Opponents of Governor Yahaya Bello in the contest for the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship ticket in Kogi State may get upper hand as the party’s leadership considers their petition against indirect primaries.
While Bello preferred indirect primaries, his opponents numbering 20 have opted for direct primaries, alleging that the governor would hijack the process by making local government chairmen, State House of Assembly Members loyal to him and his Aides delegates, if the indirect primary is allowed.
The aspirants in a petition to the APC National Working Committee, NWC argued that, “it is instructive to note that nearly all the 21 local governments Chairmen are Governor Yahaya Bello’s 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 injustice and trust betrayed,” they argued.
“Arising from these cogent observations, we categorically reject the indirect primary adopted by our party for Kogi State,” they noted.
APC NWC had approved indirect primaries for Kogi but following the petitions, it has agreed to look at the merit of the petitions in line with the party’s constitution and come out with a position in due course.
Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, in statement in Abuja acknowledged that the party had received petitions from some stakeholders in Kogi State in reaction to indirect primaries adopted for the election of APC candidate for November 16 governorship polls in the state.
According to him, the NWC thanked the aggrieved APC stakeholders in Kogi State for the peaceful manner in which they have conducted themselves so far and their trust in the NWC to do the right thing.
“It needs restating that the APC Constitution which was reemphasized by a decision of National Executive Committee (NEC) provides for three modes of primaries to elect Party candidates – Indirect, Direct Primaries and consensus – depending on the peculiarities of the state and preferences of the stakeholders in respective elections,” the party spokesman said.
“We assure all concerned parties that the NWC would be guided only by our rules”, Issa-Onilu stated.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed the gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States for November 16, 2019.