Eight governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi state have alleged that the party’s primary election is compromised.
The aspirants were among the 12 persons disqualified by the party’s screening committee in the state.
The eight aspirants are Hadiza Ibrahim, Sani Abdullahi, Yakubu Mohammed, Mohammed Audu, Patrick Akpa, Jubrin Usman, Babatunde Irukera, and Seidu Onailo.
On Monday, the committee cleared four aspirants including Yahaya Bello, incumbent governor of the state, ahead of the party’s primary elections.
Other candidates cleared to contest the primary election are Abubakar Bashir, Ekele Blessing and Hassan Abdullahi.
In a joint press conference in Abuja, Irukera, who spoke on behalf of the aspirants, alleged that the screening was flawed with the intention of throwing up the incumbent governor as the party flag-bearer.
“There will certainly be unintended consequence because it is difficult to tell the people not to enforce their rights. There are people out there who have aggregated their choice in us, to eliminate those choices from those people is grievous,” he said.
Irukera alleged that despite showing up at the appointed venue for the appeals, the panel kept them waiting for several hours without attending to them.
He said though leaving the party is not a option, the aspirants will challenge the party’s decision in court.
“The handling of the process is wrong. We lost everything in Zamfara as a result of procedural error. We should toe the path of caution and prudence to avoid catastrophic losses,” he said.
“Our primary might be a one horse race. We love our people, we love our people and we want to serve.
“My strict interpretation of cleared or not cleared means we are still on the highway.
“In the absence of that we are determined to challenge the party in court. Leaving the APC isn’t an option. I don’t have intention of going anywhere else, because there is no credible alternative.
“The August primary is compromised. Even if the clearance comes tomorrow morning, the momentum is lost. Every aspirant, every delegate is a potential plaintiff, and there is no way people won’t seek redress.
“The action might not be from any of the aspirants but party delegates. The option open to APC is to reverse itself. It shouldn’t narrow the process by disenfranchising people”
The Kogi governorship election has been scheduled for November 16.