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Crisis brews in Kaduna, Rivers, as El-Rufai, Abe reject APC primaries



Crisis brews in Kaduna, Rivers, as El-Rufai, Abe reject APC primaries

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may be heading into some serious crises in some of the states across the country including Kaduna and Rivers states.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Rivers State APC governorship aspirant, Senator Magnus Abe, have rejected the decisions of Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on primaries conducted in their states.

In Kaduna State, the decision of the APC to clear Senator Shehu Sani as the sole candidate of the party for Kaduna Central is the bone of contention.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai, avowed political enemy of Sani, is questioning the rational the NWC used in handing the senator automatic ticket.

He said on Friday that the concept of automatic ticket for candidates was strange to the constitution of the ruling party and to the principles of democracy.

The aggrieved governor told State House correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,

“Many contestants that have been screened by the committee were removed from the list unilaterally by some elements in the party. There are rumours that some people have been granted automatic tickets, but by yesterday (Thursday)when the representatives of the Progressive Governors Forum met with Mr. President and the national chairman, we thought this rumour of automatic ticket, which has no place in our constitution and any enlightened democracy, had been resolved.

“But up to the time I left Kaduna this morning (Friday morning) and came to see the President, we did not receive the list of those that will contest the legislative elections.

“On my way, I received a list of our state party structure but it seems to me there are still exclusions. As you know, exclusion is one of the many reasons elections are lost at the tribunal level. We are being careful. In Kaduna State, we do not practise imposition or force people to step down for anyone. We believe in elections and we like people to subject themselves to full democratic process.”

According to El-Rufai, President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on the matter is that he is a democrat and a product of elections and so will “never supported imposition and he has never asked anyone to grant anybody automatic tickets.”

The governor vowed that Sani must face delegates and convince them before he could return to Senate through an election.

“It is not me. I only have one vote as the governor of the state. It is up to the delegates in the Kaduna State APC to vote for Shehu Sani or vote for other candidates, but what democracy states is that every person should be given a chance to contest,” he said.

In Rivers, Senator Magnus Abe, who though emerged as a factional governorship aspirant in the state but failed to make the list of candidates released by the party, has vowed to approach the panel for issues emanating from the primaries to challenge his exclusion.

Tony Cole, the anointed of Transport Minister and former governor of Rivers, Rotimi Amaechi, who emerged as candidate of a parallel primary, made the list of APC governorship candidates for Rivers State.

But the senator, who currently represents Rivers South East at the Senate, told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday that he would never accept the list of governorship candidates released by APC’s NWC.

He said he it was injustice for the NWC to adopt an aspirant who came into the party recently as its candidate.

Meanwhile, in Delta State, former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan clinching the senatorial ticket for Delta South is in serious contention.

A senatorial aspirant, Chief Jonny Michael, said Oshiomhole and the NWC of the party must annul the primary that produced Uduaghan.

He told journalists in Abuja on Friday that the exercise was fraught with irregularities and that he was going to contest the result of the primary in court if the party leadership failed to address the injustice meted out to him and other candidates that participated in the exercise.

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He said, “My name and other aspirants were omitted from the list even though I was cleared by the screening committee headed by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.

“During the primary, there was no accreditation of delegates; they simply declared Uduaghan as a sole candidate. This is a disgrace to democracy. I am calling on the National Chairman of the party, Adam Oshiomhole, to do the right thing by cancelling the primary and order a fresh one. If the party continues like this, it will lose the general elections.”

These are just but few of protests and grievances being expressed by members of the party who participated in its primaries.

There are speculations that the party may be heading to serious crisis over these issues if not appropriately handled.


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