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Bello, 20 Aspirants Battle For Kogi APC Gov’ship Ticket

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Twenty governorship aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have joined Governor Yahaya Bello to fight for the party’s ticket in the November 16, 2019 election.

Although the odds favour the incumbent governor, the opponents have cried foul over the party’s adoption of indirect primary for the poll.

The governor has been endorsed for the election by key APC leaders both at the state and national levels as well as eminent traditional rulers across the state’s three senatorial districts.

The aspirants also faulted the National Working Committee (NWC) separate treatment of Kogi primary when both the state and Bayelsa State would be heading to the polls the same day.

In a letter they wrote to the APC national chairman yesterday which was read to journalists at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, the governor’s rivals also insisted that the planned indirect primary come with serious negative consequences for the fortunes of the party in Kogi State, adding that they will not fold their arms and allow things to go bad.

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 a 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.

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