There were strong indications last night that the crises trailing the conduct of the All progressives Congress (APC) governorship, senatorial and House of Representatives primaries may be far from been resolved. Investigations conducted by Saturday Telegraph across the states reveal that while the National working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party appears to be devising means of resolving the crisis, some state chapters still feel the impact of the crisis, especially with its attendant ripples. For instance, investigations carried out in Rivers, Imo, Bauchi, Zamfara clearly showed that the crisis, if not addressed could impact negatively on the chances of the party in 2019.
Rivers APC: We don’t want to be like Zamfara
Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State yesterday told the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that the state would not like the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Zamfara State for the state. The party members stated this at the national secretariat, Abuja, where they had protested in support of Senator Magnus Abe governorship candidature. According to them, if something was not done fast about the Rivers State APC, it would have the same pronouncement INEC gave to Zamfara State. INEC on Tuesday wrote to APC, stating that the party would not field candidates in Zamfara State since the party failed to conduct primaries in the State. APC, through a letter from the National Chairman had replied the commission, stating that the party had not violated the guidelines of the electoral body.
The Rivers State APC referring to Zamfara State, asked the party leadership and President Muhammad Buhari to rescue the party from the hands of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Ameachi. They demanded that the court ruling on Rivers State APC should be obeyed by the party, just as they also demanded for Direct primaries in the State. Speaking on behalf of the protesters numbering over one hundred, Anosike Odowa, said: “We are members of APC from Rivers State. We are here this morning to register our grievances, to speak to the National Chairman of the party and the NEC of our party that one man called Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has gone ahead to disobey court judgement. “He has gone to bring his business partner to be the candidate of our party and we are saying that Tonye Cole, we don’t know him.
“We are members of this party, we struggled for this party and we believe that APC, while we left PDP to APC is because of impunity and injustice. Now, the National Chairman of our party, should do the right thing by accepting the result of direct primaries which Distinguished Senator Magnus Abe emerged as the winner.
“The court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Port Harcourt has ruled and voided every activities of the purported primaries conducted by Rotimi Chubuike Amaechi. Indirect primaries conducted by Amaechi has been voided and in law it cannot stand. If APC wants to win Rivers state then Magnus Abe is the Governor of Rivers State. “We will stop at nothing, we will fight our last strength to ensure that justice must prevail. We are stakeholders in this party and I will advice the National Chairman to be upright and Amaechi should stop pushing him, this party is not Amaechi Peoples Party, it is All Progressives Congress not Amaechi Personal property.
“We want to ask that the National Chairman should live up to expectation and do the right thing. We know him to be a man who is upright but he should not allow his integrity to be questioned in this matter. Rivers state is for direct primaries and Magnus Abe emerged winner of the direct primaries.” On the allegation of Abe working for Governor Nyesom Wike, Bethel Oko Jaja said: “He remains the only committed APC member that has worked for this party. You recall that in 2015, when PDP won election in Rivers State and it was nullified and in December 2016 to be precise that election was conducted. The only man who won his senatorial district is Magnus Abe.”
I’m under pressure to dump ruling party – Gov Yari
Governor of Zamfara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari, yesterday disclosed that he was under intense pressure to dump the All Progressives Party (APC) in 2019 general election. Yari stated this while briefing State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said his supporters were aggrieved over the turn out events following the party leadership’s refusal to acknowledge the primary election conducted last week in the state. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had barred the APC from fielding any candidates for the 2019 poll in Zamfara for not conducting primary elections. According to him, the development had caused frustration among his supporters. He warned the national leadership of the party not to present any list that did not emanate from the primaries conducted before the expiration of the deadline for the primaries.
The governor promised that despite the pressure from his people to dump the APC, he will remain with the party and fight against any injustice. Yari who was accompanied by the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje also responded reacted to reports of his alleged romance with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on social media.
He said: “I don’t know whether that is a joke or otherwise. But for me, if you check my history since 1998, APP, and 2002 when Buhari joined ANPP, and 2015 APC, no time that I shifted from one party to another. That is not in my culture. So, the issue of leaving the party is not true. “But some other people are sending rumour through the social media. I have seen my picture with the PDP and other parties.
Yes, I cannot deny pressure from the people that we should leave APC but what I told them is that what we are looking for is just justice. “We conducted election and we want to see what the result is going to look. But I think for anybody to come under the national secretariat and say he is going to nominate a candidate, I think, it is a very huge joke.”
The governor wondered why the INEC could claim that there were no primaries in the state when the government agencies including the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the electoral umpire was at hand to monitor the process in the state. He said though there were some hitches in some places in the state that made the committee to postpone primary elections in the affected areas, the process he said was concluded the next day.
“There were hitches somewhere but we decided to suspend the area there were problems until the following day. So, the following day, we continued and we concluded the election by the people nominated by that committee to conduct election but the committee ran away and refused to collate the results.
“So, what we did was that we filed the results and kept it under the watch of those people and waited to see what was going to happen. The second committee waited 32 hours to the closing, we thought the committee will hasten and come up with modalities for the election. “But committee wasted about 18 hours discussing about how the modalities were going to be.
So, when we realised that, we were actually advised by the supervisory agency that is INEC and other agencies there that the best thing to do as the people had voted and since it was 7am was to start counting. “When they finished, they released the materials and we adopted the numbers. Already, we had produced our own set of forms for the national Assembly which we have done and then, when we concluded, I didn’t see members of the committee until one and half hours to the time. “Then, when they came I asked them what they came for, they said they came for reconciliation and I said which reconciliation? People can not reconcile over a month and you are trying to reconcile in an hour.
Then, I realised that there was a game that was being played so that we can run out of time.” He further said he suspected that the national body of APC had other crude ways to produce candidates contrary to section 87 of the Electoral Act that the party must follow a process before producing any candidate.
“Therefore, the most important is that we conducted election on the 3rd and 4th of October and all agencies, INEC, Civil Defence, Police, and DSS were there and they signed for us and the report was written by the REC that elections were conducted. “Unfortunately, for the INEC to say that there was no election, we don’t know where they got their information but we believe they have a report directly from their representative there that election was held in Zamfara state, so, it depends on what they want to do. “But, in any way, we were advised when the chairman of the committee came out and said there was no election in Zamfara state, we realised it was going to be a litigation issue. We quickly rushed to court, we filed a case and the case is coming up next week. “So, I think that is the only saving grace for the party and INEC for court of competent jurisdiction to give judgement on Zamfara matter that there was election.”
120 Bauchi Assembly aspi-rants set to dumps APC
About 120 aspirants of All Progressives Congress (APC) for 2019 Bauchi State House of Assembly have declared their intentions to dump the party in Bauchi if the National leadership of the party fail to cancel the recent primary election conducted in the state or compensates them. Addressing journalists yesterday in Bauchi, the Chairman Forum of Bauchi State House of Assembly Aspirants (BAHA 2019, Mr. Saidu Sulaiman Darazo, said if the party turn deaf ears to their demands within 72 hour they would take an action not suitably for the party. Saidu said: “No primary election for state house of Assembly took place in any voting centre in Bauchi State.
Neither was a consensus reached by the aspirants but what Prof. Ahmed Bakori and the government did was to select or appointed kind of thing and we are saying no to it. “We were deceived into believing that there was going to be a level playing ground for all party members who aspire for any elective position but what happened at the end is to write names and submit no election.” The group lamented that after spending huge money on campaigns and forms at the end Professor Bakori disappointed them. He knows very well that election did not took place but he went ahead to announced the result, we wonder where he got his Professor from”.
He alleged that the electoral officials dispensed into unknown locations where they had photocopies of the score sheets and conducted their own election and entered the results on their original score sheets on the same fateful night Friday last week. He also alleged that, election materials were secretly distributed to selected loyalist of the party officials on Thursday night 4th October 2019, without the knowledge or presences of the aspirants or their agents.
The chairman said as a matter of urgency, the National leadership of the party should reject any list of contestants for Bauchi state house of Assembly submitted by the electoral committee, as there was no primary election conducted or force them out. He further called for the immediate conduct of the election or consensus in all the respective constituencies in the state’s House of Assembly constituencies.
He added: “Effect the demands within 72 hours from the date of receipt of this letter. Failure of which necessary action would be taken. About 132 of us are members of this forum apart of the thirty one the committee hand pick, but those championing this cause we are 120 and that is our resolution. If you are not needed in your house you go somewhere else where you can find comfort.” “We believe our great party, the APC was founded on the basis of fairness, justice and equity to members. These sterling qualities attracted many of us to joined the party and aspire to be leaders in it but if all is missing we have to have a rethink.”
Tallen seeks cancellation of senatorial primaries
Former Deputy Governor of Plateau state Dame Pauline Tellen has described as a charade the All Progressive Congress (APC) Plateau Southern senatorial district primaries which she participated saying the result of the primaries was totally unacceptable to her. It would be recalled that the APC Southern Senatorial ticket of the APC was declared in favour of the immediate Former Deputy Governor of Plateau State Ambassador Ignatius Longjan from Qua’Pan Local Government Area of the state against Tallen. Speaking to journalists in Jos, yesterday said she had filed a petition to the APC national Secretariat for the cancellation of the primaries which was marred by irregularities and did not conform with APC standard. Tallen, while speaking through her spokesman, Mr Shabul Mazadu, said she was at the venue of the primaries on that day as accreditation of delegates commence at 4am the following day. He alleged that sponsored thugs were throwing stones and breaking bottles so she fled for fear of her life and before she could realize and return back result of the Plateau South senatorial district was announced to her dismay. He said: “As far as we are concerned, that exercise called APC primaries was a charade, it did not meet up with the standard of the party. We are calling on the party national Secretariat not to recognised the primaries which declared former deputy governor Ambassador Ignatius Longjan as a winner.”
Okorocha, not Uzodinma, causing crisis in APC – Imo APC Elders
The Imo APC Elders Council has reacted angrily to the claims by Governor Rochas Okorocha that Senator Hope Uzodinma was causing crisis in the State Chapter of the party, whereas, the Governor has been stoking controversy and crisis in the State. It said contrary to the claims, the governor was actually the one destabilizing the party not only in Imo State but the entire South-East. It noted that the “desperation and greed” of the governor in trying to foist his sonin- law as the Governorship candidate of APC against the express wish of the majority who voted Senator Hope Uzodinma to the position was responsible for the crisis rocking the party. In a statement it issued in Owerri, the group frowned at what it called “the unguarded and irresponsible outburst” of Okorocha in a published press statement against the winner of the Imo APC Governorship primaries, Senator Hope Uzodinma. In the statement signed by the Chairman of Imo APC Elders Council, Dr. E. J. K. Onyewuchi, the governor was asked to stop castigating ‘Senator Uzodinma, noting that since his declaration as the Governorship candidate of APC in Imo State, the people have been jubilant. “Since the distinguished Senator emerged candidate of our party, Imo has been in celebratory mood for answered prayers against a despot who attempted to appropriate the state as a personal property”, the council averred. The council regretted that the seven and half year administration of Okorocha has “inflicted unimaginable pain upon our people. Our common patrimony, including money and property has all disappeared into the pocket of one family”. It averred that Okorocha was in mortal fear that Senator Uzodinma as the new Governor will ask questions concerning the way and manner “the State had been looted blind by this reckless and unaccountable government”. “He is desperate to foist his son-in-law as his successor to cover his atrocities, but the God Imo people worship will never allow it to happen”, the Council declared. According to it, “what pains us most is the fact that both President Muhammadu Buhari and the NWC of APC do not see anything wrong in one family producing the Governorship candidate, the Senatorial candidate and the House of Representatives candidate of APC in Imo State”. “Even accomplished dictators have not displayed this level of impunity. He believes Imo State is his personal property. God will not allow such inordinate ambition to see the light of day,” it stressed.
APC NASS tickets: NWC okays candidates for Ondo
The suspense and anxiety surrounding the outcome of the National Assembly primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ondo State appear to be over: the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on Friday, finally okayed candidates who will contest the National Assembly election on its platform. The intra party exercise, especially the outcome had caused apprehension within the party in the state but the latest development has laid to rest all such anxiety . Those who finally made the list include the following: Senators Robert Ajayi Borofice(North); Donald Tayo Alasoadura( Central) and Yele Omogunwa(South). On the list of approved House of Representatives candidates are former security aide to Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi while he was governor of Rivers State, Ade Adeogun(Akoko South west/south east); Bunmi Oni (Akoko North West/ North East); Timehin Adelegbe(Ose/ Owo); Jimmy Faloye(Akure North/South); Hon Ola Baderinwa(Idanre/Ifedore); Dr Jibayo Adeyeye(Ondo East/West), Hon. mayo Akinfolarin (Odigbo/Ileoluji Okeigbo); Hon Akintoye Albert(Irele/Okitipupa) as well as a top flight journalist, Donald Ojogo(Ilaje/Ese- Odo). Our correspondent gathered that the Form CF001 have already been despatched to the Ondo State office of the APC for completion by all affected candidates.