A group of politicians in Borno State chapter of the All Progressives Congress on Thursday threatened a show down should the state governor, Kashim Shettima, or the party’s leadership impose a candidate on them in the coming bye-election for the vacant Borno Central Senatorial District.
The group wants all contenders for the senatorial seat that became vacant following the death of APC Senator-elect, Ahmed Zanna, last month to be given a chance to test their popularity at a primary.
Though the Independent National Electoral Commission has not fixed a date for the bye-election, some members of the APC in the state, especially those interested in the senatorial position, have begun to sense that the state party’s chairman, Ali Dalori, will be endorsed for the position and will use his office to garner support for himself and edge out others without really conducting a primary.
There are also rumours that Mr. Shettima is mobilizing the delegates and other party chieftains to accept Adamu Zaufanjimba, a top Zenith Banker, as the sole candidate.
Based on these presumptions, some groups with interest in who clinches the party’s ticket for the senatorial bye-election, recently met in Maiduguri, the Borno Capital city, and issued a statement warning both the governor and the APC party chairman not to attempt imposing an anointed candidate on the party.
The group issued a statement calling for adherence to the tenets of internal democracy or risk a repeat of the National Assembly leadership showdown in the state.
The statement which was signed by two APC chieftains, Usman Ali and Grema Modu, on behalf of others read “We call on our national leaders to sustain the internal democracy for which the party is known for, by ensuring level playing ground to all aspirants in the party, in the upcoming Borno Central Senatorial primary election.
“We call on our state party leader, His Excellency Governor Kashim Shettima to avoid imposition of any aspirant on party members. We have all seen the level of damage imposition can do in the just concluded leadership elections of the National Assembly. We do not want to see the opposition in the state to be emboldened as a result of imposition or partiality in our party.
“We therefore urge Governor Kashim Shettima to extend equal support to all candidates and to make sure the party conducts free, fair and credible primary election.”
“An intending aspirant for the Borno Central Senatorial seat who is a highly placed party executive in the state wants to use his position to subdue honorable members of the state house of assembly and local government party chairmen to endorse him and use their endorsements as criteria for his emergence as a sole candidate,” they said.
Apart from Governor Shettima’s banker candidate and the party chairman, other contenders include: Babakura Shettima, the former state leader of defunct ANPP and immediate past 2015 governorship campaign coordinator of Governor Shettima and former Senator Kaka Yale.
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