Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Kogi state, 20 governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Monday, rejected Governor Yahaya Bello’s adoption of indirect primaries to select the party’s candidate.
The aspirants who met at the Maitama-Abuja home of Senator Alex Kadiri under the auspices of Kogi APC Stakeholders Forum also called on the leadership of the party to adopt the direct primary option in the selection of the governorship candidate.
“As we preparing for the gubernatorial primaries, we want it known that we the leaders of the APC as well as the 20 aspirants of our party are opposed to the Yahaya Bello’s contrived method of doing primaries because we are told that he gathered his appointees in Lokoja over the weekend and they endorsed indirect primaries.
“We will not accept indirect primaries for the selection of a gubernatorial candidate for our party; we will not allow Yahaya Bello to gather his political appointees in a room for them to say they are adopting indirect primaries. That means they are the same people who will go to the direct primaries to vote. The insult on Kogi people is too much and we want to stop it.
“He cannot be a judge unto himself as this is irresponsible. We are saying that the primaries for Kogi state must be direct primaries where all members of the party from all the Local Government Areas will choose who they want to be their candidate. We don’t want it to be thrown to the executive in a way that Yahaya Bello will corner all the people to Lokoja and they will nominate him as the sole candidate
“We have tried to bend over to accommodate Yahaya Bello. This is a man who participated in the primaries of 2015 and once he lost the primary, he abandoned the party and we have evidence that he actually worked for the PDP in that election. But because of the death of Alhaji Abubakar Audu, he is here today. This is a man who never voted at that election because he was not a registered to vote in Kogi state, yet, he ended up being our governor. We can’t continue to be doing wrong and hope that something right will come out of it. By the time Yahaya Bello was sworn in as the governor of Kogi State, he was not a registered voter and therefore, he didn’t vote,” the forum noted.
“They also decried the state of insecurity in Kogi even as they accused the governor of complicity in the distribution of arms among the youths. “There is a big issue of insecurity in the state as almost every young unemployed Kogi boy has an AK 47 rifle and a pump action gun. We have cried and shouted but nobody is doing anything about it. The people being shot, the people being killed are Kogi boys. (It will be good) If there is a way to retrieve all these guns that the government has distributed across the entire state,” they further said.
They labelled Governor Bello incompetent, saying his failure to pay workers shows that he is unfit to continue in office. “The whole world has now seen that he lacks the ability to govern even a local government not to talk of a state. Whether you like it or not, it is immaterial. The man has no competence.