Niger Gets First Female Guber Aspirant

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By Laleye Dipo in Minna

The first female governorship aspirant in the political history of Niger State has emerged on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) even as the leadership of the zone has planned a meeting with all the aspirants.

Hajia Asabe Ishaya from Rijau Local Government Area of the state, THISDAY learnt, had collected her nomination form and returned it at the national secretariat of the party.

A highly dependable source close to the party hierarchy in Minna said the Kano-based governorship aspirant would soon publicly declare her interest in Minna.

With her entry into the gubernatorial race, the number of politicians gunning for the PDP ticket from the zone has increased to five.

They include former ambassador to South Africa, Alhaji Ahmed Musa Ibeto; former chief of staff to ex governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko; a businessman, Alhaji Muazu Hannafi Sudan; and Alhaji Umar Dokonkoli.

It was gathered that the zonal chairman of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Ability, had already summoned a meeting of all the governorship aspirants from the area with a view to educating them on how to go about their campaigns in order to move the party forward.

It was learnt that only five people would attend the meeting with these aspirants — the zonal vice-chairman, the deputy chairman and three elders of the party from the area — “who do not have sympathy for any of the aspirants”.

THISDAY gathered that all the aspirants would be made to sign a code of ethics that they would be of “good behaviour during the campaigns” and support whoever emerged the candidate from the zone.

The zonal vice-chairman of the party, Alhaji Ability, when contacted, confirmed the story to THISDAY, saying with the entry of Hajia Ishyaku, the “field is now overcrowded so we have to do something to bring sanity into the contest”.

Alhaji Ability however said that the issue of one person stepping down for another or securing a consensus candidate “will not be discussed at the meeting”.

The state PDP had already zoned the governorship to the Niger north senatorial district where all these aspirants come from.

However, Alhaji Ahmed Baka from Niger south has also picked the governorship nomination form.