Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Few months to the 2019 general elections, a crisis has erupted in the Kaduna State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as two candidates are laying claim to this ticket for the Kaduna north senatorial district.
The incumbent senator for the senatorial district, Othman Hunkuyi’s name was earlier submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the party.
But kicking off his campaign for the senatorial seat, another claimant, Hon. Ubale Salmanduna said he was the authentic candidate for the Kaduna North Senatorial District as, according to him, Sen. Hunkuyi’s name was submitted in “error because he never participated in the primaries”.
Hon. Salmanduna told his teaming supporters in Zaria that they must work hard and not be distracted by anybody claiming to be the candidate for the PDP.
“Senator Hunkuyi who is claiming to be the candidate did not participate in the primaries.
“He contested as governorship candidate and was defeated. How can somebody who did not participate in the primaries be the candidate of our party. Please ignore any such claim,” he said.
Efforts to get the official position from the party failed as several calls to the chairman of the party in the state, Hassan Hyet went unanswered.
But reacting to the development, Sen. Hunkuyi dismissed the claim by Hon Salmanduna as a non-issue.
According to the media aide of the senator, Yahaya Shinko, Sen. Hunkuyi contested the governorship primaries and when he lost, we contested the senate primaries with five other aspirants and won.
“Hunkuyi contested in the senatorial primary after he lost in the gubernatorial primary.
“He came first in the primary, while Ubale came second. The election was monitored by INEC.
“If he Ubale says he was the authentic candidate, why doesn’t he wait for the court to decide since he has gone to court.
“There was even an appeal committee that came to Kaduna after the primary, yet, there was no complain from the aspirants then including Ubale.
“Hunkuyi purchased his senatorial form, got screened by the party and took part in the primary which he emerged the winner, and Ubale came fourth position.
“Let me tell you, Hunkuyi was offered an automatic ticket by the party for the senatorial ticket , but he refused and insisted on primary This was done after he lost in the gubernatorial primary.
“And even when INEC displayed the list of candidates, it was Hunkuyi’s name that was on the list. So, he remains the party’s senatorial candidate for Zone one,” he said.