Fintiri,” he said. “Section 191 (2) does not permit anyone to transit from acting to substantial governor, he is not a deputy governor.”

He added that: “Fintiri is not qualified because he is not like a deputy governor, but a child of circumstances. He is like a midwife and not seen as the one carrying the baby. His role should be somebody who should ensure a free and fair election. But he can appeal,” Mr. Mantu said”.

The appeal committee is expected to review the screening on Sunday.

Those cleared to participate at the primary election slated for Saturday 6 September in Yola include former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu; former Military administrator of Lagos and Borno states, Buba Marwa; and Former Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Ahmed Modibbo.

Others are, former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak; former Presidential aide, Umar Ardo; former acting governor, James Barka; Andrawus Sawa, and former Senator Abubakar Girei.
Also cleared are former Minister of External Affairs, Idi Hong; Awwal Tukur, Markus Gundiri, Jerry Kumdisi and Aliyu Kama.

The committee screened the aspirants to ascertain their commitment and loyalty to the party, verify their membership card and party dues, as well as tax clearance among other things.

Speaking to newsmen after his screening, Mr. Ribadu expressed satisfaction with the process, and said he was confident the party leadership would ensure transparent primaries for all aspirants.

Also speaking, another aspirant, Ahmed Modibo, said the screening process was excellent and straightforward, adding that the rest was left for the committee to decide.

On his part, Mr. Ardo said that he was not satisfied with the waivers granted to Messrs. Ribadu, Marwa and Gundiri by the leadership of the party.

He said the waivers did not follow due process because it did not emanate from the ward to the national level.

He however said that he would abide by the decision of the party adding that he would also accept the result of the primaries if it followed due process.

Former Minister, Mr. Hong said “I am satisfied with the screening; the committee is doing its work. I am a candidate, and I am not stepping down.”

Andrawus Sawa, a 71-year-old aspirant and a retired Colonel, said he was in the race to ensure sanity in Adamawa State and to have a say in the happenings of the state.

Earlier, a visibly angry Mr. Fintiri declined to speak to reporters and hurriedly stormed out of the party secretariat.
Acting Governor Fintiri has faced mounting criticisms over his decision to contest the election to replace Mr. Nyako, whose removal he spearheaded.

Other candidates for the poll have accused him of staging a “coup” and lacking the moral right to contest.
On Saturday, loyalists of the ousted governor vowed to present evidence showing Mr. Fintiri had decamped to the APC.


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  • Richard

    The evils that men do usually live after them. It serves him right.

    • Edmond Israel-Ayide

      LMAO. He must have been telling those LG chairmen to mobilise for him to be elected as the next Gov of the state after giving them all a Prado jeep. Yeye man.

  • Mustapha

    Kudos to Mantu, it’s really a departure from the way we do things, Disqualifying someone that holds the state treasury. I hope question of moral grounds shall continue to guide the affairs of the party.

  • Omeiza

    Law of karma at it again. Within a twinkle of an eye, Fintiri is already reaping d fruit of his betrayer. I am so happy. I believe Ribadu has lost confidence in him n will therefore sack him as a speaker when he (Ribadu) becomes d governor

  • sanees

    Mantu Again! Now he’s quoting nd interpreting constitution like he did 4 Obasanjos third time agenda. Fitri they don’t need u again.

  • Namoe

    Removing Fintiri was the right thing to do. That eliminates the conflict of interest his candidacy would create. It would be an interesting primary although it appears that Ribadu may have an undue advantage. We will see…

    • concerned9ja

      What do you say to substantive governors who presided over elections where they are seeking second term? The decision on Fintiri might be morally sound, but could not stand the test of constitution. There is crisis ahead.

      • Namoe

        Your point is valid. My reference to COI is not based on his current position as Acting Governor but rather to the role he played in Nyako’s removal. For things to be free and fair, he should not run because he spearheaded Nyako’s removal. Him now running would make it seem like that was the reason he did that.

  • Seemeseetrouble


    “It’s an undeniable fact, that President Jonathan has done well for Nigeria,

    in such a very short time, and i think he is the answer to the prayer of many Nigerians.

    I must not be President, but i have vowed to support anyone who shares the same vision

    i have for Nigeria. And take it from me, President Jonathan has surpassed my vision for Nigeria”

    …………….Nuhu Ribadu
    (August 18, 2014)

    • Pearce (Lagos Mainland)

      I have not read more sycophantic words from a university graduate.
      Thank you for giving us a peep into the lost soul of Nuhu Ribadu.
      His is no longer about ambition. He’s now trending closer to utter greed.
      He sounds desperate to clean someon’s anus with his tongue for the money

      • Ade

        Greed? I think that is the middle name of Tinubu your mentor.

        • Titi Doherty (Lagos Island)


          Yes, ‘greed’ is the true middle name of Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Lagos.
          But why do you think every Lagosian therefore supports Bola Tinubu?
          Come to Lagos and hear deafening grumbling all over the place.
          There is no visible government in Lagos state – none at all, just chaos.
          Lagos is in the middle of a theft crisis – its assets have been stolen by greed.

          Lagosians are today in un-precedented state of violent revolt against public authorities.
          Guns are now fired by street gangs a noon all around road; killing passers-by at will.
          Lagosians see Bola Tinubu and Raji Fashola as marauders – not as government icons.
          Stealing is the sole preoccupation of empty-headed Lagos state government officials.
          Besides the street gangs shooting guns all around in open revolt at that messiness,
          other decent Lagosians are totally fed up with the vile bane Bola Tinubu represents.

  • Derin

    Please publish the truth, Premium Times. Section 191 (2) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution does not bar anyone from standing primary election in his party for the post of governor. Premium Times must have the courage at all times to say the truth – after quoting PDP stalwarts who say the contrary here by spewing outright ignorance to pollute our public space.

    • Femi A.

      It’s actually illegal and un-constitutional to exclude Governor Fintiri.
      Should he push the issue to court the PDP primary will be annulled.

  • kumsi

    That is pdp for party different people,different laws.You claimed to have reclaimed pdp`s victory,but see how you have been treated.If you are not careful ,you may not get back your speakership. because whoever turns out to be the governor may not likely work with you.Because you may likely impeach him too.

  • Okey

    I am sounding monotonous, but given the gravity and recurring nature of the topic. I plead guilty of monotony. This guilt is necessary because, not up to one (1) percent of those acting Change-drivers are real. At least, from the greed and frenzy of office-sharing, it is evident that a new-order mentality is absent. But here, I am, with a heart-felt suggestion to Gen. Buhari.

    Now that the electioneering campaigns and histrionics are over, I think it is time to face the bigger picture. And any person who wants to help Gen. Buhari must be real, honest and genuinely committed about it. There should be no holier-than-thou, and “they caused wahala for me” grandstanding. Because, to rephrase Emeka Ojukwu, “We Are All Involved.”

    In the last few days, our usual “experts” who have been with us and played one role in government after another but without making a difference, have awash the media spaces with the call for the implementation of the Oronsonya Report, as a primary measure of cutting cost for government. That report, in a nutshell, is a call for a reduction in the public sector workforce. But in a plain and understandable language, it is a call for RETRENCHMENT. For me, that’s the elites’ tenuous response to a major problem. And I equally think that is the major plank or subterfuge behind the Governors’ (though said to be APC Governors, my belief is that they spoke for all the governors) visit to the President-elect day. They are simply but indirectly asking Gen. Buhari to “Make a response (statement) that will enable us reduce our workforce/staff strength in our various states.”

    But my candid advice to Gen. Buhari is that he should not give in to that bogey. For it will incite the poor hardworking Nigerian civil servants against him and demonize him before the Nigeria public. Yes, government -federal/state- should not be the employer of all labours, but what is the statistics of our total workforce ? Plainly, of the 170 Million Nigerians, how many are under the employ of government? Comparatively, the statistics is grossly infinitesimal. Therefore, our problem is lack of honest husbandry of our resources.

    WHAT IS/ARE THE WAY OUT ? They are Two:

    1) I don’t want to engage the word “Corruption, not “Because we are all involved (as I will demonstrate now) but because I hate this posture of “Sinners’ political party” and “Saints’ political party.” All the wastes that are committed in the public/civil service are committed by personnel from Level 14 – Per-Sec, Commissioner/Minister in the Executive and the entire legislators in the Legislative arm -state and federal (“Because we are all involved”). Now;

    i) Is it true that a State House of Assembly legislator, every quarter, collects from the state, funds in in name of “Allowances/Office Running” that are capable of sustaining the salaries of 200 Nigerians each on 50,000 per month ?

    ii) Is it it true that a House of Reps Member, every quarter, collects from state, funds in name of “Allowances/Office Running” that are capable of sustaining the salaries of 400 Nigerians each on 50,000 per month ?

    iii) Is it true that a Senator, every quarter, collects from the sate, funds in name of “Allowances/Office Running” that are capable of sustaining the salaries of 600 Nigerians each on 50,000 per month ?

    iv) is it true as once alleged by Festus Keyamo that cars bought by individual Nigerians at N5 Million a unit, cost N7.5 Million a unit when government officials buy the same car for government use, even in bulk purchases ? In all countries I know, government departs buy at reduced rate because they buy in bulk.

    v) is it true that a China made laptop sold in Alaba Market for N75, 000 are purchased by government departments from the same Alaba Market for N250,000 a unit ?

    vi) Is it true that Nigerians go to South Africa, Dubai, even Ghana to organize capacity building / worships to be attended by Nigerians at government expenses ? Unless, such is paid for by a foreign body/organization/country from our airport to and fro the venue, please, under you, Sir, such capacity buildings / workshops should be organized by ABU, Unilag, UNN, or other Nigerian Universities and such moneys paid to these institutions.

    vii) Is it true that government officials stay in five star hotels when they travel on behalf of government ? Please, we should henceforth do the needful ?

    viii) Is it true that culverts and bridges built by Nigerian communities or philanthropists to our rural people cost ten times more when same are constructed by government even though the quality remains the same ? (Which reminds me of UBE classroom block built by a PDP, sorry the federal government under Obasanjo, in one of the states in Nigeria, which cost the state government many times more when it built hers, even though her own is inferior to that of the federal govt).

    ix) Is it true that a Governor can inaugurate himself back to office for a single day event at a mind-boggling cost ? Sir, now a ceiling can be placed, at least by the political parties. Fortunately, there is no state government without a multipurpose hall, so the issue of chairs and canopies is settled. Therefore, I suggest that N25 Million can buy all the rice, meat and stew and drinks for guests/invitees on Inauguration Day at the states’ level.

    x) Is it true that a (one) kilometer of road could cost N1 Billion in the states ? The country can be classified on cadastrial / geographical zones and cost easily quantifiable and placed.

    xi) Is it true that while civil servants are not paid and sleep on empty stomach, state Governors are busy disbursing money to contractors for Governor’s lodges ?

    xii) Is there any sanity still left in a Governor whose toiling civil servants have not been paid their salaries junketing in a private jet at the expense of the state when Prime Minister David Cameron has had to visit Nigeria in a commercial flight ?

    xiii) Is it true that moneys that go to brief -case consultants (actually “couriers) are usually more than the cost of project execution and realization ?

    xiv) Is it true that some of the contracts marked as “executed/completed” by the Ministers / Commissioners are actually not executed ?

    xv) Is it true that Legislature – state/federal – go on oversight function but after their hosts have over-sighted their pockets, come back with a report of “Project satisfactorily executed” ?

    xvi) Is it true that when contractors are awarded road construction, covered-culverts, foot bridges, etc, factored and paid for, but in the end the contractor – foreign/local – will leave the culverts uncovered and foot bridges undone, while officials of federal/state highways “okay” the road for final payment ?

    xvii) Is it true that Governors grossly abuse revenue allocations due to the Local Governments ?
    Poooling resources together and prioritizing developments needs of the individual state have been adduced in justification of Governors “managing” the Local Govts’ allocation. In principle, that is excellent. But practice has revealed the grossest of abuse. Governnors seize the local govt allocations to whitewash the state capitals for onlookers as evidence “Best Governor.” While the rural areas are left in decay, the Governor builds from it huge reserve of slush funds “for use in the next election.” Saints and sinners in Nigerian politics have ALL benefited from this vice (BECAUSE, WE ARE ALL INVOLVED). Though, it is a constitutional matter which the National shirked its responsibility whilst pursuing shadows, the state/local govt account can in practice be demarcated. I suggest that in the first 12 months of Buhari’s administration, the EFCC should make every Local Govt Chairman to account for his receipts for the preceding month; after taking out the salary bill, he should point to the projects executed therewith or face the consequence as he has no immunity to shield him. In this regard, I owe Mallam El Rufai a depth of gratitude for telling the world he would allow Local Govt Chairmen in Kaduna access to moneys due the local govt areas.

    And many more “Is it trues ?”.

    Therefore, these Governors must be central in helping to assist Gen. Buhari by going home to do soul-searching, be realistic to themselves, have a human conscience and face and be fair to their people. After these, corruption will be frozen and quantum funds will be freed for the development of their state. At the federal level, Gen. Buhari should do the needful. For instance, no federal legislator received more that N12 Million a quarter as ALLOWANCES / OFFICE RUNNING under Obasanjo. At the states’ level he should give them the first quarter of the new administration to do soul-searching and be honest to themselves and their people. If they fail to do that, the federal government should rein them in. THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED TO PLUNGE THE CIVIL SERVANTS INTO RETRENCHMENT IN THESE HARD TIMES whilst leaving the very realistic steps to resolution of our problems, just for the sake of the parasitic elites. If Mr Peter Obi could record a modest achievement in projects execution (changing most of Anambra State landscape with tarred roads), owed no civil servant a dime and still left N30 Billion to his successor, there is no justifiable reason why other Governors will bring us into the scorching sun and be telling us moonlight stories and folktales.

    2) I will not say that there is no malfeasance in the oil sector, but the truth is that oil subsidy will severely hamper and embarrass Buhari’s administration or even bring it to halt, if we are not realistic about it. After the 2012 nationwide protests, we thought/think we have reduced waste going through subsidy, but that is a lie. The truth was/is that the pump price of pms was raised from late President Yar’Adua’s N70 a litre to N97 a litre. The difference of N27 cushioned the weight on government and made it appear as if there was “savings after protests and probes.” But the lie in that belief became bare when, during the campaigns, APC forced Jonathan to back down to N87 a litre, and the loss of that N10 is choking government seriously as at now.

    With the fall in world oil prices and America’s politics with shale oil (because they still buy from Saudi Arabia), it will be extremely difficult for Buhari to pay even salaries without re-adjusting pms pump price to, at least, N100 a litre. That’s the truth. (never mind the election gimmick of N45 a litre promise by APC, and thank goodness, Prof. Tam David-West has come to say, “I (David-West) said, not Buhari”). So in the interim, we cannot realistically run away from re-adjusting the price upwards whilst we fix our refineries in the long run. Even then, our refineries when fully operational will serve only 1/3 of our local consumption needs. Which means construction of additional four (4) new refineries should equally be a priority as a long term measure. I think China has agreed to assist us (Jonathan’s administration) in that regard on generous terms, – one refinery in Jigawa, one in Lagos and one in Bayelsa. Buhari can site additional one in Enugu, there is enormous land there. We should resist the West, America in particular, from truncating that agreement. Because they will surely come to chase away China and Russia from our space and bring us back to dependency on the West where we have to be importing everything. Gen. Buhari must manage the delicate balance of showing gratitude to America & co. for supporting him and our national interest to Nigeria’s favour.

    In sum, Gen. Buhari should resist the quest and ploy of the Governors to use his name and imprimatur to carry out retrenchment in their workforce. He should ask them to cut executive/legislative costs, resort to prudent costing in the execution of projects and stop being wicked to their people – that will free more than enough moneys to run their states. Secondly, Gen. Buhari and and his media people should appeal and solicit the understanding of Nigerians, so he could re-adjust the pms pump price a little upward to enable him attend to priority agenda whilst assuring us that when eight refineries (old and new) are fixed/built, pms pump price will come down to N45 a litre. I don’t see him paying salaries if the pump price of pms is not re-adjusted.