From Sunday Ani
A group, Ethics and Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria (ECCIN), has raised the alarm over the possibility of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not having a governorship candidate in Gombe State.
In a petition to the National Chairman of the party, Iyorcha Ayu, ECCIN said contrary to the circular by the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Folasade Yemi-Esan, that civil servants should not participate in partisan politics while in service, the party has gone ahead to clear a serving Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta, Ardo Babayo Kumo, for the governorship of Gombe State in the forthcoming primary.
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The group claimed that with the development, the party might be disqualified from participating in the governorship poll or not be able to field any candidate if Kumo emerges as the flag bearer because his candidacy would have violated the public service rule.
Entitled: “Petition against the clearance and request for the disqualification of Dr. Ardo Babayo Kumo, aspirant for Office of Governor of Gombe State,” the petitioner argued that Kumo cannot be validly nominated because he was yet to resign his appointment as permanent secretary at the time he presented himself for screening and was subsequently issued a provisional clearance to contest the primary.
Kumo is alleged to have joined the PDP on March 11, 2022 with serial number, 3910.
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Part of the petition read: “The chairman is invited to note that Kumo is a civil servant, and currently the permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs.
“Note also that the above notwithstanding, the said Kumo was issued with a provisional certificate of clearance to participate in the primary election for the selection of PDP candidate for the Gombe State governorship elections.
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“It is most pertinent for the party to observe that this may lead to the disqualification of the party and the candidate because he cannot be validly nominated as a civil servant at the time of the issuance of the certificate of clearance.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the HoS of the Federation had by a circular referenced HCSF/479/1/19 dated, May 5, 2022, clarified that civil servants shall not engage in partisan politics…”
Efforts to speak with Kumo proved abortive but a source in the party dismissed the petition as immaterial and members of the group as “mere irritants and bad losers.”