Borno Guber Race: APC’s Babagana Zulum Overshadows Others
The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress for Borno state,Prof Babagana Zulum appears to be having upper hand in the race for the Borno governorship.The opposition Peoples Democratic Party is badly fractured even as several factors combined to give Zulum an edge in the race.
Aside Zulum’s acclaimed credential as a competent academic and administrator ,the guber hopeful is also considered a consensus builder , enjoying the support of who is who within the party in the state.
A major factor boosting the party chances in the state is the sterling performance of the outgoing governor ,Kashim Shetimma who was able to execute many infrastructural projects despite the Bomo Haram scourge.
The outgoing governor has also deployed his goodwill said to be massive behind Zulum ,leading to groundswell of support for the guber hopeful.
The opposition PDP had become deeply fractured into two factions.A popular candidate ,Mohammed Wakil was denied the guber ticket ,leading to the emergence of Muhammed Imam,a politician said to be too weak to confront the rampaging APC machine in the state.
The APC candidate also has advantage of super big names from the state behind him among whom are the National Security Adviser,the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Staff to the President.
Zulum crossed the last hurdle recently with a court judgement in Jo’s Plateau state.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos, Plateau State had on Friday, dismissed two separate appeals one of which was filed by a director of finance at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Idris Mamman Durkwa, who is challenging the election of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum at the APC governorship primaries in Borno held in October, 2018.
Durkwa had while retaining his job as a director, contested the governorship primaries under the APC but he lost and took the party, Zulum and the INEC to court.
In another case, the Court of Appeal in Jos, has also dismissed an appeal filed by Hajja Fati Kakinna Alkali Monguno who is challenging the election of Senator Abubakar Kyari at the APC senatorial primaries for Borno North.
Kakinna had lost to Kyari at the primaries before filing a case against the APC, Kyari and the INEC. Kyari contested last Saturday was his re-election. Presiding judge, Justice TY Hassan delivered ruling that was concurred by Justices M.N. Oniyangi and B.M Ugo who jointly reviewed the appeals with reference numbers CA/J/50/2019 and CA/J/49/2019.
Durkwa and Kakinna, both being represented by the same counsel, Ibrahim Bawa, had appeal the judgment of a federal high court sitting in Maiduguri which upheld a preliminary objection filed by Yusuf Ali, SAN, on behalf of the Professor Zulum, Senator Kyari, the APC and INEC who are defendants.
Ali had argued that whereas the electoral act allows 14 days within which both Durkwa and Kakinna where to file petitions in court, challenging the primaries, they filed the petitions after the fourteen days had elapsed.
On the strength of Ali’s argument, Durkwa and Kakinna attempted to “smuggle in” reports by APC’s appeal committees on the governorship and national assembly primaries which according time delayed their filing of petitions since they needed the appeal committees’ report as part of their arguments.
The federal high court in Maiduguri had ruled in favour of Yusuf Ali’s preliminary objection refusing amendment of originating summons by Durkwa and Kakinna. Realising they may lose the case without amendments, Durkwa and Kakinna separately approached the Court of Appeal to reverse the ruling by the Federal High Court in Maiduguri.
The Appeal court in Jos however dismissal the two appeals. The case now returns to Maiduguri, with hearing fixed for March 11, 2019.