December 29, 2010

Borno: Ndume’s defection raises dusts in ANPP

By Ndahi Marama
THE defection House of Representatives Member, Hon. Muhammed Ali Ndume from the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is raising dusts in Borno ANPP given its implications for the 2011 polls.

Ndume, who represents Damboa, Chibok and Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State, dumped the ANPP on Monday, to join the PDP, the party of a government he had so much vilified on the floor of the National Assembly.

He quit the ANPP following alleged high-handedness of Governor Ali Modu Sheriff. The governor is perceived as a godfather who dictated who could vie for any political office under the party’s platform.

The former ANPP minority leader, who confirmed his defection to Vanguard on Tuesday, had on  December 11 declared his intention to vie for the Borno South senatorial seat on the platform of the ANPP. His declaration was described as one of its kind. Analysts consider his popularity in the zone as unrivaled by opponents within and outside the ANPP.

Sources close to the PDP said  that the deal to dump the ANPP was brokered in Abuja in a meeting held among Vice President Namadi Sambo; PDP National Chairman, Okwesieleze Nwodo; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; ANPP Senate Minority Leader, Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan; and Muhammed Ali Ndume himself.

As part of the deal, Ndume would be given an automatic ticket to contest the senatorial seat of Borno South, as part of the plans of the PDP to, for once, wrest power from the strong_grip of the ANPP in the state.

Sources in Borno ANPP said Ndume’s grievance was not unconnected with Sheriff’s alleged support for a female aspirant for the Borno South Senatorial seat, Asabe Vilita Bashir, who is currently the Commissioner for Education in the state, against the perceived preference of the zone for him.

Ndume had expressed concern that Governor Sheriff who is also vying for the Borno Central Senatorial seat, had failed to distance himself from the affairs of the Borno South contest, even as he feared that the governor was funding the female commissioner as well as the already ‘biased’ Borno South ANPP delegates.

Ndume’s defection is said to be  generating concern in the ruling ANPP in Borno State as it came 24 hours after the Deputy Governor defied the governor to stage a resounding governorship declaration rally in the state.