By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The incumbent Governor of Bauchi State Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar has emerged the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary election of the state.
This comes as three governorship aspirants of the party in Bauchi State have called for the cancellation of the Monday primary and the suspension of Governor Abubakar from the party for what they described as “war on a simple civil issue”.
Announcing the result, the chairman of the election, Prof. Ahmad Bakori, said the governor polled the highest votes of 75,086.
Bakori said Dr. Yakubu Lame scored 3,988, Prof. Ali Fateh 2,886, while Captain Bala Jibrin scored 2,539.
The chairman said there were some challenges experienced during the election such as shortage of election materials in almost all the affected polling centres and insecurity among others.
Meanwhile, three governorship aspirants have called for the cancellation of the party’s primary and the suspension of Governor Abubakar from the party for what they described as “war on a simple civil issue”.
The aspirants were former ministers Prof. Ali Pate, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, and Captain Mohammed Bala Jibrin, who alleged that the kangaroo exercise exhibited by the APC in Bauchi has left one person in Boi village of Bogoro Local Government Area killed.
“It is sad that an internal party primary election process will be so toxic because an individual is desperate to hold onto power even when the people don’t want it.
“I don’t want to call this an election. I was not a military person, I have not been in a war before, I don’t know what war looks like, but what I experienced today was closest to war,” one of the aspirants, Captain Jibrin said.
According to him, “I’m surprised the military was there, the army in Zaki and Katagum Local Government Areas have beaten civilians causing fractures on their legs, this is unbecoming of them.”
Jibrin said that they will file petition against the conduct of the Nigerian Army in Zaki and Katagum Local Government Areas and other party primary centres in the state.
The three governorship aspirants at a press conference in Bauchi Monday night alleged that the whole process was not transparent and marred by violence in many areas across the states.
“As I was driving in here, I got a call that one person was killed in Bogoro Local Government Area as a result of the violence that occurred during the primary. I don’t have all the details identity of the deceased but as journalists, you can inquire,” Pate stated.
He alleged that many voters were disenfranchised as many of the ballot papers sent to the councils were diverted, adding that: “This is 8pm, and many places are still waiting for the election materials and the official to cast their votes. Many of the ballot papers did not reach their destinations, there were a lot of discrepancies.”
Also corroborating, Dr. Yakubu Lame said that the State governor has taken steps to destroy the APC in the state, stressing that they have resolved to boycott the primary until their prayers are met because they have lost confidence in the Ahmed Bakari-led National Election Committee sent to conduct the primary in the state.