No fewer than 115 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who failed in the state House of Assembly primaries of the party are threatening to withdraw support for the party and Governor Jibrilla Bindow in the 2019 general elections.
One of the unsuccessful aspirants who spoke to our correspondent in confidence said they were considering the step following, ‘’the unprecedented injustice and impunity that prevailed before and after the choice of the party’s state assembly flag bearers across the state.”
The source who hails from the same local government area with the governor, alleged the governor colluded with serving members of the Assembly and party officials to ensure the serving members got automatic tickets, a development he described as antithetical to democratic norms.
He said the party sold to them nomination forms “at a whopping cost of N950,000” only to refuse to hold party primaries.
According to the politician, “135 of us including serving members were sold forms at a whopping N950,000 per head. We went through the rigorous processes of party primaries, including screenings, mobilising our supporters and delegates but one week to the primaries, we were summoned by party officials at Mubi where they told us point black that they were directed to endorse only sitting members, otherwise they stand the risk of losing their seats.
“That was how we were all rigged out of the election. Some of us invested more than N15million in the process only to be rigged out of the contest,” he said.
Another aggrieved aspirant, Yohanna Mayo, said the worst travesty meted to them was the failure of the party hierarchy to make any move to pacify and involve them in party affairs as directed by the national secretariat of the party.
“After the unilateral endorsement of the serving members, we thought the party hierarchy will become contrite and appeal to us to sheathe our swords even for the sake of winning elections, but that has not been done, leading to protests within the party.
“It was on the altar of such indignant protests that Governor Bindow convened a meeting with us at Government House Yola about three weeks ago.
“About 84 of us attended the meeting under the aegis of the United Aspirants Awareness Forum led by Hon Dayyabu Jada. The governor told us to exercise restraint and not defect out of the party and thereafter gave us a token of N5million.
“I find it extremely difficult to assimilate how people that spent hundreds of millions to buy nomination forms alone could be compensated with just N5million as if we are paupers. It is for these considerations that we unanimously consider withdrawing our support for Bindow and APC come 2019,” he said.
He said had proper election been conducted, they would have no qualms supporting the party with all their might, noting that “since APC is not my religion, I don’t think I’m under any compulsion to worship it.”
Contacted on the matter, the state commissioner of information, Ahmad Sajo, simply said, ‘’It was a party matter, the governor has no hand in conducting party primaries.’’
Ahmad Lawal, the organising secretary of the party, said measures were being put in place to reconcile with the aggrieved aspirants.
‘’Already, a committee was set up on the matter, so I don’t want to add salt to injury,’’ he said.