Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Twenty governorship aspirants vying for the gubernatorial ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi State have kicked against the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party approving ‘indirect primary’ to elect the party’s standard bearer for the November 16 election.
The NWC had last week Friday approved indirect primary, following a formal request from the state executive and stakeholders in preference for the indirect primary.
But addressing journalists at the national headquarters of the party yesterday in Abuja, Mohammed Ali, said the decision of the NWC to approve indirect primary amounts to muzzling the wish of the generality of the party members in the state.
The aspirants, armed with a protest letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole, resolved after an emergency meeting held last Sunday by the governorship aspirants in the state that the planned adoption of the indirect party primary was inherent with serious negative consequences for the fortune of the party in the state.
The aspirants observed that the decision 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, was regrettable.
The letter read: “The decision to adopt an indirect primary by the NWC is fraught with severe implications. Firstly, contrary to the information given to the NWC, there are suits pending in 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.
“We observe that as a party committed to the enthronement of popular democracy, the resort to an indirect primary in the state chapter of the APC amounts to muzzling the wish of the generality of our party members.
“It is on record that the state Governor, Yahaya 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.”
The aspirants noted further that governorship election for Kogi and Bayelsa States are scheduled for November l6, 2019, saying: “We note with sadness the selective approach of the NWC in treating the primary election in Kogi State in isolation of that of Bayelsa State.”
However, in order to prevent the breakdown of law and other, the police have mobilised to the party’s headquarters as pro-Bello and anti-Bello groups had earlier protested at the party headquarters.
The gubernatorial aspirants who kicked against the indirect primary were Aliyu Zakari-Jiya, Dr. Tim Diche, Alhaji Yusuf Haruna, Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd), Alhaji Mohammed Audu, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, AlhajiJibrin Haruna Mohammed and AIhaji Mohammed.
Others included Sheik Ibrahim Jibril, Chief Momoh Y. Obaro, Prince Sani Shuaibu, Gowon Egbunu, Prince Sanni Shuaibu, Prince Mustapha Mona Audu, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Aruwa, Akpa Patrick, Sunday Edibo, Khalid Adams and Yusuf Ali.