A stakeholder in the All progressives Congress, (APC), Dr. Tom Ohikere has said that the leadership of the party must do everything possible to avert failure in the coming governorship election in kogi state, by following due process in the selection of the flag bearer.
In a statement made available to journalists in Lokoja on Wednesday, Ohikere, a former commissioner in kogi state, noted that the supposed delegate list was conjured by a few people loyal to the power that be in the state, saying that the said list cannot pass any integrity test.
He therefore called on the leadership of the party not to be swayed by those who are bent on destroying the party for their selfish reasons, but to abide by the principle of change and doing things differently, which was the basis of the formation of the party in 2015.
Ohikere stressed that there is need for power to rotate to the Western senatorial district of the state for fairness, equity and Justice, adding that the national leadership of the party must come out clearly on this, by adopting the stand of the northern governors who insisted that power must go to the western part of the country, which produced Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Speaking further he sad “I write to draw attention to the anomalies that has enveloped the forthcoming primary election of the APC for the party’s flag bearer in the November 2023 gubernatorial election in Kogi State out of my concern for the survival of our beloved All Progressive Congress(APC) in Kogi State.
“The man died in him who remains silent when there is a persuading need to talk, thus, this piece which seek to speak out rather than sit on the fence while tendencies that can lead to the self destruction of the party which we have all worked hard at all levels to ensure it’s survival be destroyed by the devilishly selfish machinations of those who wish the party no good while pretending to be projecting the objective of the party.
“I have therefore decided to speak, whether as the last Man standing on ways that can lead to averting this impending doom if only my take on this burning issues are taken into considerations.
“My opinion here whether it is viewed from the construction of the Latin phrase”Vox Populi,Vox Dei”(meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God) or our understanding of the fundamentals of democracy is being gradually decimated by the people who by the party’s constitution are charged to at all times live above board by giving the needed leadership to it, but have turned out to be the very people now seen to be gravitating towards the satisfaction of the whims and caprices of vested interests in the state by using unpopular and unethical approach to thwart legitimate processes in the primaries.
“It is a generally known fact that the APC came to power in 2015, riding on the mantra of change. The citizens overwhelmingly endorsed the philosophy behind the formation of the party and it’s avowed determination to be a political party that would do things differently by being the main purveyors of the new type of political dispensation that would play according to the dictates of the rule.
“The party therefore was expected to at all times to continually built upon it’s foundation of truth, honesty and fair play. The foundation of the party therefore writ large in the consciousness of the citizens and it was generally accepted across the nook and crannies of the country, Kogi state not an exception.
“Today as we approach another election season to elect and recruit another governor to succeed the present state governor, Yahaya Bello, there seems to be a deliberate plot by this very vested interest led by the powers that be in the party in the state in connivance with it’s leadership to gradually lead the party to its failure if certain necessary steps are not taken immediately to put a stop at it.
According to him, some of the burning issues which requires urgent attention are: The non-adherence of the party to its constitution as regards it’s guidelines and that of INEC on the election of delegates to vote at the primary election.
Others are the faulty and unconstitutional method of the state executive committee of the party in Kogi state in adopting the mode of electing the candidate for the party and the total silence of the leadership of the party as regards the issue of zoning of the gubernatorial candidate to the Kogi west district.
“There is no need to pretend, as at today, there is palpable fear among all loving members of the party in the state that if those issues outlined above are not resolved immediately to avert the coming failure, “the APC in the state may lose Kogi state.
“There is that fear among many stakeholders of the party that the silence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), when it’s clearly seen that the party in the state violated most of the stringent provisions of it’s guidelines for the election of delegates by a proper delegate Congress means the commission has either been compromised or working with the opposition parties to thwart the chances of the party in retaining Kogi state.
“This is because the party’s guidelines and constitutional provisions on the election of delegates are very clear and simple. The stringency of the procedure as against the shenanigan deployed as a delegate election in the state quite easily exposes that it is. It is in the domain of the public in the state that what really took place as a delegate Congress was that the acolytes of the governor some of whom are civil servants and others with fake phone numbers and unknown address fixated to their name just gathered in some places to illegally select people as delegates.
“The party chairman should be called upon to in his honour swear that there was a valid delegate Congress organise in the state for the purpose of electing delegate to the party primaries of the APC. It is therefore advisable that INEC must prove that it is indeed a responsible umpire by investigating this breach and when proved should excuse itself by staying out of monitoring the primary of the APC in the state till it is satisfied that the right process has been followed based on the guidelines in electing the party’s delegates.
“The process leading to the adoption of the mode of primaries of the APC in electing it’s standard bearer for the guber election in Kogi state is anything but flawed because it was not in tandem with the spirit and letters of its constitution and guidelines.
“The process was rigged because the State Executive Committee,(SEC), of the party in the state working in cohort with the state governor just gathered with it’s acolytes to dubiousness adopt the indirect mode of primaries by deducing reasons that are dubious.
“Their reasonings that are unacceptable are that the limitations of security, unavailability of up-to-date register of card carrying and fee paying members and other peculiarities just to achieve their aim. These stated reasons are anything but unacceptable, dubious and cannot stand the test of scrutiny.
“As it is now, the outcome of the primaries I can bet on it may not be acceptable to most of the aspirants except those being secretly sponsored by the state governor as a bait to give legitimacy to his contrived shenanigan called primary election in the state.
“The APC in the state will surely be weakened by the internal crisis that it will witnessed after the primaries if this anomalies are allowed because it’s unity and cohesion will be destroyed thereby posing the greatest threat to it’s retention of the leadership of the state. Truth be told, if this charade is allowed to take place, the state APC cannot afford to go into this election with a divided house as this could cost us dearly.
“The PDP in the state is alleged to be making all the needed concerted efforts to zone their guber ticket to the Kogi west zone with Senator Dino Melaye, as it’s candidate. The APC needs a more formidable candidate that is acceptable to all from the Kogi west district as it’s candidate for the guber election to have a chance.
“For the sake of Justice, equity and fair play as entrenched in our party’s constitution, the APC in Kogi state must urgently need to replicate the stance of the Northern governor’s and elders of the party in supporting the southwest zone for the position of the Presidential ticket of the party in the 2023 national convention of the party that led to the election of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as it’s candidate and eventually the winner of the Presidential election in the just concluded general election.
“We must be seen urgently to be working towards the replication of this process in our state because it is the right thing to do at this time. The peace, stability, cohesion, unity and progress of the state must not be traded with the urge to satisfy the whims caprices of any individual no matter how highly placed to put his personal interest above that of the entire members of the party.
“The APC presidential and senatorial election results showed clearly that west senatorial district led the central. Here is the summary of the APC presidential election results from the three senatorial District of kogi state; APC Kogi central, 55,858, Kogi east 107,358, Kogi west 78,496. The Kogi west APC presidential results is ahead of kogi central with the difference of about 22,638.
The same thing is applicable to the senatorial election results in the state.
“To avoid this impending Armageddon, we must all come out in unison to voice out to the leaders of the party that the right processes must be followed to avert our impending loss in the governorship election.