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Benue: Ex-minister, Gemade, others reject APC’s guber primaries

At least, four governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Monday rejected the outcome of the party’s…

At least, four governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Monday rejected the outcome of the party’s two-day primary election.

Daily Trust reports that the APC governorship primary election which was held between May, 27th and 28th across the state through a direct mode of the exercise produced a Catholic priest, Reverend Father, Hyacinth Alia, as the winner.

But, the priest’s emergence had however generated controversy among other contestants, some of whom have rejected the results of the election.

Those who rejected the outcome of the exercise on Monday appeared before the APC Governorship Primaries Appeals Panel sitting at the party’s State Secretariat in Makurdi, with their petitions tendered before the panel.

Among the petitioners are; a former national chairman of PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade; ex-minister, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN); a university don, Prof Terhemba Shija; and business mogul, Dr Mathias Byuan. They all challenged the process stating that it is an aberration and insisted the right thing should be done.

While Gemade, Aondoakaa and Shija averred that the primaries did not hold and called for outright cancellation of what they described as a “sham and charade,” Byuan asked the panel to declare him as the guber flag bearer of the APC in the state, being the rightful winner of the primaries.

Gemade on his part told the panel, “We are all members of this party and we really want it to become a winning party, not just an opposition party and the only way it may become a winning party here is if things are done properly and there is still a window to do things properly now that INEC has extended the time to June, 6th and 7th.”

On his part, Aondoakaa, called for justice, emphasising that there should be free, fair and transparent APC primaries, just as he posited that they have been funding the party and cannot be treated shabbily.

He argued, “When it was time to fund the party, leader (Senator George Akume) asked I, Gemade and Byuan to do so. We taxed ourselves to fund the Ward, Local Government and State Congresses.

“Then from nowhere, someone who wasn’t even part of the process was smuggled in and they went and manufactured votes and gave it to him.

“We feel humiliated and cheated. We demand justice. Let the right thing be done. Let there be free, fair and transparent primaries in APC in Benue State.

“If the so-called person was so popular, why didn’t they ask him to bring the money to fund the processes instead of asking us to do so?

“I am a Catholic but can they hold an election in a place like Kano or Zamfara and then go and bring an Imam from nowhere to come and hijack the process? That can never happen and we will not accept it here too.”

Shija however submitted, “This primary election is a sham; it is a charade, it is an aberration and should not be allowed to stand.”

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Appeals Panel, Princess Uzoama Onyema, after listening to the aggrieved aspirants, noted that the APC state leadership failed in their duties.

“Benue APC Publicity Secretary, take this message to your Chairman, you people have failed us. Ladies and gentlemen, we have come to a final conclusion. I wish you all that you wish yourselves. If you wish to do injustice, you will fail, if you wish to do good, you do good. It is up to you whether you want to win this state or you want to lose it.

“We have come, we have seen, we have heard and we will deliver our bombshell according to justice with the fear of God,” Onyema concluded.