It is becoming obvious that, the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party has resolved to go for the conduct of fresh Governorship primaries for Zamfara as ordered by the Aminu Bappa led Federal High Court Gusau last week Friday.
This means, the PDP and indeed its gubernatorial candidate Dr. Dauda Lawal had abandoned the option of appealing the judgement hence the notice for the conduct of fresh primaries is already in circulation all over the social media not verified.
Now, is this best decision? Many people asked this question because of the intricacies that may be involved in the conduct of the fresh primaries for the PDP in Zamfara.
The spokesperson of Engr. Ibrahim Shehu one of the aspirants Nasiru Zabarma had for instance raised serious alarm that every reasonable human being who believed in the rule of law knows that conducting fresh primaries for the PDP in Zamfara within the time frame stipulated by the Federal High Court and in substantial compliance with the constitution and party electoral guidelines may be a bit impossible.
He raised concern in his submission during an interview session with Thunder Blowers on Monday that, the basis of the legal casualties that eventually affected the credibility of the PDP governorship primaries in Zamfara is the delegates list. What happened to the list? This is indeed a big question with one million answers!!!.
Zabarma said the list is deficit of constitutional provision, especially section 50(3) of the PDP constitution which provided that there “shall” by way of mandatory clause, one woman out of every three delegates from the (147) wards in Zamfara. In his submission, he said, there were only (4) women in the entire list used in conducting the PDP gubernatorial primaries that was cancelled.
He also alleged that there are names of national delegates of the PDP that appeared in both the APC and PDP lists of delegates.
Zabarma also alleged that accreditation of the delegates was not conducted, which by implications many who were not members of the party were likely to be hired to cast a vote against the rules of the party.
He also raised alarm that there was a minority report adopted by one Mr. Jude that raised concern on series of infractions against the party primaries principals, among them which include non conduct of accreditation.
But more importantly, he raised a serious allegation that Dr. Dauda Lawal was not a bona fide member of the PDP as at the time he was issued by a governorship nomination form. He alleged that Dr. Dauda secured his nomination form long after before obtaining his PDP membership card.
He strongly raised an allegation that Dr. Dauda was not issued waiver either by his ward, local government, state or national to contest for governorship primaries.
Now, the questions that begged for answers are: can PDP get the infractions detected in the PDP delegate list amended before Friday? Can the mini-congress be conducted without consultation with the other aspirants, who shall be convinced that the infractions they have challenged in the delegate list are amended?
Can Dr. Dauda Lawal scale through the disqualification mantra as raised by the spokesperson of the Engr. Ibrahim Shehu? These are both logical and constitutional issues that PDP stakeholders need to provide answers for.
Unless these questions are clearly answered according to law, conducting another fresh Governorship primary according to some stakeholders for Zamfara PDP may result to an exercise in futility.
CAN APPEAL OF THE FHC GUSAU JUDGEMENT BE THE BEST OPTION?
There are those who believe that instead of Dr. Dauda Lawal and the PDP wasting giant resources to conduct fresh primaries and also the mini-congress that may result in becoming subject of another litigation, the FHC Gusau judgement shall be appealed.
A lawyer on interaction with the Managing Editor on Tuesday said “conducting fresh primaries for the PDP may be injurious because with the infractions itemized by the spokesperson of Engr. Ibrahim Shehu in the short video clip I watched, the outcome may likely be challenged again.
“And if they went to court and raised similar concern if the fresh primaries are not in their favor the court may likely consider their grounds and remember like Mr. Zabarma raised, those infractions may likely be static because time may not allow the party to get them amended” the lawyer added.
He further said, “what he expects Dr. Dauda and PDP to do is to consult widely with the experience legal team to create grounds for appeal and strengthen their house the more, indeed that may be the best option”.
WHAT IS LIKELY GOING TO BE THE REACTION OF THE INEC
If the PDP decided to go for fresh primaries as ordered by the FHC Gusau, can the INEC be compelled to accept fresh candidate nomination?
Another lawyer told the Managing Editor that, there is every likelihood that INEC may resist the PDP because the failure to conduct Governorship primaries by the PDP is clearly that of the party, not the INEC.
“Primary election is usually conducted by the political parties using their party constitution and electoral guidelines so if they failed to comply with the laws of their party the repercussions would be theirs not that of INEC”.
He further said, “INEC has released a timetable and parties were given ample time and opportunity to put their houses in order so if they failed to do the right thing for whatever reason they shall be ready to face the consequences, and I am sure INEC will teach PDP Zamfara a good lesson”.
Another lawyer stated on condition of anonymity that, “INEC shall be affected by election petition cases not pre-election matters. If to say the crises involving the PDP Zamfara are those that emerged through normal election conducted by INEC for sure the court will compel the INEC to do the right things hence for this one of Zamfara , it was the party that has the deficit not the INEC”.
“Though part of the Plaintiff’s prayers was for the court to compel INEC to accept fresh nomination by the PDP such order must be declaratory before INEC can act” another lawyer said.
WHO AGREED ON THE NEW DATE FOR FRESH PRIMARIES?
A source at the camp of Mal. Wadatau Madawaki has confirmed to Thunder Blowers that since after the court judgement on Friday their principal Malam Wadatau Madawaki was not consulted by either the national or state level of the PDP and for now they are watching things as they unfold.
Another source from the camp of Engr. Ibrahim Shehu said no one has uttered a word for them from the PDP so they were asked by their principal to watch till the party saw the need to reach out to them.
A political ally of Hafiz Muhammad Nahuche said “we saw the notice of the conduct of fresh primaries against Friday on social media and we hope it is not true because one side of a multiple political divided cannot take decision on behalf of the rest”.
Abubakar Nahuche a strong supporters of Malam Wadatau told this medium that “since after the party primaries Wadatau and rest were left on the dark regarding the party activities and up to this moment when we saw a notice of another election, no one contacted us”.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE PDP?
Majority of the political observers are of the views that the best option for Dr. Dauda Lawal and PDP is to bring all the aspirants together and embark on genuine reconciliation between the four of them.
Aliyu Garba Bungudu a PDP member said, “we had expected Dr. Dauda to follow the strategies of Atiku Abubakar and reached out to all the three aspirants with humility and begged them to set aside their differences, and I am certain if that is done in a genuine manner that is convenient to all parties it wouldn’t have dragged the PDP into this mess-up”.
He insisted that, instead of appealing the verdict of the FHC Gusau or going back for fresh primaries, Dr. Dauda should have opted for “genuine reconciliation” with the remaining aspirants, and it is the best option for him at this critical moment.
“I don’t see a way out for Dr. Dauda and PDP because both the appeal and going for fresh primaries may be consequential to the chances of the party ahead of the 2023 election. He needs to widened up consultation beyond those that have circled him because from the look of things he does not have experienced political advisers around him” Balira Aminu Zurmi a PDP supporter based in Gusau stated.
Garba Bala Bakura is another supporter of the PDP he said, “those around Dauda Lawal do not allow him to take certain political decisions with wisdom because if he is abreast with the reality of the political development in Zamfara he should have invested whatever it takes to negotiate with these other aspirants to avoid problem like this”.