Narrates ambush on his entourage that killed two policemen
By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Southern Borno senatorial aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Idris Gatumbwa Mamman, yesterday, expressed shock over alleged imposition of candidates during primaries in the district.
In a press statement in Maiduguri, Mamman described the process, beginning from the state House of Assembly, House of Representatives to senatorial primaries as marred with irregularities.
The statement read: “Worrisome is that the whole exercise in the zone, beginning from the House of Assembliy, House of Representatives to the senatorial primaries, was not conducted in a free and fair atmosphere, as it was marred with irregularities and imposition of candidates to the detriment of the Electoral Act and democratic participation.
“You all know that I am a very loyal member and a stakeholder of our great party who has contributed immensely to its growth and development.
“This was not the first time I am contesting for a position on the platform of the APC. You may recall that in 2018, I contested for the position of the governor of our dear state, and was short changed in the process by the powers-that-be during the primary election which produced incumbent Governor Babagana Umara Zulum as candidate.
“As a patriotic citizen who believes in one Nigeria, and the concern I have for my good people in Southern Borno, I offered myself again to aspire for the senatorship in 2022 on the same platform of the APC, with the sole intention of salvaging my people from the bondage of poverty, lack of social infrastructures, poor educational system, bad road network, agricultural decay and injustice due to poor representation.
“Unfortunately, another set of gang-up against my aspiration, just like in 2018 primaries, became glaringly from the day of my screening before the screening panel of the party. You may wish to know that in 2018, I was screened and cleared to contest for the gubernatorial primary. However, I was declared not qualified to aspire for the Southern Borno senatorial race by the panel without giving any reason to back my purported disqualification.
“It took my teeming supporters by surprise when they heard of my disqualification, but the truth manifested itself as I was later cleared and declared fit to aspire by the party’s Screening Appeal Panel.
“As I prepared to set in motion, and mobilize my teeming supporters, political associates and friends for the campaign proper, an assassination attempt was carried out on my entourage on Sunday, 22 May, 2022 at about 9am by yet to be identified gunmen who laid ambush along Maiduguri- Damaturu road, in between Jakana and Mainok villages.
“In that ambush, two policemen in my entourage were gunned down on the spot, while several others sustained gunshot injuries. Besides, my personal vehicle was shattered with over 12 bullets, while the attackers set ablaze one of the vehicles. Although these killers are yet to be fished out by security agencies, I thank God and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased police officers, and may Allah comfort their families.
“More so, I am worried that a day to the primaries, hundreds of security personnel were mobilized by the state government to Biu town as government officials took part in aiding the whole process of stopping delegates from exercising their franchise. Meanwhile, I have already made up my mind not to be used to shed people’s blood because of politics, as the blood of any Southern Borno person is not worth my aspiration.
“I watched the process with dismay as it was characterized with irregularities and imposition of candidates against the wish of the people.
“Worse still, at the last hour, there were changes in the delegates’ list from all the nine local government areas of Southern Borno by the powers-that-be with importation of some people or outsiders being used as delegates who affirmed candidates of their choice to the detriment of other aspirants and their supporters.
“Surprisingly, I received a text message from Governor Babagana Umara Zulum a day before the party primaries, which made me to conclude that the governor, who was supposed to be neutral, had taken sides against my aspiration and the wish of Southern Borno people. The governor’s text read as follows…’Good morning my brother. I came back from Abuja yesterday and we have decided to provide support for the incumbent Senator Ndume to emerge as the candidate. However, power belongs to Allah and he gives to whom he will. Where feasible, please accept our decision and if not feasible, I hold no grudge against you. Thank you’.
“But with my determination to represent my good people of Southern Borno, I decided to move on with my ambition to contest, despite all odds.
“Contrary to the Electoral Act 2022 Provisions, where the party is to hold a special congress in the senatorial district with delegates voting for aspirants of their choice in a designated centre, unbelievably, we noticed that the exercise was designed to be held separately in each of the nine local government areas under the full supervision of officials appointed by Borno State Government with high degree of impunity and without the presence of the electoral committee.
“With these unwholesome developments, I wish to categorically state that the whole process is a charade, as the outcome has already been undemocratically predetermined, which infringed on my constitutional right. It also against the 2022 Electoral Act provisions.
“I, therefore urge my teeming supporters to remain calm and law abiding, as I continue with consultations on the way forward to come up with a critical position to seek for redress”.