BY GLORIA USMAN, ABUJA – The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi West senatorial district may be heading for a show down over what a “The APC Vanguard” in the zone described as the unacceptable dictatorial tendencies and impunity of Governor Yahaya Bello in dictating who should contest which elective position in the state.
The group said if the ugly development is allowed to go unchecked, it would not only spell doom for th ruling party but has the potential and capability depriving the APC of victory in 2019.
The group specifically accused Governor Bello of having perfected plots to arbitrarily foist an unpopular aspirant, Senator Smart Adeyemi on dedicated and faithful members of the APC that have worked all these years for the party warning that if the governor is not called to order by the national leadership of the party, it should be prepared to loose the Kogi West senatorial district woefully.
In a strongly worded letter dated 19th September 19, 2018 which was addressed to the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole by the Convener of the group, Comrade Ayo Alonge said that in spite of the plea and insistence of the majority of party faithful for “a level playing ground for all aspirants predicated on equity and fairness in a free, transparent and credible primary election that will produce the party’s candidate for the Senate”, Governor Bello is insisting on imposing Senator Adeyemi on the party.
In the letter titled; “Lack of Fairness, Equity and Transparency, Panacea for Disastrous Electoral Outing For APC In Kogi West,” the group said the petition is a reminder to another letter written by the same group on September 12, 2019 to the national Chairman of the party.
The group further said that part of the plot to impose Adeyemi on APC faithful in the zone include tilting the congresses in his favour, stressing that the congresses of the APC that produced delegates for the indirect primaries were fundamentally flawed and compromised as names were merely written, compiled and affirmed by Governor Bello’s appointees.
The group also said; “The Kogi state APC chairman accompanied by party chairmen of seven local government areas in Kogi West, the Speaker of the State Assembly and the State Security Adviser purchased the nomination and expression of interest forms and delivered to Senator Smart Adeyemi at his Maitama residence.
“In flagrant abuse of party guidelines, the forms were submitted on Monday 17, 2018 when submission closed officially on Wednesday, 12th September 2018.”
The group accused Governor Bello of having contracted the printing of fake ballot papers for the primaries adding that it has it on good authority that plans have been perfected to get some party officials from the national headquarters to divert authentic ballot papers to Kogi State Government House in order to manipulate the process.
The group also alleged that the state government has purchased forms for some aspirants in Yagba Federal Constituency in order to break their ranks through divide and rule tactics.
In this wise, the Kogi West APC Vanguard said that majority of party members protested the undemocratic endorsement of Senator Adeyemi by Bello which runs contrary to the existing rotation arrangement in the zone.
The Vanguard reminded the APC national chairman that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the zone in 2015 when it imposed the same Senator Adeyemi on the people.
The group said; “The futile bid created a lot of confusion in an arrangement that is still with us.
Coercion, intimidation and harassment is now the order of the day all in a desperate bid to manipulate the process to skew the primaries in favour of an aspirant.”
Accordingly, the petitioners appealed to the national leadership of the party to conduct direct primaries saying that it will level the present undulating playing ground already contrived by Bello.
“We called for the deployment of persons of proven integrity to conduct the party primaries in Kogi West and we equally call for the utilisation of numbered ballot papers with security features to expose and render unusable the already printed fake ballot papers contracted to be used by Governor Bello,” the APC Youth Vanguard said.