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Disquiet in FCT APC over National Assembly candidates

An uneasy calm has enveloped the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as it  has failed to present candidates…

An uneasy calm has enveloped the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as it  has failed to present candidates for the National Assembly positions in the forthcoming 2019 elections.

Aso Chronicle gathered that the scheduled Friday and Saturday primary elections for the FCT Senate and House of Representatives for Abuja South and AMAC/Bwari constituencies could not hold according to laid down procedures.

The direct primary election mode which the national secretariat of the party hoisted on the FCT chapter created confusion as the aspirants and stakeholders had already agreed to go for indirect primaries.

Thus aspirants’ supporters had been pointing accusing fingers at the national leaders of the party, saying the process was compromised deliberately to favour certain anointed candidates.

They alleged that though there was no election across 80 percent of the political wards, some interest groups allocated figures to their preferred aspirants without any proper counting of party members.

Prior to the conduct of the direct primaries, the party stakeholders and aspirants had held series of meetings where 18 out of 20 aspirants for the Senate seat were said to have unanimously resolved to go for indirect primary.

But the national working committee of the APC under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was alleged to have insisted on direct primary and directed the electoral officials to conduct same.

Among the aspirants in the race for the FCT Senate seat were, Senator Usman Jibrin Wowo, Senator Hajiya Khairat Gwadabe, Barr. Daniel Hassan Bwala, Alhaji Zakari Angulu Dobi, Alhaji Musa Tanko Abari, Hajiya Ireti Babagana Kingibe, Dr. Aboki Zhawa and Zaphaniya Jisalo

Aspirants for the House of Representatives for Abuja South were Joseph K. Shazhin, Alhaji Musa Yahaya Muhammad and Danladi Etsu Zhin; and Abuja North Hassan Abubakar Adamu, Mrs. Amanda Pam and Mohammed Hassan.

On Wednesday, supporters of the aspirants staged a peaceful protest at the party’s national secretariat over what they alleged was ‘imposition’ of voting pattern on them by the national working committee (NWC).

Addressing journalists at the party’s secretariat, leader of the protesters, Murtala Karish, said they were unhappy with the position of the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

He said: “FCT APC stakeholders and the members had since settled for indirect election to elect their candidates, so we will not accept any new arrangement outside what we have agreed from the beginning.”

The protesters said their action was ignited by the approval of direct primaries by the NWC of the party at the APC national secretariat.

However, tension brewed after  purported results were alleged to have been posted on Facebook in favour of some of the aspirants from few areas where the elections were said to have taken place, even though there was no official declaration.

An aspirant, who preferred anonymity, said it was unfortunate that the primary election for the senatorial ticket was conducted on Friday, and that of the House of Representatives on Saturday for Abuja South and Abuja North to elect the flag bearers, but nothing had been heard about them since then.

He said as disheartening  as the Saturday primaries in Kuje which resulted in violent protest.

“There was no election, not only in Kuje town, but virtually all the wards, and you know very  well that lives were lost and property were destroyed after some of the party supporters protested over diversion of election materials to a politician’s house.

“What happened on Saturday not only in Kuje, but across the six area councils was a charade and not election. And I want to urge the NWC to cancel the entire process,” he said.

A senatorial aspirant, Alhaji Musa Tanko Abari, while commenting on the election, described it as a charade, saying the imposition of direct primaries by the NWC of the APC had created a lot of crises among stakeholders and aspirants in the FCT.

He said the primary election for the Senate took place at only 12 out of the 62 political wards across the FCT, and that electoral officials allocated figures to each aspirant.

He said the direct primaries had only caused more harm than good to the people of the territory, noting that several lives were lost and property destroyed in Wuse, Kuje, Dutse-Alhaji and Gwagwa, adding that many supporters of the party, including security agents were wounded during the exercise.

“You can quote me, there was no election in any part of the FCT, all they succeeded in doing was to sit down in a hotel room to allocate figures to each of the aspirants. And that was why we the stakeholders insisted that the NWC should allow us to conduct indirect primaries, but they refused,”  he said.

Also commenting, another senatorial aspirant, Barr. Hassan Daniel Bwala, also kicked against the purported results posted on the social media.

Bwala, in a statement he issued on Saturday, said there was no election in the FCT, and accused the state chapter executives of the APC of allegedly manipulating the process.

Tension had continued to heighten across the territory over the delay in releasing results of both the Senate and House of Representatives’ primaries.

The FCT APC chairman, Alhaji Usman Abdulmalik, declined commenting on the delay in releasing the result, and also did not reply to text messages sent to his phone.


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