Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
Supporters of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftains on Sunday stormed Birnin-Kebbi Central Eid Praying Ground to seek divine intervention in his ongoing court trial that poses a threat to his re-election in the 2019 General Election.
The prayer, organized by the Kebbi Youth Progressive Network, was attended by Deputy Governor Col. Samaila Yombe Dabai, APC Chairman, Board of Trustees, Alhaji Sani Zauro, the Governor’s elder brother, Alhaji Bello Bagudu, and APC State Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Dani Dododo.
Commencing at about 9 a.m, the prayer session lasted till 10:30 a.m. However, Governor Bagudu and Kebbi State Chairman of APC were absent at the prayer.
It would be recalled that a plaintiff, Maj.-Gen. Bello Sarkin Yaki (retd), who was the PDP governorship candidate in the 2015 election, sued at the Federal High Court, Abuja, to have the Certificate of Return issued to Governor Bagudu canceled and declare the election null and void.
Yaki is equally seeking an order of court directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him with a fresh Certificate of Return for coming second in the said election.
The plaintiffs in the suit is praying the court to declare that Bagudu was incompetent to contest the last governorship election in Kebbi. He urged the the court to sack the Governor on the premise that he gave false information in the Affidavit of Personal Particulars he submitted to INEC prior to the 2015 governorship election in the state.
The ongoing trial of Governor Bagudu has continued to generate tensions in the northern state, especially among the ruling party, fearing that it would affect the Governor’s chances for re-election.
While praying for divine intervention, Deputy Governor Col. Samaila Yombe Dabai explained that the prayer was organized purposely for the peace and unity of Nigeria and Kebbi State under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abubakar Bagudu.
Col. Dabai prayed to God to continue guiding President Buhari and Governor Atiku in directing the affairs of the Nigeria and Kebbi State.
The State Publicity Secretary of APC in the State, Alhaji Dani Dododo, in an interview with newsmen after the prayer, did not link the prayer to the ongoing trial of Governor Bagudu, but rather said the purpose of their gathering was to seek God intervention in Nigeria to restore peace and unity.
Spokesman of the Kebbi Youth Progressive Network, Salimon Adamu, told newsmen that they organized the prayer to seek divine intervention in Nigeria and Kebbi State in particular.