Anxiety as APC holds Kogi primary Thursday

As the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) determines who will fly its governorship ticket in November 16 election among the nine cleared aspirants, there are uncertainty surrounding the exercise.

The party, after a midnight meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) finally cleared nine aspirants to contest the indirect governorship primary, comprising governor Yahaya Bello, Hadiza Iyoma Ibrahim, Yahaya Odidi Audu, Sani Lulu Abdullahi, Engr. Abubakar Bashir.

Others are Engr Danlami Umar Mohammed, Yakubu Mohammed, Hassan Abdullahi and Ekele Aishat Blessing, leaving out six aspirants which include, the former Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin (rtd), Mustapha Mona Audu, Muhammed Abubakar Unukwu Audu, Rukkaya Ibrahim, Gen. Patrick Adenu Akpa and Mohammed Seidu Onaili.

Apart from protests (both in Lokoja and Abuja) by the aggrieved and disqualified aspirants, there are also indications that some stakeholders may approach the court of law to stop the exercise.

For Babatunde Irukera, a group under the aegis of Kogi Mandate Group, Wednesday stormed the national secretariat of the party, asking for the inclusion of their principal in the primary.

The group’s spokesperson, Amos Alfa, expressed surprise the party went ahead to disqualify Irukera in spite of the fact that he was cleared by the screening committee of the party.

“We want justice to be done.  Irukera was cleared in 2015 by this same party and he contested at the primaries. The sitting governor is aware that only Irukera can unseat him. We have evidence that in the result from screening panel, it was written boldly that he was cleared.

“We want justice on this issue. The party should not be left in the wrong hands. Let APC do justice to ensure that Babatunde feature in the primaries otherwise what happened in Zamfara state would happen in kogi state,” he said as protesters flashed plaque cards with damning inscriptions.

There were also allegations of manipulation in the delegates list expected to be used in today’s exercise.

Also, some of the cleared aspirants have already raised alarm that the said delegates list submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) since 2018 has been altered, allegedly to favour the incumbent governor, Yahaha Bello.

It is also believed that the major contenders that would have given the Yahaya Bello a run for his money have all been disqualified.

It is not also clear whether the likes of Babatunde Irukera, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and the former Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin (rtd), among others will make a move against the exercise.

As all eyes, however, will today be on the governor of Jigawa state, Abubakar Badaru-led primary election team in Kogi state, the party members in the state are anxiously waiting whether all their fears will be addressed before the exercise.

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