ONE of the 12 Kogi State Gubernatorial aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC), disqualified by the party’s Governorship Screening Committee, Vice-Admiral Usman Jubril has warned the party leadership to be fair and just in the pre-primary election procedures.
He who said this in a brief chat with selected journalists in Abuja on Tuesday disclosed that the screening committee, chaired by Senator Hope Uzodimma, was biased, using a double standard in the exercise.
“There is, therefore, the need to give the report of the screening a rethink or conduct an opinion poll of Kogites on the credibility of the aspirants if our party is not ready to lose Kogi State as it happened in other states – Oyo, Zamfara. What.
Recall that Governorship Screening Committee on Monday released the report of the screening, in which 12 aspirants were disqualified from the August 29 governorship primary in Kogi State.
However, Governor Yahya Bello, a member of the House of Representatives, Hassan Bello, Ekele Aisha Blessing and Abubakar Bashir were cleared for the primary by the six-member committee chaired by Senator Hope Uzodimma.
The family of the late former governor Abubakar Audu were the most hit as three members of the family were disqualified from the contest for reasons ranging from invalid nomination and not being financial members of the party.
The party raked in about N360m from the sale of nomination forms.
Those disqualified were Yahaya Audu, Mona Audu, Mohammed Audu, Danlami Mohammed, Babatunde Irukera, Rukkaya Ibrahim, Sani Lulu Abdulahi, Gen. Patrick Akpa, Prof Mohammed Onaili, Yakubu Mohammed and Rear Admiral Usman Jibril (rtd).
The results of the screening committee, which took place in Lokoja on Friday sparked protest from the aspirants who addressed journalists on Monday in Abuja.
Also expressing his displeasure concerning the report of the screening, Babatunde Irukera said told journalists that the process was deliberately skewed to favour the governor and his allies.
Irukera said, “The August 29 primary is already compromised, I find it difficult not to come to that conclusion. Even if the clearance is done tomorrow, the momentum is gone.”
However, the All Progressives Congress appealed to aggrieved governorship aspirants to be patient and pursue internal mechanism for dispute resolution.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said, “There are clear procedures for the conduct of screening of aspirants in our party’s constitution and the Electoral Act. The screening itself is not the final stage in the qualification process.”
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