By Our political Correspondent
The Former Chief of Staff to the Niger state Governor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Hon. Umar Nasko defeated his closest rival Engineer Hannafi Sudan who scored 57 votes, while the deputy governor, Honourable Ahmed Musa Ibeto came distant third with 34 votes.
The PDP primaries which took place at the Idris Legbo Kutigi international conference centre under the chairmanship of the governorship primary committee, Senator Jubril Martins Kuye who declared Umar Nasko winner, polling a total of 908 out of 1, 027 votes cast.
Former Minister of Commerce, Engineer Mustapha Bello and Saleh Darangi polled 11 votes while former Kano state Military Governor Aminu Isa Kontagora and Mohammed Dukku had no vote.
Senator Nuhu Aliyu and Commodore Peter Gana had earlier withdrawn from the primary complained of non-level playing ground for all the aspirants. After the Primaries, The Governor told all the political aspirants in a media briefing, that;“We want to ensure peaceful campaign devoid of mudsling and blackmail. We are all coming with the same product, it is only the packaging that is different” he said adding that “politics is not about war politics is about electing who you want to lead you at a given time.”
The Niger state PDP Chairman RT. Hon Umar Musa Maali after the primaries authorizes the party executive council to organize a Press Conference so as to communicate to the public over the outcome.The State Party PRO in joint statement said:
“I am indeed pleased with the outcome of the PDP primaries. I hail the leadership of the party for the smooth process, which characterised the primaries. Let me also thank most of the aspirants for conducting themselves in the best possible way during the exercise, it shows that the next general election in Niger State will be free of violence.
“For those who lost out in the last primaries, I call on you to join hands with the party candidates to ensure PDP win all elective positions in Niger State in 2015. We must not allow selfish interest erode our sense of deductive reasoning as team players and true democrats. For emphasis sake, the process was indeed flawless.”
Parallel press conference was held by the aggrieved aspirant, after the results, spokesman of the aggrieved aspirants, Alhaji Mustapha Bello said all other aspirants have rejected the result and will write formal protest letter to the PDP National Secretariat.
The primaries were short of laid down constitutional procedures of the party, saying, “We have rejected the results. We refused our agents to sign the result sheet. We will never allow this level of irresponsibility to continue in the party. We will contest the primaries if need be”.
According to Bello, “This was done to kill us politically. We cannot be in politics for all these years and get that number of votes counted at the primaries, it is not possible”. Instead of the voting being transparently done in an open-secret ballot, Mustapha Bello expressed sadness that most of the educated delegates had their voting cards filled by the agents in favour of the preferred candidate which they thereafter casted as votes.
Collaborating Bello the state Deputy Governor, Honorable Musa Ibeto who is also one of the contestants said he pointed the irregularity and violation to the electoral committee but nothing was done thereafter.
Though pledged their loyalty to the PDP, aggrieved governorship aspirants expressed their preparedness to take the necessary steps to contest the results. “We are not leaving PDP. We will remain in PDP to correct the errors and mistakes that have occurred. We believe in the ability of the party to address this issue”.
Other aspirants present during the protest briefing include, Alhaji Sahabi Danrangi, Alhaji Mohammed Dukku and Senator Nuhu Aliyu.
Meanwhile, Governor Mu’ázu Babangida Aliyu has commended the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the PDP for peaceful conduct of primaries even as he appealed to all those who lost out in last Mondays’ PDP governorship primaries to sheath their swords and support the winner, Umar Nasko in the spirit of sportsmanship.
Governor Aliyu in a state broadcast on Tuesday argued that, though losers and winner must emerge in any contest, the fact remains that it is a PDP internal affairs and as a result the need for them to accept the outcome as the will of Allah.
According to Governor Aliyu, “Now that the primaries are over, I need not remind you that in politics what mattered most should be the next challenge. This is the time for us therefore to be more united and work extra hard to win all the positions in the 2015 general elections. I have no doubt that we will win”.