All the 29 members of the Adamawa State executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party were Saturday “reelected” to their former offices.
The state’s congress election turned out a mere formality as the officials were returned unopposed, having emerged as “consensus” candidates of the party.
The congress, held at the indoor hall of the Lamido Cinema in Yola, the state capital, went ahead amidst controversy thrown up by speculations that the Independent National Electoral Commission had cancelled the PDP ward congresses earlier conducted in the state and through which delegates emerged.
The election was unexpectedly peaceful prompting the state congress committee chairman, Oris Onyiri, who doubled as returning officer, to say “the state has shown an exemplary pathway to democracy.”
“Elsewhere the atmosphere would not have been calm and peaceful,” Mr. Onyiri said, speaking on the violence which often characterizes electoral processes in the country.
Before the start of the election, after delegates had been accredited, Mr. Onyiri dissolved the Mijinyawa Kugama-led state executive.
All members of the old executive were thereafter returned unopposed.
Governor Murtala Nyako said the outcome of the state congress was the decision of “senior elders of the Adamawa political team”.
“It was all consensus from the unit ward up to the highest level of the party in the state. There was no point changing a winning horse,” Mr. Nyako said, in a remark after the election.
In his speech, the reelected chairman, Mr. Kugama, promised to “re-invent the party and move it forward” in addition to working extra hard to bringing all aggrieved members of the party back to the fold.
But an aggrieved party chieftain, Umar Ardo, has threatened to challenge the election in court, saying the preceding ward congresses were improperly conducted, and that every other processes arising from it could therefore not stand.
Those reelected at the congress are youth leader, Aliyu Bakari; legal adviser, Zainab Ahmed; treasurer, Babayo Hassan; organizing secretary, M. L. Jimde; Assistant Public Relations Officer, Joseph Musa; Assistant Financial Secretary, A. B. Kwacham; Assistant Legal Adviser, Ibrahim Adamu; State Auditor, Lawal Sambo; Assistance Secretary, North, Usman Zubairu; Assistant Secretary, South, Justina Sachi; ex-officio officers, Lucy Ishaku, Mary James, Musa Yero and Lami A.
The congress had in attendance top party chiefs in the state. They include Bala James Ngillari, deputy governor of the state; Hassan Adamu, a board of trustee member; the senators representing the state at the National Assembly namely Bello Tukur, Jibrilla Bindow and Ahmed Barata; speaker of the Adamawa State Assembly, Ahmed Umaru Fintiri, and the secretary to the state government, Ari Kobis Thimnu.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was conspicuously absent at the congress. His media advisers said he was out of the country and could therefore not attend the congress.