May 5, 2015

National Democratic Congress MP for  Damango wants the Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna sanctioned for violating the party’s constitution and campaigning for the parliamentary seat even before the party opens nominations.

According to intelligence reports the MP says he has received, the minister has been to the constituency and met with some Mallams, constituency executives, and two former chairmen of the party and declared his plans to run for the seat.

He also revealed that the regional minister also went to the party father and moved to the communities, canvassing for support.

At all these meetings and encounters, he said the regional minister “declared his intentions to contest”.

“I want them to call him to book, he has flouted the constitution and directives of the regional chairman,” he demanded.

He said the move breaches Article 43 of the party’s constitution and a directive by the regional chairman that no aspirant should campaign until nominations are opened.

“I thought that being the first gentleman of the region, he would be the last to flout that directive, but he happens to be the first and therefore he is likely to open the floodgates for other people to come in and that will be disastrous,” he cautioned.

The MP, Adam Mutawakilu, told Joy News  Monday the Regional Minister is cunningly using the name of the President in his campaigning saying the president has encouraged him to contest.

“We all know in Damango that it was a blatant lie”, he said, recalling that Alhaji Limuna used this same old strategy in 2012 only for the president to distance himself from his claim.

“It is too early for him to be training for a re-match. At the right time, we will have it. I don’t fear any contest,” the MP said.

But the alleged campaign activities conducted by the regional minister means “development will suffer,” Adam Mutawakilu fears.

In a reaction, the regional minister Alhaji Mohammed Muniru refuted the claim of campaigning before the opening of nominations.

He acknowledged that he has visited the constituency but said it was only to give the executives “hope” and discuss party matters.

This is something he has also done in other constituencies, he revealed, adding the MPs there did not complain.

He also admitted meeting the Yagbonwura [the Gonja Overlord] but insisted it was to discuss a “security” matters as the chairman of the Northern Regional Security Council.

Continuing his defence, the minister added that it was party executives who “followed” him around during the National Sanitation Day clean-up exercise.

Eventually “we had to sit down and talk about the party” after the clean-up exercise, he said. If he told any party executive of his intentions, it was only in answer to a question.

But he denied meeting any group of mallams.

Nonetheless as a politician, he will “cross the bridge” when the time comes for formal declaration to contest is permitted.

He pledged his commitment to abide by the directives, saying he had a hand in getting the regional chairman, Sofo Azorka, to issue it.

The Damango MP told his 2012 opponent in the primaries that being in “a scientific world”, he had recordings of his meetings which he intends to use at the right time.

The regional minister called his bluff, telling him that he cannot run the party in the media.