Paul Orude, Bauchi
A faction of the All Progressives Party (APC) in Bauchi State loyal to House Speaker Yakubu Dogara has warned the chairman of the Ward and Local Government Congress Committee, Dr Tony Macfoy, to abide by the guidelines of the party during the conduct of the ward congress in the state.
The warning was contained in a petition letter addressed to the state chairman of the APC, Alhaji Uba Ahmed Nana, dated May 4, 2018 made available to journalists by a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly representing Lere/Bula Constituency, Mohammed Aminu Tukur.
The state lawmaker disclosed that Ahmed Nana issued a directive that only forms that come through the party office in the state would be valid for the ward election contrary to the national position.
Aminu stressed that the position of the APC Chairman contradicted the National office that “forms are given to state committees on the directives of the national leadership of the party to be sold to candidates/aspirants who may be denied such forms on the instructions of some sitting governors as applied to Bauchi State.”
The letter further stated that:
“In view of the above, you are hereby requested to allow for free flow of democratic principles without being biased,” warning that “Any breach of peace and security in this regard, you would be held responsible.”
In the same vein, Senator Nazif Suleiman (Bauchi North) expressed anger over the delay in providing materials for the exercise, alleging that there was a ploy by Governor Mohammed Abubakar to deny candidates who are not loyal to him from contesting.
“Everybody is geared towards the elections. We are fully ready. We paid about N13 million for tellers for purchase of the forms but to our greatest surprise we haven’t got the forms and it is surprising that we look for the committee that is charged with conducting the election and they are yet to be found,” Suleiman complained.
“The last meeting they had was with the governor at Government House. The meeting was supposed to be held at the party office, but to our greatest surprise there was no meeting at the party secretariat.
“We were shocked that the chairman of the ward/local government congress committee (Dr Tony Macfoy) was praising the Governor instead of telling us how the election was going to hold. He left his responsibility to say that the election would be controlled. I have been in politics for 26 years and have not heard of the word ‘controlled election’. We have paid for the forms and we believe that the forms should be given to those that will contest and up till this moment we haven’t got them and our supporters and executives who we bought these forms for do not have these (nomination) forms nomination,” he said.
Senator Gamawa alleged that the Macfoy-led committee came with two forms – one for the coordinators of the Governor and the other to “whom they wanted to give to. We thought it was going to be an all-inclusive election, and the people of Bauchi are waiting. But unfortunately only one group has forms that belong to the Government House.”
The concerned senator said that the group had to call APC National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun who assured them that “If forms are not given to those who purchased them, then the elections stands nullified.”
Reacting to the allegation of siding with one group loyal to the State governor, Macfoy stated that it was untrue, maintaining that there are no factions in the APC.
“Don’t bring [up] that word ‘group’,” he said.
“There is no division in the APC. We are one family. There are family intrigues and politics but does that mean there is a faction?”
Making assurances that the committee would be fair, Macfoy said that they party would abide by the guidelines in the conduct of the state ward congress.
On the delay in mobilising materials for the exercise in the 20 local government areas to cover the 212 wards in the state, Macfoy said it was due to their late arrival to the State on Friday, assuring that materials have been deployed for the conduct of the exercise, adding that it would hold on the stated date.
In the state ward elections, 27 positions are being contested in each of Bauchi’s 212 wards, bringing the total of positions to 5,724