By Ndahi Marama
THE stage is set for a keen contest between the deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Adamu Dibal and Mala Sheriff, a younger brother to the outgoing governor of the State, Senator Modu Ali Sheriff following Dibal’s formal application for the gubernatorial ticket of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
Dibal last Wednesday picked the expression of interest form to contest the ANPP primaries slated for January.
Dibal became the first gubernatorial aspirant in the Borno State chapter of the ANPP to obtain the nomination form. With this development, he ended weeks of speculation about purported pressure from the his boss Governor Sheriff on him to stop him from picking the form, which will give room to the governor’s brother, Mala Sheriff to succeed him come 2011.
The Deputy Governor in an interview said that he was compelled to join the race for the Maiduguri Government House following persistent pressure from various political groups, associations, ANPP supporters and friends, adding that he was out to respond to the calls of his people.
“I have received a lot of calls by our supporters from various political groups and associations, though I have waited for a long time to respond to these. The delay was to consult wisely and widely and I think the time has come to answer these clarion calls to lead,” he declared.
The deputy governor said he was not out to champion a particular interest or section of the state but to lead, noting that the people of Borno have never elected their leaders on the basis of ethnicity or social status. “I can confidently say that all these talks about a tribe wanting to control the governance of the state is not true because nobody has ever said it and we have been playing our politics here without recourse to any sentiments,” he added.
Dibal hinted that he had been a loyal deputy governor for about eight years and has refused to succumb to pressures from different quarters to abandon his boss, Gov Ali Sheriff, adding that governance was a collective affair as he was elected along with the governor to serve and not for personal reason.
He said he possesses the required experience to govern the state even as he expressed the hope of getting overwhelming supports of the party delegates at the forthcoming primaries. He said his party has laid solid foundation for development through its policies and programme, stressing that he was posed to build a robust partnership with opinion leaders, traditional rulers, organized labour and business groups in the state if given the chance to occupy the governorship seat.