A faction of the All Progressives Congresses (APC) in Kogi state has dismissed the endorsement of Governor Yahaya Bello for a second term in office by some traditional rulers, saying selection of its candidate is neither a tradition affair nor are the traditional rulers delegates to decide who flies the party’s flag in the November 16 election.
Only last week, a faction of the party in the state led by the governor had endorsed the incumbent for a second in term in office, some members of the party and the factions of the party have seriously kicked against the endorsement.
The faction had been to the Presidential Villa along with some prominent Kogi state traditional rulers where they endorsed Governor Bello for the party’s ticket for the November governorship poll.
Speaking Sunday in Abuja, the party state secretary Barrister Salaam Tom Adejo debunked the purported endorsement, saying the decision of the state chairman who is a member of the governor’s faction does not enjoy the support of most members of the state executive council.
He dismissed the endorsement of the governor by some traditional rulers who accompanied the governor and the state chairman of the party to the Presidential Villa last week.
“The governorship election is not a traditional affair, they are entitled to a vote at the election. But not to decide who will be our candidate, after all they are not delegate.”
Further, the scribe said the chairman did not consult with the other members of the excos, adding that he took a stand that does not reflect the current disposition of the majority of party leaders.
“Our discussion ended at the need for peace so that the party can move forward. He said he needed a sincere peace and we agreed on terms. There was nothing like endorsement.
“The terms we agreed on were that our allowances should be paid and other packages that we are entitled to be given to us. And we all agreed on these terms”, he said stating during the last excos meeting their discussion did not include endorsement of anybody.
He also said there was no request from the governor in that regard, stressing that instead “the governor requested for the case in court to be withdrawn. We told him there are some processes to be followed. The issue of withdrawing the case is subject to another negotiation.”
The state secretary also noted that it is not in the state executives’ position to endorse any aspirants, adding that the party governorship ticket is open to every qualified party member.
He said “We did not endorse anyone and we are not planning to. The party’s ticket is open to everyone in the party.
The secretary said the party’s criteria for selection of any candidate would be relied upon not the whims of an individual.
“The party has its own criteria on what they want from a candidate. If someone has performed well or is an achiever, it will speak for itself. Yahaya has been far away from us, since then he has not been properly directed.”
Those at the briefing include State Organizing Secretary, Alh. Isah Abubakar, Zonal Youth Leader, Hon. Noah Akwu, APC Bassa LGA chairman, Mallam Isiaka S. Ibrahim alongside stakeholders and governorship aspirants under the platform of the APC in Kogi state.