Logos of PDP, APC, Accord Party and APGA
As expected in political contests, the outcome of the just concluded primaries in the two dominant parties: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) has provoked rounds of protests from those disfavoured by the outcome of the exercise.
The protests which run across the states have been hinged on accusation of unfair practices during the exercise. In this report, Our Correspondents capture the complaints across board.
PDP Berates Senator Eze, Reaffirms Ugwuanyi as Enugu Guber Candidate
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State Wednesday dismissed the claim by Senator Ayogu Eze that he was the person elected as the party's governorship candidate instead of Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
In an official reaction to claims by Senator Eze to the effect that he remained the authentic candidate of the party in the state, the PDP described the claim as not only mischievous but a calculated attempt to mis-inform the people of the state.
The party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Okey Eze reaffirmed Ugwuanyi as its authentic gubernatorial candidate having emerged in a properly conducted primaries held at the officially designated venue, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium under the supervision of the party's Governorship Primary Election Panel from Abuja headed by King Asara Asara.
Also, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Ambassador Justina Eze and son of the late Chief C. C. Onoh, Dr. Josef Onoh berated Senator Eze for dismissing a well conducted primary election, which produced Ugwuanyi as a gathering of "unserious people".
While Ambassador Eze described the lawmaker's claims as uncultured, Onoh on his part said indeed, Senator Eze emerged as a candidate of Filbon hotels and not of PDP in Enugu state.
"All the statutory delegates of the Enugu State Chapter of the PDP, including Governor Sullivan Chime and his Deputy; the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; the State Chairman of the PDP and all state party officials; all Members of the National Assembly from Enugu State (except Senator Ayogu Eze); all members of the Enugu State House of Assembly (including the Speaker and gubernatorial aspirant, Hon. Eugene Odo); all Local Government Council Chairmen and Local Government party Chairmen; Board of Trustee members, including the former National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, amongst others were all present and voted at the primary held at the stadium, along with the elected delegates.
Defeated Aspirants Divided over Action Plan in Plateau
Aspirants who lost out in the recent gubernatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, are currently divided over the next line of action to take.
The aspirants had earlier attempted to form an alliance against their colleague, who was endorsed by Governor Jonah Jang, but the plan failed.
But after their defeat, one of the aspirants, Mr. Kemi Nicholas Nshem had quickly gone to pledge solidarity and support to the winner of the primary election, Senator Gyang Pwajok. Others, like the Deputy Governor of the state Ignatius Longjan, are quiet and probably yet to decide on the next line of action.
Yet another group of aspirants has gone ahead to petition the Election Appeal Panel and the National Secretariat of the party calling for the cancellation of the election.
Seven of the 16 had addressed the press, saying they had petitioned the National Secretariat of the party, rejecting and calling for outright cancellation of the primaries, noting that the process was flawed and did not conform to the electoral law.
But in a swift response, Plateau Youth Patriotic Front, in a press statement signed by Hon. Leo Sage Demshak said, “We call on the National body of the PDP to appeal to good conscience and throw the said petition to where it belongs- the dust bin”, saying these people have never determined the success of the party in the state.
Demshak said, “Contrary to what transpired in all the other states, the electoral panel chairman conceded to their pressure and agreed that the local government labels on the ballot boxes be removed; only three ballot boxes were used as against the initial arrangement of 17 for each local government; the delegates’ list got from the accreditation of delegates was used for voting, and the venue had enough lighting to host any event.”
Hashidu Emerges Accord Party Guber Candidate in Gombe
Former Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Abuakar Ibrahim Hashidu yesterday emerged as the consensus governorship candidate of the Accord Party, with a promise to provide massive recruitment, empowerment and better life if elected to power in the state at the 2015 general elections.
The governorship candidate of the party, who made the promise in Gombe briefly after his emergence as the consensus candidate of the party in the primaries held at their secretariat said: “The youths are the leaders of tomorrow. Neglecting them today means putting tomorrow’s gains on the line.”
He condemned the high level of unemployment among the youths and the way politicians are taking undue advantage of them, saying his party would open the floodgate of employments as the number of pensioners is even tending to be higher than those presently in service.
He said the issue of pensioners would equally be treated preferentially because, “these are people that have served their fatherland. They should be treated as heroes and not with disrespect."
He said the target before them is trying to overturn the present administration that is making life difficult for Gombe people by leaving them in poverty.
He said his government was poised to make life easy for the electorate through development and enhancement of commercial activities as it were in his days as governor.
Hashidu left office 11 years ago and becomes the second former governor seeking re-election on the platform of the party; the other being former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja.
Other aspirants who emerged as candidates are Hamma Shehu Dukku for Dukku/Nafada Federal constituency, Sani Musa Gombe and Malami Hashidu for Dukku North and South in the state House of Assembly.
Minority Leader, Six Others Seek Cancellation of Bauchi APC Primary Election
The Minority Leader of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Baba Abubakar Suleiman in collaboration with six other defeated aspirants in the just concluded All Progressives Congress (APC), Katagum Federal constituency Primary election has appealed to the national leadership of the party to cancel the election and order a fresh election in to the party.
Suleiman stated this while speaking with newsmen in Bauchi,
He alleged that, “we observed that the elections was characterised with rigging, violation of electoral laws, conspiracy, threats , intimidation, use of money and other illegal and corrupt practices during the election.”
The Minority Leader said together with other defeated aspirants Aliyu Abdullahi Mahmud,Mohammed Ghali Abdullahi, Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa, Awwalu Dahiru Saleh, MD Nuru and Kabiru Mohammed Baba had submitted their joint petition against the conduct of the Primary election to the election Appeal Panel set up by the National Headquarters of the party.
He alleged that the aspirants observed that in the process of casting their votes delegates were manipulated and compelled to vote for a particular candidate and they recorded shortage of ballot papers as five delegates could not cast their votes due to lack of ballot papers and called for the cancellation of the election.
Protests Trail Senator Otu’s Defeat in Cross River
Rounds of protest have continued to trail the defeat suffered by the senator representing Cross River South senatorial district, Prince Bassey Otu.
Unlike Tuesday evening when his supporters protested peacefully in the streets of Calabar, yesterday, politicians who are his loyalists protested verbally by condemning outright, the outcome of the primary, which saw the Chairman of Cross River State Water Board, Chief Gershom Bassey, triumphing over the senator.
Addressing supporters of Otu, a woman leader, who spoke on behalf of Women Awake in Cross River State, Mrs Bassey Henshaw said: “We want Prince, Our Hope, father and helper”. The PDP should explain how they came about the fake delegates; Prince Otu is husband to the widows, father to the fatherless, a man devoid of tribalism in service delivery. Without Prince Otu, there will be no Senator in the Cross River South for PDP.”
Also speaking, a frontline youth leader and a PDP member, Mr Ene Inyang expressed dissatisfaction with the process, saying most of those who voted were not genuine delegates.
“We are not satisfied with the process leading to the conduct of the primary in the Southern Cross River State, for it was not transparent enough as the government cornered everything, they used security apparatus to intimidate delegates. Delegates’ lists were changed, those they suspected will not vote for the anointed were dropped at the venue,” he said.
On his part, the National President of Bakassi Students Worldwide, Nkese Ita, predicted that PDP will lose the 2015 elections in Cross River South if it opts to field the chairman of the Water Board, whom she described as an unpopular candidate.
“How can the declared winner for instance not able to celebrate victory even at the venue but instead carried the ‘looser’ shoulder high out of the venue”, the student leader wondered
“If they say they do not want Prince Otu in PDP, whichever party he goes to, we will sink or swim with him”, the supporters chorused.”
Traffic on the busy access Murtala Muhammed Highway in Calabar came to a standstill Tuesday evening following peaceful protest by teeming supporters of Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu, disputing what they considered as a purported defeat of the sitting Senator.
The protesters had flagged off the demonstration from the venue of the ill-tempered senatorial primary election, chanting pro-Otu slogans and lampooning the state governor and the government for masterminding what they considered as the defeat of a popular candidate by adopting ‘back hand’ tactics, coercing of voters and intimidation by security agents.
They carried placards with inscriptions like: “We will resist any attempt to foist an unpopular candidate on us”, “PDP stands to lose the election in the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River if it does not retrace its steps.” “We call on the national secretariat of the party to cancel the exercise and re-conduct it properly.”
However, the state chapter of the party has stated that its recently concluded primaries in the state was free, fair, transparent and devoid of intimidation.
A statement signed by the state secretary of the party, Hon. Godwin Etta, said claims by some aspirants, who lost the various primaries that the processes were not fair, was not true.
"Everybody in the state witnessed what happened. The exercise in the state was one of the freest and fairest in the country. Claims of intimidation are untrue.
22 Akwa Ibom Guber Aspirants Threaten to Defect to Opposition Parties
Twenty-two aggrieved Akwa Ibom State governorship aspirants have threatened to defect to opposition parties, citing what they described as underhand dealings in the primaries that led to the emergence of Udom Emmanuel as governorship candidate.
The aspirants, who stormed the Abuja national secretariat of the PDP Tuesday night, accused the state governor, Godswill Akpabio of manipulating the process and shutting them out of the race.
After waiting in vain for several hours to table their complaints before the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu, the aspirants distributed copies of their petition to journalists.
In the petition jointly signed by the aspirants and read by one of them, Ambassador Assam Assam, they alleged among others, that the venue and authentic list of delegates used in the said primary election were changed at the last minute.
The petition stated: "Despite the plethora of lists, there is no accreditation of delegates by your electoral panel to certify the individuals who are being trafficked in heavily guarded buses to venue of the congress from Government House, Uyo.
"It should also be noted that all the purported delegates from the entire state were invited to Government House where they were addressed, threatened, intimidated and induced with the sum of one million naira each to ensure compliance, by voting for the governor's preferred candidate, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
"The authenticity of the delegates list being the condition precedent to a validly conducted governorship primaries, we shall therefore not consent to the legitimisation of the charade that this exercise is.
"We feel it is in the best interest of the party and the state to resolve this matter urgently and conclusively too. We insist on the cancellation of that fraudulent exercise and conduct of fresh primaries in the state".
Ndukwe Promises Selfless Service
Former Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, who emerged as the Anambra South senatorial primaries under the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has pledged to render self-less service if elected in the February, 2015 senatorial election.
In a press statement by his media managers, the former NCC boss promised to complement the effort of his state governor, Chief Willie Obiano in the infrastructural development of the state, particularly Anambra South, which currently lacks federal presence.
Besides his desire to attract democracy dividends to his senatorial zone, Ndukwe has given indication of his readiness to join forces with other progressives in the Senate if elected, to reposition Nigeria’s technological pursuit, not only in the telecoms sector where he is an expert, but other spheres of the economy.
According to him, Nigeria as a developing nation must wake up to strategically reposition herself scientifically and technologically so as to take a pride of place in the global race for supremacy.
Logos of PDP, APC, Accord Party and APGA