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Borno guber: After parting with N300m bribe and spending N1.5bn, Modu Sheriff’s candidate Idris Durkwah finally went home with 115 votes

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….Calls for the cancellation of party primary

One of the aspirants in the just concluded Borno State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election, Alhaji Idris Mamman, was only able to secure 115 votes despite spending billions of naira, Daily Correspondents is reporting.

Recall that this newspaper on Friday exposed how a former national caretaker chairman of the PDP and ex-Borno governor, Ali Modu Sherriff, deceived an Abuja based politician and billionaire, into parting with N300m bribe because Sheriff had promise to give him the 2019 Borno governorship ticket.

Idris Durkwah, who is also the elder brother of the current deputy governor of Borno State, Usman Mamman Durkwah, was among the 21 governorship aspirants from Borno State cleared to contest Sunday’s governorship primary election in Maiduguri, which ended on Monday morning.

He lost woefully to Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, the preferred candidate of Governor Kashim Shettima.

Announcing the results on Monday morning at the El-Kanemi Sports Centre, Maiduguri, the Chairman, APC Gubernatorial Primary Election in the state, Barr Ahmed El-Marzuq said Professor Zulum polled 4,432 votes to beat Idris Durkwah and eight other aspirants to emerge winner.

According to El-Marzuq, Idris Mamman Durkwa scored 115 votes, followed by Kashim Imam who got 20 votes, while Gambo Lawan had 2 vote.

Others such as Mustapha Baba Shehuri, a serving minister of state in Buhari’s cabinet, and Nigeria’s current ambassador to China, Baba Ahmed Jidda as well as Atom Maigira all scored one vote each, while three other contestants, Alkali Nasco, Umara Kumalia and Mai Jama’a did not record any vote.

The billionaire Durkwah, apart from the N300m bribe he offered to Sheriff, is widely rumoured to have sank in more than N1bn into his campaign project prior to the governorship primary elections. He had acquired a handful of campaign vehicles numbering 50, including a bullet-proof jeep. He has also spent millions in campaign billboards as well as on charity to some political leaders in his constituency.

Although not much was known about Idris Durkwah in Borno politics until recently during the build up to the 2019 governorship contest, when his campaign posters and billboards appeared in strategic places within the city of Maiduguri.

Though a serving Director of Finance and Accounts in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja, many in Borno State have questioned his source of stupendous wealth especially under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has shown zero tolerance to corruption.

It is not immediately known how Durkwah, a serving director in Abuja has acquired his billions, which he has used to prosecute his failed governorship ambition.

Daily Correspondents had reported how recently, Sheriff was at the centre of the agitation for power shift to Southern Borno, a feat he deceptively championed when he was governor of the state between 2003-2011, as he failed to fulfill his promise to make his deputy, Adamu Yuguda Dibal from Southern Borno to succeed him.

Daily Correspondents further gathered from a reliable source familiar with how Sheriff took the N300m bribe recently, that the deal to make Senior Durkwah as next Borno Governor was struck sometimes in July this year when Sheriff approached Idris Durkwah at his residence in Abuja, where he sold the idea of zoning the 2019 Borno governorship slot to Southern Borno with a promise to give him (Durkwah) the governorship ticket if he could part with N300m.

Sheriff was recently rumoured to be broke and needed urgent money to put into his 2019 project for President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection so as to warm his way back to the heart of the President.

There have been growing suspicion recently that Sheriff, a former PDP National Chairman, who recently joined the APC, may be a mole planted by the opposition to spy on the activities of the ruling party.

Sheriff, therefore, felt the only way he could mobilize resources for his Pro-Buhari project was to convince the billionaire Idris Durkwah to part with such huge sums in the guise of helping him secure the governorship ticket.

According to our source, Sheriff initially demanded for N500m from Durkwa, but the amount was later negotiated to N300m.

But unknown to Durkwah, according to our source, Sheriff had duped him because there is no way Sheriff who as governor of Borno State between 2003-2011, could not anoint a successor from Southern Borno, will be able to do so now that he was no longer in power.

Daily Correspondents further gathered that Sheriff received the N300m bribe delivered to him through a third party in hard currency earlier this month and gave the Snr Durkwah the nod to purchase the nomination forms for the Borno governorship primaries, with a promise to make him victorious.

But despite such assurances and spendings amounting close to N1.2bn, Durkwah was only able to garner a dismal 115 votes in the Borno governorship primary election, which ended today.

Efforts made by this newspaper to get in touch with Sheriff to hear his side of the N300m bribery allegation did not yield result as he is yet to respond to our several calls and text messages.

But a group, SAS Social Media Team, has said that no one in Borno has the money to bribe Ali Modu Sheriff, a two-term governor of Borno State between 2003-2011.

The group, apparently responding to the N300m bribery allegation made by this newspaper, said the publication was “fake and malicious”.

In a statement signed by one Dady Waziri on Friday, the group said:

“Our attention has been drawn to a fake and malicious publication by mischief makers on Social Media.

“That (sic) our political hero and former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Sheriff have (sic) collected bribe of N300 million from one of the APC gubernatorial candidate (sic) Idris Mamman Durkwa to make him a governor (sic) in the forthcoming APC Primaries in Borno State.

“We wish to categorically state that nobody in Borno State from the Governor (sic) Kashim Shettima to the last current (sic) political office holders, businessmen and women, party leaders or anyone else in Borno that has the capacity and money to bribe or dash SAS (Senator Ali Sheriff) a penny talk less (sic) of Idris Mamman Durkwa.

“Thus, the publishers whom we identify to be sponsored by the state governor and happens to be former S.A. Media to Sheriff, have (sic) to go and ask both Governors Wike and Fayose of Rivers and Ekiti to tell them whether money can buy Sheriff or not, before making such gigantic false and malicious statement to the public.”

Also, Kolo Adam, the media assistant to Sheriff also reaffirmed the position of the group.

“A statement in response to the report was released yesterday already, nobody has the money in the whole of Borno including the governor to bribe the former governor,” Kolo Adam said.

Meanwhile, Idris Mamman Durkwah, has called on the National Secretariat of the All Progressive Congress, APC, to cancel the exercise, alleging that it was fraught with irregularities.

There had been outcries by some aspirants shortly, before the primaries commenced as they alleged that Governor Kashim Shettima has shown preference for an aspirant, Professor Babagana Zulum, alleging that the exercise had been skewed in his favour.

As the party primary progressd Durkwah cried foul over alleged irregularities in the electoral process and enjoined party leaders at the national level to intervene in the overall interest of the APC.

Alleging that the Director-General (DG) of his campaign organisation, Alhaji Mala Othman was arrested by Government House police and taken to GRA Police Station on the order of Governor Shettima, Durkwah said: “The agent and four other delegates were similarly arrested. Many delegates were locked out of the venue of the primary.”

A notable aspirant from south senatorial distict himself he alleged that ‘The delegates from Southern Borno were not allowed into the venue of the election while fake delegates in uniform were brought in to vote for the aspirant endorsed by the governor.

“Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, and many government officials were brought in as delegates contrary to the APC constitutional guidelines,” he noted.

“The campaign organisation of Alhaji Mamman has denounced the primary exercise, describing it as a ‘sham and unconstitutional,’ and therefore rejected whatever the outcome is.

“He will fight the injustice. He has urged the national leadership of APC to call for a fresh exercise that is conducted in a free, transparent atmosphere devoid of intimidation and harassment,” a source in Durkwah’s camp had told THISDAY on Monday.

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