States See Crisis Over APC Governorship Primaries

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Rivers, Benue, Oyo, and Sokoto States’ chapters of the All Progressives Congress are in the midst of crisis. This is as a result of last week’s election of delegates for governorship primaries holding on Thursday.

Factional leaders and aspirants in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Sunday alleged that elections were not held rather delegates were hand-picked by rival groups.

The APC initially scheduled its governorship primaries for Friday, but on Thursday it shifted it to May 26 following its failure to decide on states’ delegates that would vote during the shadow election.

It seems that only elected states’ delegates who emerged from last week’s congresses would vote at the governorship primaries as the current Act bars statutory delegates from voting at the primaries.

As a result, only five states’ delegates elected from each of the 8,809 wards in the country would vote at the governorship primaries.

The disagreement among aspirants over elected delegates heightened on Sunday as they realised statutory delegates would not vote.

The APC in the state is currently polarised into two factions, one led by Abe and the other headed by a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

The Abe factional chairman, Golden Chioma, in an interview with The PUNCH, said,

“You know that in our state, we didn’t have a delegate election and we are still fighting that. People who bought forms were not allowed to contest. So, if people were not allowed to contest, it is not a valid process.

“The process was skewed in our state. So, to answer your question, I am not satisfied and you know it. A lot of people bought forms and were not allowed to compete for them. So, why should I be happy?

But the state party spokesman, Chris Finebone,  dismissed claims by the Abe-led faction that no delegate election took place in the state.

“The exercise was peaceful and credible and it was witnessed by INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) and security officials in all wards.”

In Sokoto State, the factions loyal to Senators Aliyu Wamakko and Abubakar Gada also disagreed over the congress.

A leader of the Gada faction and governorship aspirant,  Abdullahi Balarabe Salame, said,

“My only grudge is how the delegates emerged in  Sokoto State.  The party only made use of the loyalists of a faction in arriving at the delegates’ list.”

Efforts to speak to the state Chairman of the party backed by Wamakko, Isa Sadiq Acida, were not successful but the spokesman for the party, Sambo Danchadi, described the situation as a national matter.

He said the party in the state was fully ready for any directive from the headquarters.

A  factional leader of the APC in  Benue State, Omale Omale, faulted the process of electing delegates.

Speaking to our correspondent in Makurdi, Omale, whose group is opposed to the Minister of Special Duties, George Akume’s faction,  said some people only sat down and picked names of their loyalists and forwarded the list to the state capital.

He stated,

“If there is congress, members will participate, INEC  and the DSS (Department of State Services) will send representatives but I do know again that we have a very compromising system where INEC which never supervised anything will write a report okaying a congress that never took place. But the point I am making is that there was no ward congress anywhere in the state.”

But the organising secretary of the APC in the state, James Orgunga, said the party opted for consensus to pick the delegates at the ward level.

Later on Sunday, the Chairman of the Akume-backed faction, Austin Agada, said the party had adopted a direct option for its forthcoming governorship primary.

When asked why the factional leader and Gemade did not attend the stakeholders’ meeting, the party chairman said there were specific people that were invited to the meeting.

“There were specific people that were invited for the meeting.  Omale is just a member of the party;  on the Gemade issue, he personally  contacted me that he was not given consideration as for delegates and as such excused himself from the meeting.”

In Oyo State, it was gathered that two delegates’ lists were produced by rival factions of the party.

Author: Newstopz400

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