Twenty-one governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State have warned the leadership of the party to be wary of the Zamfara state scenario if it insists on going ahead with indirect primary to pick the party’s flag bearer for the November gubernatorial election.
The aspirants in a letter dated July 7,2019 addressed to the National chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole signed by Gen. Patrick Akpa (retd), Chairman, and Comrade Gowon Egbunu, Secretary, said the adoption of the indirect primary will have severe consequences for the party.
The letter reads in part;
“At an emergency meeting of twenty-one governorship aspirants in Kogi State held on Sunday, July 7th, 2019, we reviewed the decision of the National Working Committee vis-a-vis our aspiration and resolved as follows:
“That the planned adoption of the Indirect Party Primary is inherent with serious negative consequences for the fortune of the Party in Kogi State.
“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 polarized 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 (see attached). 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 delegate 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 Bellos wish to be the judge in his own case.
“It is on record that Bellos 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 Party Chairmen are Governor Yahaya Bellos coordinators. To subject other aspirants to this hostile political mechanism in the name of Indirect Primary amounts to a clear case of political ambush, gross act of injustice and trust betrayed.
“Whereas Governorship election for Kogi and Bayelsa States are scheduled for November 16th, 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.
“As loyal Party men, we would not fold our arms and allow our Party to suffer huge political loss arising from the narrow ambition of a non-performing State governor.
“Arising from these cogent observations, we categorically reject the Indirect Primary adopted by our Party for Kogi State. We urge the national leadership to set up an independent caretaker management committee without delay with the sole mandate of providing a level playing ground for a Popular Direct Primary involving all card-carrying members.
“The meeting was attended by the following governorship aspirants:
Pharm. Aliyu Zakari-Jiya, Dr. Tim Diche, Alhaji Yusuf Haruna, Admiral Usman Jibrin (Rtd), Alhaji Mohammed Audu, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, Alhaji Jibrin Haruna Mohammed, Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed, Sheik Ibrahim Jibril, Chief Momoh Y. Obaro, Prince Sani H. Shuaibu, Comrade Gowon Egbunu, Prince Sanni Shuaibu, Prince Mustapha Mona Audu, Alh. Ahmed Ibrahim Aruwa, Gen. Akpa Patrick, Engr. Sunday Edibo, Khalid Adams, Alh.Yusuf Ali and Prof. Seidu Mohammed”.