By, MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Three governorship aspirants under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State have called for the cancellation of the Monday party primaries and the suspension of Governor Mohammed Abubakar from the party for what they described as war on a simple civil issue.
The aspirants were former ministers Prof. Ali Pate, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, and Captain Mohammed Bala Jibrin who alleged that the kangaroo exercise exhibited by the APC in Bauchi has left one person in Boi village of Bogoro Local Government Area Killed.
They said, “It is sad that an internal party primary election process will be so toxic because an individual is desperate to hold onto power even when the people don’t want it”.
“I don’t want call this an election. I was not a military person, I have not been in a war before, I don’t know what war looks like, but what I experienced today was closest to war”, one of the aspirant, Captain Jibrin said.
He explained, “I’m surprise the military was there, the army in Zaki and Katagum Local Government Areas have beaten civilians causing fractures on their legs, this is unbecoming of them”.
Jibrin said that they will file petition against the conduct of the Nigerian army in Zaki and Katagum Local Government Areas and other party primary centres in the state.
The aspirant noted with dismay that the entire exercise is condemnable with a governor seeking re-election has gone over bounds, describing it as unbecoming and irresponsibility of the highest order.
The three governorship aspirants at a press conference in Bauchi last night alleged that the whole process was not transparent and marred by violence in many areas across the states.
“As I was driving in here, I got a call that one person was killed in Bogoro Local Government Area as a result of the violence that occurred during the primary. I don’t have all the details identity of the deceased but as Journalists, you can inquire”, Prof. Ali Pate stated.
He allege that many voters were disenfranchised as many of the ballot papers sent to the LGAs were diverted, revealing “This is 8pm, and many places are still waiting for the election materials and the official to cast their votes, many of the ballot papers did not reach their destinations, there were a lot of discrepancies”.
Pate vowed, “We call for the total cancellations of the election because it is pity and a shame what happened in Bauchi. We saw government officials with ballot papers. We wish to tell the National leadership that we have lost confidence in the whole process and call for the cancellation of the exercise”
He called on the National leadership of the APC to immediately intervene in and cancel the election and ‘plan for a sound election that is in tandem with sound Democratic principles that will be conducted in a free and fair manner’.
Also corroborating, Dr. Yakubu Lame said that the State Governor has taken steps to destroy the APC in the state, stressing that they have resolved to boycott the primary until their prayers are heed because they have lost confidence in the Ahmed Bakari led National Election Committee sent to conduct the primary in the state.
Lame said: “We have resolved never to join any primary again in Bauchi State until the Party Leadership in the state is dissolved because it has been compromised by the state government.
We call on the National Leadership of our party to disqualify the Governor and suspend him from the party because he has violated all the rules set for the primary”.
On the violence that trailed the election, Lame said that “there was physical violence on our members in many parts of the state, pointing out “Two of our supporters are even in the hospital right now responding to treatment as a result of gunshots that were fired”.