Borno State chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who was also a gubernatorial aspirant in 2019, Idris Gatumbwa Mamman, has defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Mamman, fondly known as Idris Durkwa, had recently aspired to contest for the senatorial primary of the APC in Southern Borno which he alleged was a charade as it was characterized by irregularities and imposition that favoured incumbent Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume.
He also narrated how he escaped death but two policemen killed in an assassination attempt on his convoy.
In 2018 he had contested in the APC governorship primary that produced Babagana Zulum as governor in 2019 after he emerged as candidate.
Durkwa claimed that non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act provisions by the powers-that-be in the Borno APC culminated into dictatorial tendencies during the House of Assembly and senatorial primaries, particularly in Southern Borno where, according to him, many delegates, as well as teeming APC supporters, were disenfranchised, saying this was part of the reasons for his defection.
He stressed that, contrary to the Electoral Act 2022 which provides for a Special Congress in the senatorial district with delegates voting for aspirants of their choice in a designated centre, the exercise held separately in each of the nine local government areas under the supervision of officials appointed by Borno State government with high degree of impunity and without the presence of electoral committee.
He explained that political narratives in Southern Borno need urgent change for constituents to feel dividends of democracy.
“As a democrat, a time has come for me and my teeming supporters to join forces with the major opposition party (PDP) which is determined to wrest power come 2023, especially in Southern Borno”, he said.
“Most of our people in the constituency are glaringly clamouring for change in view of the poor representation by their lawmaker at the National Assembly in the past decade, and that is what informed my decision”, he said.
“I had the privilege and also had an interface with many people from the nine local government areas that constituted Southern Borno especially during my tour and consultations with delegates, stakeholders and teeming APC members.
“I saw tears on their faces as a result of lack of quality education, healthcare, decay in social infrastructures such as boreholes, electricity, increasing poverty and joblessness amongst youths and the womenfolk.
“All these can be attributed to lack of proper representation by leaders. In fact these narratives have to change.
“I left sinking APC and I have since been issued with PDP membership card number 012 and INEC Voters’ Identity Number, VIN: A25622408 in Shaffa Ward, Hawul Local Government Area of
“PDP is the opposition party to beat come 2023 general elections. I didn’t join the PDP alone. I moved with all my teeming supporters across the 27 local government areas of Borno.
“I and my teeming supporters are going to contribute in a way to ensure that the our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and indeed all our candidates vying for various political positions win come 2023”.
He recalled the ambush on his convoy along Maiduguri-Damaturu Road by yet to be identified gunmen who killed two policemen and left many others injured.
His words: “As I prepared to set in motion and mobilize my teeming supporters, political associates and friends for the campaign proper prior to the day of the primary in Borno South, an assassination attempt was carried out on my entourage on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at about 9am by yet to be identified gunmen along Maiduguri- Damaturu Road.
“In that ambush, two policemen in the convoy were gunned down while several others sustained gunshot injuries.
“My personal vehicle was shattered with bullets even as the attackers set ablaze one of the vehicles in the convoy. “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.”