Trouble brews in Kogi APC as governorship aspirants’ gang-up against Bello


All is not well with the All Progressive Congress (APC) as 20 governorship aspirants have vowed to work against Governor Yahaya Bello if the party insists in using the indirect primaries to elect its candidate for the November 16 governorship election.

The National Working Committee (NWC) had recently adopted the indirect primaries to elect the party’s flag bearer as proposed by stakeholders of the party.

However, 20 aspirants of the party under the aegis of APC Kogi Stakeholders forum led by Senator Alex Kadiri have vowed to stop the re-election bid of Bello if the party does not adopt the direct primaries.

The aspirants in a protest visit to the national secretariat of the party appealed to the national leadership to jettison the indirect primaries and adopt the direct primaries to avoid the Zamfara situation in Kogi State.

Kadiri who addressed the press on behalf of the aspirants said as stakeholders in the party they would not fold their hands and allow the APC to self-destruct by presenting Bello as its candidate in the November election.

“we write in respect of the outcome of the meeting of the NWC of our great party, the APC, which reportedly met on Friday, July 5, 2019, and adopted an indirect primary election in picking a governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019, governorship election in Kogi State.

“At an emergency meeting of all the governorship aspirants in Kogi State held on Sunday, July 7, 2019, we reviewed the decision of the NWC viz-a-viz our aspiration and resolved as follows: That the planned adoption of the Indirect Party Primary is inherent with serious negative consequences for the fortune of the party in Kogi State.

“We regret to observe that such a decision was taken without adequate consultation with critical stakeholders of the party in the state especially the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party and other contending groups in the polarised structure of the party in the state.

“The decision to adopt an Indirect Primary by the National Working Committee is fraught with severe implications. First, contrary to the information given to the National Working Committee, there are suits pending in an Abuja court seeking to determine the authentic executive of the party in the state. As a matter of fact, at the last hearing, the suit was adjourned till October 2, 2019.

“Second, arising from the pendency of the various suits to determine the legitimate party executive council in the state, the use of any factional delegate list may amount to an exercise in futility. And lastly, we may have unconsciously set a booby-trap for our party and the stage for the replay of the unfortunate Zamfara scenario.

“We observe that as a party committed to the enthronement of popular democracy, the resort to an indirect primary in the Kogi State chapter of the APC amounts to a muzzling of the wish of the generality of our party members, a victory for merchandised political culture and deference to Governor Yahaya Bello’s wish to be the judge in his own case.

“It is on record that Bello’s factional party executive council members, which he is angling as delegates for the indirect primary are peopled by his political appointees and loyalists who are on the payroll of the state government. It is also instructive to note that nearly all the 21 local governments’ party chairmen are Governor 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 act of injustice and trust betrayed.