By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Some of the aspirants who participated in last Friday’s All Progressives Congress governorship primary in Kogi where the former Auditor General for Local Governments in Kogi, Ahmed Usman Ododo, was declared winner have rejected the outcome of the process.
The secretary of the Kogi State APC Primary Election Committee, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, on behalf of the chairman of the panel, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, had announced Ahmed Usman Ododo as the APC standard bearer for the election fixed for November.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, four of the aspirants dismissed the process that produced Ododo as a “sham”.
The aspirants that rejected the results included, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Prince Shuaibu Audu, Prof. Stephen Oseni and a member of the APC National Working Committee, Yakubu Ajaka.
The Senator representing Kogi West said no election took place as he maintained that the team sent to conduct the direct primary and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) were nowhere to be found.
He appealed to the APC NWC to disregard the outcome.
He said: “It was scheduled for yesterday (Friday) The election was supposed to be concluded by 2 pm. Results were prepared even before the commencement of voting.
“This is the worst form of rigging, it was unprecedented. There was no election. For somebody to have audacity to write results, we are saying the INEC should be prepared to tell Nigerians if election was conducted.
“None of the officials of INEC and the panel led by Zamfara state governor came out
We are aware that Governor Matawalle wasn’t happy with the sham and that was why he left.
“There is a guideline that in the absence of the Chairman, that secretary should not announce the result. What we had was allocation of votes. The purported winner is the Auditor General of Kogi.
“We have no problem with the Governor but the level of his involvement. There was no election at all.
“It was supposed to be a direct primary, people were mobilised but there was no election.”
Adeyemi who admitted that aggrieved aspirants organised a parallel Congress was however silent on the winner.
“Some of us have to organise a parallel Congress.
“If the APC refuses to do what is right, it will be difficult for people to vote for us in Kogi. What happened was a betrayal of democracy. People were not allowed to vote, results were written.
“I want to call on the leadership of the party to avoid the collapse of the party. The tenets of democracy is one man, one vote.”
Audu also spoke in same vein as he urged the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to prevail on the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led NWC not to submit Honourable Ododo’s name to INEC.
“I was at my Polling Unit, I waited till 6pm, no election materials, no INEC officials .It was a sham of a process, the election did not hold. I will like to appeal to the NWC to take a look at the sham that happened on April 14. I will like to call on the President elect and Vice President to take a look at it. It was a sham of a process and we don’t want it to stand.”
Another aspirant, Honourable Ajaka accused the team that conducted the process of betrayal of trust.
He told newsmen that the APC NWC of which he is a member would not allow ratifying the outcome of the Kogi primary.
“The people who perpetrated this have no character, I am sure that the NWC won’t allow it to happen. The people know their leaders, they know who they want. By next week, the leadership of the party will take a decision.
“The NWC will meet, they can’t present a name without ratification of the NWC. We are standing on justice. We aren’t desperate to be Governor but we are desperate for our party to win.”
The aggrieved aspirants also gave reasons why they were yet to present petitions before the appeal panel set up by the party’s national leadership.
“We have resolved not to petition the appeal committee but the NWC. We learnt they are trying to attack us if we approach the appeal panel. So, we have resolved to avoid going there.”
Asked if they will go to Court, Adeyemi said “it should not be ruled out, but we believe that members of the NWC are men of integrity. There was no election and the sham won’t be allowed to stand”.