Guber Primaries: Tough Battles In Oyo, Sokoto, Rivers’ APC As Delegates Vote

1 month ago

No fewer than 44,045 delegates will on May 26 elect candidates in 28 states where governorship elections will take place next year.

The states, where the primaries will hold include Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Delta, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Benue, Plateau, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states.

However, findings by our correspondents showed that there would be stiff contests in Kano, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Niger and Benue where there were struggles for the control of the party’s structures.

On Wednesday, the ruling party, which earlier scheduled its governorship primary for Friday, shifted it to May 26.

Already ahead of the primary, there was violence in some chapters of the party on Wednesday over the election of delegates for the governorship primary.

In the guidelines contained in the governorship nomination form, the party mandates aspirants and their supporters “to accept the outcome of the primary and support whoever emerges as the APC candidate.”

The Chairman of the Kebbi State screening committee, Osita Okechukwu, in Abuja disclosed that 44,045 new delegates would elect the APC governorship candidates.
According to him, five delegates will be elected per ward in all of the 8,809 wards in the country for the governorship primary while three new delegates will emerge from each of the 774 local governments for the presidency.

He added, “Those five delegates per ward will go to the state and elect the governorship candidate. We are going to elect three delegates from each of the 774 local governments who will then elect the Presidential candidate.

In Rivers State, the crisis between a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and a former federal lawmaker, Senator Magnus Abe, heightened the tension in the party ahead of the primary.

Amaechi, Abe factions disagree over congress

Abe is contesting the APC governorship ticket with the Amaechi-backed aspirants, Tonye Cole and Ojukaye Amakiri.

Speaking on the governorship primary, the spokesman for the APC faction backed by Amaechi, Dr Chris Finebone, told The PUNCH that the group was ready for the shadow election.

“Yes, we are very ready for the governorship primary. You know we have concluded the congress. So, we are ready,” he stated.

But a former Chief of Staff of Rivers State Government House and ally of Magnus Abe, Chief Tony Okocha, said no congress was held on Wednesday.

He said ordinarily the delegates that would have emerged in the ward congresses on Wednesday and Thursday were the ones that should have voted in the governorship primary.

So, you can’t build something on nothing. As far as we are concerned today, no congress was held. And we are contesting that to the high heavens,” Okocha stated.

Amaechi, Abe supremacy battle results in gunshot, chaos

Earlier on Wednesday, heavily armed policemen dispersed the APC members loyal to Abe, who were protesting the alleged hijacking of the state House of Assembly aspirants’ screening and delegates election by Amaechi.

The Abe supporters, who gathered at the state party secretariat along Woji Road, GRA, Port Harcourt, alleged that the national committee members designated to conduct the screening were lodged in a hotel in the metropolis at the instance of Amaechi.

The situation worsened as they marched to the secretariat bearing placards with inscriptions such as, ‘APC Rivers where are our forms’, ‘2019 will repeat itself in Rivers again’ and ‘APC Rivers, no lesson learnt’, among others.

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