An aspirant for the Kogi state governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Yahaya Audu has described the recently conducted governorship primary of the party that produced the state’s governor, Yahaya Bello as the winner as a charade.
Audu who is also a brother to the late former governor of the state, Prince Abubakar Audu urged the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to cancel the primary. Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, Audu said the exercise was marred with irregularities.
He said, “The purpose of this press conference is to state my position on on the purported Kogi state APC governorship primary election held at the township stadium, Lokoja on Thursday August 29, 2019 which Yahaya Bello was announced the winner.
“I feel it is necessary to clear the air and put the record straight. It is indeed not only disheartening but disappointing the way and manner the entire process was compromised.
“I want to place on record that the entire process of the primary was not only a charade but also characterized with irregularities and fall short of acceptable norms.
“The purported primary can only be better descibed as kangaroo and a daylight robbery as the entire process was hijacked by Yahaya Bello and his agents.
“Consequently, I wish to use this forum to disassociate myself from the said primary and reject the result anmounced by the returning officers on the following grounds.
“That the entire process of the primary election was fraught with irregularities and fall short of acceptable norms.
“That only the delegates who were given Ankara uniforms by the Governor Yahaya Bello were allowed to access the venue of the primaries and vote thereby denying several authentic delegates from exercising their franchise.
“That there was no proper accreditation before the commencement of the voting. The election was conducted without the agents of most of the aspirants including myself.
“The ballot boxes meant for the election were arranged Local governments by Local governments while Governor Yahaya Bello’s appointed administrators stood by the ballot boxes to ensure that the bollot papers that had only Yahaya Bello’s name written on it was dropped on the boxes by every delegate.
“Finally, that the security agencies prevented some of the aggrieved including myself from accessing the returning officers they wanted to lay complaints about the glaring irregularities perpetrated at the venue of the election.”
On the decision he has taken, he said: “Due to the above irregularities and several others, I hereby reject, in totality, the outcome of the primaries and wish to call on the APC NWC to cancel the result and conduct a fresh free and fair primary.
“I also want to use this opportunity to thank all my teaming supporters and urge them to remain calm, law abiding as we await the response from the NWC and the leaders of our great party,” he noted.
He said his next move will be decided by the response of the NWC to his request for the cancellation of the primary election.
“In situations like this, I want to say that the APC was actually started by my late brother Abubakar Audu and went on to pay the ultimate price by losing his life in the process.
“It is also disheartening that having paid the altimate price neighter the family nor the children nor his supporters nor the structure has been taken care of by the state nor the federal government.
“One thing I want to say is that we are waiting for the response of the NWC and the party leader before we make up our minds.
“As for whether I will leave the party, I want to say you don’t abandon our home because we have been invaded. However, we will continue to consult and wait to see how the national leaders of the party handle the issue,” he added.