About 20 Kogi State governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have rejected the party’s decision to adopt an indirect primary system of selecting a candidate ahead of the governorship election in the state.
Addressing newsmen at the APC’s national secretariat in Abuja on Monday, the forum of the governorship aspirants faulted the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, over the development.
While distancing themselves from the indirect primary system, the forum said they were not consulted before such decision was taken.
While accusing the party executive of partiality in favour of the incumbent governor, the group called on Mr Oshiomhole not to re-enact Zamfara scenario.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the forum had since written a letter to the leadership of the party expressing their grievances over the decision.
The statement read on behalf of the aspirants by Muhammed Ali stated: “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 in the state.
“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 an Abuja court seeking to determine the authentic executive of the party in the state. As a matter of fact, at the last hearing, the suit was adjourned till October 2, 2019.
“Second, arising from the pendency of the various suits to determine the legitimate party executive council in the state, the use of any factional delegates’ list may amount to an exercise in futility. And lastly, we may have unconsciously set a booby-trap for our party and the stage for the replay of the unfortunate Zamfara scenario.
“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, a victory for merchandised political culture and a deference to Governor Yahaya Bello’s wish to be the judge in his own case.
“It is on record that Bello’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’ 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, a gross act of injustice and trust betrayed”.
The group accused the NWC of the party of partiality in the favour of the incumbent, unlike what obtains in Bayelsa.
“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,” it said.
Some of the aspirants at the national secretariat include Aliyu Zakari-Jiya, Tim Diche, Yusuf Haruna. Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd), Mohammed Audu, Mohammed Ali, Sani Lulu Abdullahi, Jibrin Haruna Mohammed, Yakubu Mohammed, Ibrahim Jibril, Chief Momoh Y. Obaro, Prince Sani H. Shuaibu, Gowon Egbunu, Sanni Shuaibu, Mustapha Mona Audu, Ahmed Ibrahim Aruwa, Gen. Akpa Patrick. Sunday Edibo, Khalid Adams and Yusuf Ali.