John Adams, Minna
As the race to 2019 general election gathers momentum, Chairman rice farmers association, in Niger State, Mallam Mahmoud Sani, has formerly declared his intention to vie for the governorship seat of the state under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sani even said that the purported endorsement of the incumbent governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, is ‘null and void’.
Sani, who is from Niger South senatorial district (Zone A) of the state, also said that the zoning arrangement put in place since 1999 to give all the zones in the state a sense of belonging is the brain child of the PDP, adding that “zoning is not in APC constitution.”
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According to the zoning arrangement in the state, Niger north (zone c) where the incumbent governor comes from is to produce the next governor.
But the governorship aspirant argued that since APC has condemned everything PDP has done, it should not embrace the zoning formula put in place by PDP.
Briefing newsmen, in Minna, on Tuesday, Mallam Mahmud said that his decision to join the governorship race was to answer a clarion call from his people to come and rescue the state from abject poverty and maladministration that has characterized governance in the state in the last 18 years.
The gubernatorial aspirant emphasised that he is bringing his wealth of experience in agriculture to turn around the fortune of the state which is adjourned nationwide as an agrarian state, pointing out that his major priority will be on agriculture.
Sani who aspired for the same number one position in the state in 2015 but withdraw for the incumbent governor, pointed out that he will ensure food security in the state if voted into office in 2019.
When asked about the endorsement of the incumbent governor for second term in office by the party far back in February this year, the former chieftain of Alliance for Democracy in the state said that he was not aware of any endorse by the party.
“I am not aware of any endorsement of the Governor, the most important thing is that I will exercise my Democratic right as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
“The people of the state should be allowed to make their choice in 2019 because I am sure after three years, they now have a choice to make”.
While calling on the party National headquarters of the party to implement the direct primary which was recently put into test in Osun state, the gubernatorial aspirant expressed optimism that “with direct primary I will defeat the governor at the primary”.
He described the current crisis rocking his association as a hand work of those who did not want him to contest the governorship, stressing that “no amount of harassment or intimidation will stop him contesting the governorship in 2019”
He insisted that he remains the authentic Chairman of the association in the state, maintaining that “no law says that if the Chairman is vying any elective position he should resign”.