By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Mohammed Umar Nasko, erstwhile Chief of Staff to Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State on Sunday emerged winner of Peoples Democratic Party primary election in the state ahead of 2019 general elections.
Nasko beat four other aspirants including much tauted Ambassador Ahmed Musa Ibeto, Nigeria’s immediate past envoy to South Africa.
In a keenly contested election, Nasko surprised political pundits and observers with a win over his arch rival, Ibeto who had returned to the PDP last July after he had ditched his high profiled ambassadorial job.
The contest was a high wired political game of board room and behind the scenes maneuvers by key players and decision makers in the state including elder statesmen and senior citizens.
Though Ambassador Ahmed Musa Ibeto was the favoured amongst the five aspirants as he had extensively toured the state and was a more firmly gripped in the politics of the state, last minutes spoiler roles against Ibeto did the magic for Nasko.
It was an election characterised by money exchanging hands, votes buying, betrayal by delegates, back peddling from initial agreements and horse trading.
The victory by Nasko now put to rest all politicking, rivalry and months of tension within the PDP in the state. He beat his closet rival, Ibeto by about a thousand votes.
Nasko was a former Commissioner for Environment and Parks and Gardens in the state and was also Chief of Staff, Government House in the immediate past administration in Niger State.