Senators David Umoru (Niger East), Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) and Mustapha Sani (Niger South) all failed in the their bid to secure the party ticket
Tony John, Minna
With less than three days to the release of the final list of various party candidates for the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), some APC aspirants in Niger State are calling for the cancellation of the entire primary elections in the state, describing the exercise as “a sham and stage-managed”.
The aspirants have also threatened to seek a different political platform if their grievances are not addressed by the party.
The conduct of the APC primaries for both national and state assembly in the state have being greeted with violent protests across the midwestern state, with some supporters taking their protest to the party headquarters in Abuja, accusing the party hierarchy of manipulating the process.
Three Niger APC lawmakers were the first to reject the outcome of the party primaries conducted across the three senatorial district of the state, describing the exercise as a sham and a disgrace to the party.
Senator David Umoru (Niger East), Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) and Senator Mustapha Sani (Niger South) all failed in the their bid to secure the party ticket following their defeat at the primaries.
The senators unanimously condemned the outcome of the primaries, saying the entire exercise was characterized by irregularities and manipulation by the party hierarchy in the state to favor some aspirants.
The Chairman, Senate committee on Judiciary and Human Rights, Senator David Umoru, rejecting the result of the primary in his senatorial district, said the exercise was a “sham and charade”.
Another group of aspirants for the state House of Assembly also rejected the outcome of the primary election, saying the October 6th poll did not reflect the principle of transparency and fair play of the APC administration.
The aspirants, in a letter of petition to the state party chairman, Engineer Jibrin Iman, and signed by 30 of the 62 contestants, alleged that the entire exercise was marred by violence, intimidation and various other threats.
They thereafter called for the cancellation of the exercise.
According to the aspirants, a particular instance was the violence and intimidation that characterized the conduct of the primary election in Chanchaga constituency, where they accused the party of manipulating the process in favor of the incumbent and the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Ahmed Marafa Guni.
They pointed out that, contrary to the agreed-upon election date of October 6th, the party decided to shift the exercise to 3:00 a.m. on October 7th without notifying other aspirants, saying that “apart from the local government party vice chairman with some commissioners and DGs that were there, no other election officials and aspirants or agents were present at the venue of the purported primary election.”
“It on these grounds that we wish to call for the cancellation of the purported primary elections”.
The aspirants added that “unless this is done, in our party as it stands, disunity and disaffection have being created. Internal democracy has being shattered, which undoubtedly will affect our success at the general elections.”