Ahead of the PDP primary election slated for next week, the party’s stakeholders and delegates in Bokkos/Mangu Federal Constituency have endorsed Dr. Umar Mantu for the House of Representatives race.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that 32-year-old Umar, a lawyer and son of Alhaji Nasir Mantu, former Deputy Senate President, was endorsed for the ticket at a stakeholders’ forum held on Wednesday in Bokkos.
NAN also reports that stakeholders at the forum included PDP elders, women and youth leaders as well as special delegates whose votes would determine the party’s flag bearer.
A correspondent, who covered the forum, reports that the motion to endorse Mantu was moved by Mr Yohanna Amagon from Toff Ward in Bokkos Local Government.
“We all know Umar Mantu as a philanthropist, whose activities have touched many lives; he has assisted many youths with jobs, scholarships and skills that have made them self-reliant.
“Mantu also runs a Foundation which has provided health services to many people in the constituency. If he can do this much in his personal capacity, I feel he will do more if elected.
“I have no doubt that he will be an asset to us and I hereby move that he should be given the ticket as the sole candidate of our party for the Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency seat,’’ Markus said.
NAN reports that Markus’ motion was supported by the stakeholders and delegates with elders, women and youth groups taking turns to raise his hands to affirm the endorsement.
Some of the stakeholders, who spoke at the forum, expressed confidence that Mantu would pick the PDP ticket and win the secondary election slated for February next year.
Mrs. Sarah Damar-Kerang, from Mangu Local Government, described Mantu as “a vibrant and promising youth whose outstanding qualities have endeared him to many’’.
“Mantu is a lawyer and I have no doubt that he will offer quality representation as a legislator,’’ she said.
Mr Emmanuel Mashat, Secretary, Traders and Marketing Association, Bokkos branch, said that many Bokkos residents had benefited from Mantu’s Foundation.
“Mantu has been kind and generous to us through the activities of his Foundation. I am confident that we will be proud of him when he gets to the National Assembly,’’ he said.
Mashat described Mantu as a “de-tribalized’’ person that had shown love to all irrespective of tribal, religious or political differences.
“I have no doubt that Umar Mantu will attract projects to our constituency. All we need to do is to give him our mandate,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Danlami Luka, a stakeholder, said that Mantu was a youth that was determined to make life better for youths in the constituency.
“Mantu is the choice of the youths. We have resolved to give him our support because we are sure that he will deliver,’’ he said.
Luka, however, cautioned the people against divisions along religious lines, urging the electorate to assess aspirants on merit and capacity to deliver.
Responding, a visibly touched Mantu thanked the stakeholders for finding him worthy of such endorsement, and promised to work toward improving general living standards in the constituency.
“This endorsement came to me as a surprise. It has, no doubt, strengthened and encouraged me to go into the race with renewed vigour.
“I am overwhelmed and at loss as to what to say. The only thing I can say is that I will never disappoint you,’’ he said.
The aspirant thanked the forum for the trust and confidence bestowed on him, urging them, however, to remain focused till the battle was totally won.
NAN reports that Mantu will battle for the PDP ticket with the incumbent, Rep. Solomon Maren, Guful Mankilik and Danlami Jelka.
The rival APC also parades many aspirant s that include Maren’s predecessor, Jonathan Aminu, Col. Samuel Fwanje, Samuel Pukat, Luka Dalang, and FRCN former Director (North-Central), Sylvanus Namang.