More results have emerged from the governorship primary elections conducted across the country by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2023 general elections.
This is just as a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormen Alia, has been declared winner of the 2022 Benue State APC gubernatorial primary election.
Alia emerged the candidate of the party through the direct mode of primary elections. He contested with twelve other aspirants and garnered 526,807 votes, defeating his closest rival, Dr. Matthias Byuan, who got 133,816 votes.
The Chairman of the Benue state 2022 Governorship Primary Election Committee, Dr. Peter Ojie, made the declaration at the collation centre of the primaries at State secretariat of the party in the State.
Alia, as flag-bearer of the opposition APC, will confront the incumbent Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Titus Uba, who has emerged as the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic party (PDP) for the 2o22 general election in the state.
In Plateau state, six governorship aspirants who staged a walkout during the primary election of the party have asked the national Secretariat of the party to cancel the exercise.
They claim the primary election was done in flagrant abuse of the constitution of the ruling party. The group who address a press conference in Jos Saturday afternoon, alleged that the exercise was more of government imposition of candidate.
Secretary of the group, Dr. Danyaro Sarpiya, who was among the protesting aspirants, read the text of the conference. Sarpiya noted that, “As aspirants, we don’t know how the delegates used at the primary election were assembled as there was no proper congress at the ward level. Contrary to article 28 of the guidelines, local government chairmen and government appointees who has no business at the venue of the congress were allowed entrance to guide the delegates to vote government annointed candidate, Dr Nentawe Yilwada.” The group therefore asked the national Secretariat of APC to declare that the gubernortorial primary that returned Nentawe Yilwada is not in consonance with APC guidelines.
Similarly, former Secretary of the defunct Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee ( CECPC) of the ruling APCand governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, has faulted the gubernatorial primary election held in the state. He described it as a sham. He expressed shock at the reports making a round of the purported conclusion of the governorship primary, when the election was postponed to hold the following day.
Recounting what transpired on the day of the shadow election, Akpanudoedehe said that members of the party’s Election Committee flew into the state from Abuja, and en route to Uyo town, where they were joined by party members who sought to escort them to Sheer-Grace Arena, the scheduled venue of the event. He said that he was later informed by his aides of a stalemate in Uyo between the Committee members and party faithful who, according to later findings, wanted to prevent the Committee and materials from being diverted to the wrong venue.
Describing the development as unacceptable, the governorship hopeful wondered how illegality could be taken to represent the conduct of a democratic process supposed to be free, fair and lawful. He also wondered how such brazen criminality, godlessness, and show of absolute disregard for the laws which govern the party and the conduct of its democratic processes, could be reported as proper and lawful.
Akpanudoedehe wondered “how credible leaders could ever be produced in any society which employs the vehicles of blackmail, insensitivity, illegality and extremely wicked desperation and depravity, to foist political representatives on a people. “I wish by this statement also, to assure the public of my decision to resort to appeals at the highest levels to every authority directly or remotely invested with the power to investigate the sham which has occurred, with a view to full redress. I wish by this statement to intimate the public with the facts of what transpired on May 26th, 2022, and which dubious social media reports acknowledge as the exercise of an acceptable democratic process.”
Also, a former Attorney General of the Federation AGF, and Minister of Justice, Chief Mike Aondoakaa, has described as “Kangaroo dance” the governorship primary election conducted in Benue state by the APC. In a petition written to the National Chairman of the party by the Director General of Aondoakaa Gubernatorial Campaigh Organisation , Barr. Dominic Nyam, the former Attorney General of the federation complained that the conducts of the APC governorship primaries in Benue state did not complied with Electoral act and APC guidelines.
“It is rumoured that instead of the planned indirect primary based on delegate election, some elements of the Party claim that they are conducting Direct Primaries. If this rumoured illegality is found to be true, it portends grave danger for our Party as it would have failed to give equal opportunity to aspirants including my principal to be voted for by members of our Party as envisaged under the indirect primary communicated to our principal.
“This would also fail to comply with extant laws and regulations in the conduct of primaries with the rumoured scenario, our party risks not presenting a governorship candidate for the 2023 general election. To this effect therefore, it has become imperative for us to dissociate ourselves, including my principal/governorship aspirant Chief Michael K. Aondoakaa, SAN from this alleged kangaroo dance by the various actors of the Party in Benue State in clear violation of extant regulations guiding the conduct of this primary election,” Nyam said.
But the Benue State Secretary of the APC, Hon James Ornguga told The Nation that the governorship primary election in Benue is valid as it was conducted in compliance with INEC and APC guidelines. Hon.Ornguga said APC gave INEC sufficient notice as to the mode of primaries to be adopted. He cautioned party members to guide against any act that would drag the party unto unnecessary controversy. – The Nation.