- Majority of APC gubernatorial aspirants opt for indirect primaries•
The governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Borno State may be disrupted by hired thugs, the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Makinta Zarami raised the alert on Thursday in a statement.
Zarami alleged that a group of politicians from the state have hired thugs (some of them possibly armed) from Kaduna State to disrupt the primaries.
He said their plans is to use the “imported” thugs to stage-manage a protest in Maiduguri on Friday (today) for the sole purpose of destabilising the APC governorship primaries scheduled for Saturday.
Zarami, said in a statement that the party had information that on Wednesday night, some representatives of the group held meeting in Kaduna during which it was agreed that a protest be stage-managed to attract the national leadership of the APC to create false impression of popular opposition to indirect primaries already approved by the National working committee for the conduct of the governorship primaries.
He alleged that during the Kaduna meeting, some members of the group boasted of working in collaboration with someone at the national headquarters of the APC who promised to initiate controversies at an NWC meeting on the basis the stage-managed protest.
He said that even while the fake protests is being plotted against indirect primaries already adopted for Borno, the ultimate motive is to introduce a dubious register of APC members in the state as against an authentic register and membership cards from the National headquarters which were presented to state executives of the party.
He said the party has already alerted security agencies to avert any breakdown of law and order and had also notified members of the party and supporters in the State as well as the national headquarters of the party ahead of the already masterminded plot to destabilise Borno’s primaries.
He assured that the officials of the party will act as neutral umpires, remain firm in preparations to organise free, fair and credible primaries for emergence of candidates on the basis of their popularity as to be elected by valid delegates.
He said the APC urged it members and supporters to remain law abiding while also calling on all aspirants and their associates to carry out their political activities in peaceful and lawful manners.
Meanwhile,majority of the APC governorship aspirants in Saturday’s primaries in Borno State have endorsed the indirect mode to determine the candidate of the party at next year’s elections.
The stakeholders of the party at a meeting over two weeks ago voted for indirect primaries, which was subsequently endorsed by the National Secretariat of the party two days ago.
Fourteen of the over 20 gubernatorial aspirants, rising from a meeting at the Government House in Maiduguri on Thursday, agreed to an indirect primaries.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to China and one of the aspirants at Saturday’s primaries, Baba Ahmed Jidda told journalists on behalf of 13 other attendees, that they have all agreed on indirect primaries.
He said: “The Borno State Chapter of APC has collectively decided to elect its candidates into various elective positions, through the indirect primaries. This is in accordance with the provisions of the party’s constitution and final decision of the party’s National Working Committee.
“To decide on the best possible option to determine the party’s candidates into different elective offices taking into consideration the physical and political peculiarities of the state.
“It was unanimously resolved at the meeting that the party would adopt the indirect method of primary elections. This resolution was also supported by majority of the aspirants for the governorship positions.”
Jidda stressed that few weeks ago APC in the State convened a meeting involved critical party Exco at the State, Local Government and Ward levels after series of meetings decided to endorsed Borno State APC position on the primaries and issued press statement to the effect that Borno State would conduct it’s primaries via indirect mode.
Among the aspirants, who attended the meeting are Alhaji Yuguda Dibal, Amb. Baba Ahmed Jidda, Hon. Mohammed Makinta, Hon. Mai Sheriff, Sen. Abu Kyari, Sen. Babakaka Garbai, Hon. Adamu Lawan, Alhaji Mustapha Fannarambe, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan.
Others are Prof. Umara Babagana, Alhaji Umaru Alkali, Hon. Babagana Banki, Alhaji Mohammed Kumalia and Alhaji Gambo Lawan.
Notable absentees at the meeting include, Alhaji Kashim Imam and Alhaji Idris Usman.