By Aanya Igomu, Abuja
Twenty Governorship aspirants in Kogi state, North-central Nigeria have rejected the Indirect Primary election method adopted by Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The group under the aegis of Kogi State APC Governorship Aspirants Forum and its supporters staged a protest at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
The spokesman of the group, Mohammed Ali who addressed journalists advised the party to change its decision to conduct indirect primary for the action not to have a negative impact on the party in the state.
It would be recalled that the APC National Working Committee, NWC, adopted the indirect primary election method following a request it had received from the Kogi executives and other stakeholders of the party demanding for indirect primary to be conducted.
No proper consultaion
Mr. Ali said the decision by the NWC was taken without adequate consultation.
“We regret to observe that such decision was taken without adequate consultation with critical stakeholders of the Party in the state especially the governorship aspirants on the platform of the Party and other contending groups in the polarised structure of the Party.
“The decision to adopt an Indirect Primary by the National Working Committee is fraught with severe implications. First, contrary to the information given to the National Working Committee, there are suits pending in Abuja Court seeking to determine the authentic executive of the Party in the State (see attached). As a matter of fact, at the lost hearing, the suit was adjourned till October 2, 2019. Secondly, arising from the pendency of the various suits to determine the legitimate Party executive council in the State, the use of any factional delegate list may amount to on exercise in futility. And lastly, we may have unconsciously set booby-trap for our Party and the stage for the replay of the unfortunate Zamfara scenario,” he said.
Mr Ali stated; “We observe that as a Party committed to the enthronement of popular democracy, the resort to an Indirect Primary in the Kogi State chapter of the APC amounts to a muzzling of the wish of the generality of our Party members. Zero victory for merchandised political culture and a deference to Governor Yahaya Bella’s wish to be the judge in his own case. It is on record that Bella’s factional Party executive council members, which he is angling as delegates for the Indirect Primary are peopled by his political appointees and loyalists who are on the payroll of the State Government. It is also instructive to note that nearly all the 21 local governments POW Chairmen are Governor Yahaya Bello’s coordinators. To subject other aspirants to this hostile political mechanism in the name of Indirect Primary amounts to a clear case of political ambush, gross injustice and a trust betrayed.
“Whereas Governorship election for Kogi and Bayelsa States are scheduled for November l6th, 2019, we note with sadness the selective approach of the National working Committee in treating the primary election in Kogi State in isolation of that of Bayelsa State,” he said.
Level playing field
Mr. Ali urged the APC to form a caretaker committee with the mandate of creating a level playing field for Direct primary election.
The Governorship aspirants include; AliyuZakari-Jiya, Dr. Tim Diche, Alhaji Yusuf Haruna, Admiral Usman Jibrin, Alhaji Mohammed Audu, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, AlhajiJibrin Haruna Mohammed, AIhatiakubu Mohammed, Sheik Ibrahim Jibril, Chief Momoh Y. Obaro and Prince Sani H. Others are; Shuaibu, Comrade Gowon Egbunu, Prince Sanni Shuaibu, Prince Mustapha Mona Audu, Alh. Ahmed Ibrahim Aruwa, General Akpa Patrick. Sunday Edibo, Khalid Adams and Yusuf Ali.