SOKOTO 2012: WAMAKKO GETS PDP TICKET
The much talked-about Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Sokoto state was conducted on Saturday with the incumbent governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, declared as winner.
The election held amid tight security at the Giginya Township Stadium was however boycotted by two out of the three contenders, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada and the immediate past Minister of Sports, Alhaji Yusuf Suileman.
Announcing the result to party men and journalists, chairman of the Sokoto state governorship primary committee, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, said Wamakko polled 956 of the delegate votes to emerge as the party's flag bearer for the March 10, 2012 governorship election.
His words: 'By the power conferred on me as chairman of the committee on this exercise, I hereby declare Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko as the winner of the party governorship ticket election for 2012 election, having satisfied the minimum requirement of scoring the total valid votes of 956 out of 961 votes'.
According to Wike, 'two contenders, namely Senator Abubakar Umar Gada scored zero and Alhaji Yusuf Suileman scored zero. The exercise was conducted in a peaceful and orderly atmosphere with 981 delegates accredited before the commencement of the exercise.'
In his acceptance speech, Wamakko thanked the committee and other party stakeholders for conducting what he described as 'one of the most transparent and peaceful primary elections in the history of the party. I formally accepted the challenge of being the party's flag bearer for the March 10, 2012 governorship election in the state.'
However, Senator Gada denounced the primary and called on the party leadership not to accept Wamakko as its candidate for the poll.
Director-General of Gada Campaign Organization, Dr. Mahe Denge, who addressed journalists, insisted there was no election in the state and that the delegates at the primary venue were not party members but civil servants.
'We just heard via the media that PDP governorship primary was held in the state. We want to categorically say that there was no genuine election as announced by Governor Wamakko's faction. Our delegates from the 224 wards are still waiting for the committee to conduct the primary in a fair and free manner,' Denge said.
The Yusuf Suleiman Campaign Organization also accused the Wamakko camp of using government officials to frustrate their supporters and delegates from participating in the primary election.
In a statement signed by Ambassador Ladan Shuni, the Campaign Coordinator said: 'We decided to boycott the whole exercise after submitting a protest letter to the committee on how Wamakko's camp used his agents to confiscate our supporters membership cards in order disqualify them from the whole exercise.'