Expectedly, former Deputy Governor of Niger State and immediate past Ambassador to South Africa, Hon Ahmed Musa Ibeto has presented his letter of intent to the People Democratic Party (PDP) executives led by the Chairman, Tanko Beji, confirming the speculation that he rejoined the party in order to actualize his governorship ambition
The formal and public notification by Ibeto is coming barely two weeks after he rejoined the PDP from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and also after resigning his appointment as Nigerian ambassador to South Africa. These developments, pundits posited will draw ire from some leaders of the party.
He had joined APC on February 20th, 2015, few months after he failed to clinch the Governorship ticket of PDP which he lost to Umar Nasko, the preferred candidate of the then governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, as against him who was Deputy Governor then.
It is now a common topic within and outside the party that since he returned to PDP, he has made brisk moves within the few days to outsmart those who have been the leading contenders. He submitted his letter of intent even before other aspirants like Hannafi Sudan, Aminu Baka; Umar Nassko, the 2015 flag bearer and Ahmad Umaru Dogonkoli who have been in the forefront for the party’s Governorship ticket.
Ibeto’s letter of intent will no doubt bring about a new order in the political scheming within the opposition party in the quest by various aspirants to clinch the Governorship ticket. Already, there are some leaders of the party that are going about with the notion that he was being positioned as the preferred candidate by some members of the party executive.
Other aspirants, and former governor Aliyu, who has been the leader of the party, with anticipated influences were said not to be pleased with the development that culminated into Ibeto having an inroad back and may not give him easy ride as promised him by those who lured him back to the party for the guber ticket.
These tendencies will no doubt have issues to use in order to frustrate his attempt to clinch the ticket. Apart from the position that he had abandoned the party when they needed him most, there are other variables his adversaries may want to use against him.
Already, LEADERSHIP gathered during the presentation of his letter of intent at the party secretariat, Eastern bye-pas, Minna, that Dr. Aliyu, his former boss was not happy with his return to PDP and is accusing the party chairman, Tanko Beji, for letting him down by inviting his supposed political adversary back to PDP.
It was learnt that the former governor has vouched that rather that supporting his former deputy, he would support the incumbent governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sasni Bello, of the APC, to continue in office and might even leave the party if those who are rooting for Ibeto to take the governorship ticket succeed.
Sources hinted that initially, the former governor’s body language tilted towards Hanafi Sudan to pick the ticket of the party as governorship candidate but later, he was inclined to Aminu Baka whose aspiration contravened the zoning arrangement.
By the zoning arrangement, Niger North has one more term, till 2023, because the incumbent governor might have concluded first by 2019 leaving the zone with only one term in a two-term zoning arrangement that started with NigerSouth referred to as zone A with the Late Eng Abdulkadir Kure as the governor between1999 and 2007. It then moved to Niger East, otherwise referred to as Zone B, that saw the emergence of Dr. Aliyu as governor between 2007 and 2015; then the incumbent, from Niger North, also referred to as zone C, who is expected to complete two terms by 2023.
It however contravenes the arrangement as Aminu Baka from Zone A decided to aspire and was enjoying the support of Dr. Aliyu, who many believe was not happy with the PDP of Zone C which he alleged allowed Ibeto who had purportedly abandoned the party in 201.