Paul Orude, Bauchi
The Forum of Bauchi State House of Assembly Aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given the national leadership of the party 72 hours to conduct elections or consensus in all the respective constituencies to Bauchi State House of Assembly.
The group made its position known in a communiqué issued during a press conference held at the Re-Insurance House, Bauchi, on Wednesday evening.
The communiqué was signed by Saidu Sulieman Darazo, Usman Mahmoud Kuletu and Muhammad Sanusi Ibrahim, the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Secretary of the Forum, respectively.
The group alleged that no primary election for the Bauchi State House of Assembly took place in any voting centre in the state on October 5, 2018.
Darazo, who was in company of 110 aggrieved aspirants of the APC, said they were deceived into believing that there was going to be a level playing ground for all party members who aspire for any elective office.
Presenting the communiqué, Darazo said: “We wish to state categorically our total rejection of the exercise that took place in Bauchi State in the name of “Primary Election”.
“Electoral materials were secretly distributed to selected loyalists of the party officials on Thursday night 4th October, 2018 without the knowledge or presence of aspirants of their agents.
“The so-called electoral officials dispersed into unknown locations where they had photocopies of the score sheets and conducted their own ‘election’ and entered the ‘results’ on the original sheets on the same fateful night.”
They alleged that on primary election day, party members who gathered to vote were disappointed as no official showed up in most of the centres.
They explained that at centres where officials showed up, they allegedly brought along photocopies of score sheets accompanied by security personnel and hoodlums who “deliberately instigated violence” thereby disrupting the exercise.
The Forum therefore demanded that the national leadership of the APC should “as a matter of urgency,” reject any list of contestants for Bauchi State House of Assembly submitted by the Electoral Committee, “as there no primary election conducted”, demanding for the immediate conduct of election or consensus within 72 hours.
The Forum also threatened to “take necessary” action should the leadership of the APC failed to honour their request, saying that, “APC was founded on the basis of fairness, justice and equity to all members: and “We believe the party leadership is just and fair and will act swiftly to ensure justice to all in order to forestall disintegration of the party.”