Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), has unleashed no fewer than 16 serving state governors as members of the party’s National Campaign Council to plot the fall of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.
Inaugurating the council at the national headquarters of the ruling party, the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, announced that the governors of Kaduna and Jigawa states, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Mohammed Abubakar Badaru,will serve as chairmen for Kogi and Bayelsa states respectively. Speaking during the event, Oshiomhole warned that though the poll is not war, the party is however ready for the antics of the PDP. To handle the Bayelsa election, the APC appointed Badaru of Jigawa as chairman, Simon Lalong, Plateau, Dullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano, Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina, Babagana Umara, Borno, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos, Dapo Abiodun, Ogun Adegboyega Oyetola, Osun and Godwin Obaseki, Edo states as committee members.
For Kogi poll, the ruling party appointed El-Rufai, as chairman, Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa, Abubakar Sani Bello, Niger, Abdullahi Abdulrasaq, Kwara, Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti, Mal Mala Buni, Yobe and Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe states as members.
Addressing them, Oshiomhole said: “We rushed to inaugurate this committee because of the flagoff of Bayelsa governorship election on Monday. We are ready for contestation and this time, the vote must count. This time, the PDP must learn how to conduct election.
“In Kogi state, Governor Yahaya Bello went through the learning curve and he will consolidate on his achievements. In Bayelsa, the name lion is already driving fears into Bayelsa PDP. The reaction of PDP and my good friend, Seriake Dickson, show that they are troubled. We take the two elections serious because we believe in election,” Oshiomhole said.
“The heart of the people will be turned to elect a man that will make a difference, that will demonstrate that in a genuine democracy, very ordinary people who connect with thier people, who understand and live with their people and share the joy, pain and aspirations of their people, even if they don’t have the history of a political dynasty can rise to become a governor and I believe that is the story of our candidates
“The reaction of PDP shows they are in trouble. my very good friend Dickson is in trouble. We take this two elections very seriously, because we believe in the power of the ballot, we believe that the issues should be contested in a peaceful environment and not by the power of gunshots which has been the tradition of the opposition and we know that people want a change.
“Let me use this opportunity to assure the opposition that we are ready for campaigns, it is not a fight, it is not a war. the only thing we will insist on is that the votes must count because Bayelsa is not ised to votes being counted. They have to be encouraged to understand that the votes will not only be casted in a free and fair atmosphere, it must not be through the power of the barrel of the Gun. The PDP must know that and learn new tactics in winning votes and not fight wars,” he said. Responding, Kano state governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje, who stood in for Jigawa state governor, said “it is a matter of democracy that all votes must count in the coming election in Bayelsa state.”
For Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-rufai, he assured that his team will not let the party down, adding that APC will win the election in Kogi with “a wide margin.” He noted that Kogi is different from Bayelsa saying his party will prosecute the election based on its records in the state.