Major stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State, including former Governor Abdulkadir Kure, are opposing moves by Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, to impose his Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, as his successor.
Analysts, however, note that political manipulation in the State is not new. In 2007, Aliyu was himself handpicked by then Governor Kure as his successor after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested the now deceased Alhaji Bala Gunna, who was considered a prepared candidate for the PDP in the state.
The unfolding crisis in Niger State PDP started during the recent North Central Zone TAN rally in Minna, during which the VIP stand collapsed, injuring many people including Governor Aliyu’s wife.
It was during the event that Governor Babangida Aliyu introduced Nasko to the party’s Board of Trustees chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, and the National Chairman, Ahmed Adamu Muazu.
This was in line with a deal by the PDP governors under which they were, undemocratically, permitted to choose their successors in exchange for their endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole candidate for the presidential election in 2015.
With the choice by Governor Aliyu of Nasko as his successor, the PDP chairman in the state, Mohammed Enagi with the backing of the governor will unseat Senator Zainab Kure, a move that may not be well received by former governor Kure.
A close associate of Kure told SaharaReporters, “we will not allow any further insult and illegality of the governor on our camp”. It is widely believed that former Governor Kure will be the Director General of the Jonathan Campaign for 2015 election.
Contrary to the declaration by Governor Babangida Aliyu of fairness to all that showed interest in representing Minna government, the governor asked a leading contender to withdraw from the race in favor of Umar Nasko on the advice of Ciroman Talba (Mohammed Aliyu) who is very influential and also the conduit pipe of massive corrupt wealth acquired by the governor in his seven years and five months service to date.
Last week, Nasko along with Ciroman Talba, Professor Yahaya Kuta and Dattijo Aliyu (a cousin of former military leader Ibrahim Bademasi Babangida),travelled to Wiesbaden, Germany under the pretense of visiting the former military leader on his sick bed, to seek his blessing for the governorship.
Following the anointing of Nasko by Governor Aliyu, SaharaReporters can authoritatively revealed that on 1st October, a billboard with portraits of Nasko tagged “Evergreen Mandate Group” appeared in Minna in front of a strategic building at the prestigious Mobil roundabout (formerly IBB 2011 campaign office), welcoming people on National Day.
The scandalous antecedents of Umar Nasko are no longer news in Minna, Abuja and Kaduna:
• He is known to have been expelled from the Military School Zaria in the early 90’s for constant intoxication from Marijuana and other illicit drugs.
• He was taken to Poland for secondary education only to return after five years with a fictitious degree certificate.
• While he and his associates were taking all sorts of substances at a party at TranscorpHilton Hotel, he was appointed a commissioner by Aliyu, only to be fired before the 2011 elections for ‘unwholesome behaviours’.
• He resurfaced in April this year as Chief of staff to Governor Aliyu.
Some analysts surveyed by SaharaReporters are of the view that the governor’s anointing of Nasko will polarize the PDP in Niger State, and guarantee it will lose the state in 2015.