Aggrieved Bauchi Assembly Aspirants Demand Fresh APC Primaries

 Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

A group of aggrieved state House of Assembly aspirants for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State has called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to cancel the primary election held recently in the state and conduct new one.

The Interim Chairman of the group, Saleh Nabayi, who made the call at a press conference held at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Bauchi yesterday, explained that 43 loyal party members of the APC lawfully purchased nomination and Expression of Interest forms to contest for the Bauchi State House of Assembly seats.

Nabayi declared that the state Assembly primary election has been done, but it has not been concluded.

According to him, “These are our reasons: ‘Our party did not inform any aspirant that any of the serving members will be given an automatic ticket. We all obtained forms as required by the constitution and followed all the instructions given by our leaders, we canvassed for support across our constituencies and patiently waited for the day of primary election.

“The election was slated for Thursday, and we sent our agents to the party secretariat, they were there waiting but sadly, election materials were not distributed to the officials till dusk without any reason communicated by the election panel.

“When they arrived late in the evening, they said they could not distribute the materials that same Thursday, claiming that some of the constituencies in Bauchi State are far away from the capital so they pleaded with us that everyone should reconvene on Friday at 7 a.m. when the election materials would be distributed. We all left for our various destinations and returned on Friday morning.

“On that Friday, we were surprised to hear from the committee that all the state constituencies that have serving lawmakers have been given automatic tickets, therefore there won’t be any primary election in those areas.

“They said they have received orders from the national headquarters to give automatic tickets to all the serving state Assembly members. We expressed our anger to them that we were not in support of that arrangement. We insisted that elections must be held in all the state constituencies, including those with serving members.

“The state chairman pleaded with us that we should meet the following Saturday, though, he was not at the meeting, he was represented by his deputy. They promised to forward our complaint to Abuja. At the same time, we discussed this with the current APC state gubernatorial candidate, Abubakar Sadique Baba, who promised to intervene in the matter for possible solution.”

He said the 11 affected state constituencies affected are Toro/Jama’a and Lame state constituencies in Toro Local Government Area; Burra state constituency in Ningi LGA; Ganjuwa East state constituency in Ganjuwa LGA; Giade state constituency in Giade LGA, and Shira state constituency in Shira LGA.

Others are: Jama’are state constituency in Jama’are LGA; Katagum state constituency in Zaki LGA; Dambam/Daguada/Jalam in Dambam LGA; Chinade/Madara in Katagum LGA, and Warji state constituency in Warji LGA.

Nabayi said the group of the aggrieved aspirants submitted their grievances and prayers to the party’s Appeal Committee.

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