By; TINA PHINEAS, Yola
As political parties prepare for primaries to determine parties flag bearers, three leading gubernatorial aspirants of the All progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State have threatened to reject any underhand ploy to scuttle the party primaries by some aspirants working with some party officials to undermine the general agreement reached by the majority of the members of the party in its last congress.
The APC aspirants maintained that there is a plan to surreptitious substitute legitimate delegates for some persons who would be used to circumvent the party’s approaching primaries.
This was made known at a joint press conference by the three aspirants, Abdulrazak Namdas, Wafari Theman, and Umar Mustapha, held in Yola, Adamawa State.
They said reports filtering in from delegates across the state suggest that so many members of the party from the 226 wards of the state have been calling in to report that they have been unceremoniously evicted from the delegates list and that it was done without their consent.
They said they are ready to vehemently reject any attempt to manipulate the party process and to ensure the party processes are upheld and respected.
Speaking at the occasion, Abdulrazak Namdas said, “Rising from our last party stakeholders meeting, our voices were unanimous. Everyone agreed that consensus was not an option and that we would adopt the indirect primaries.
“And we also agreed that each ward will present a total of five delegates with an agreed modification of gender sensitive inclusion of two female delegates from the five in each ward.
“The change was specific, that while each ward will produce five delegates, two of the delegates must be women and they should be wife, daughters or wards of the delegates being replaced.
“But our attention has been drawn to an unhealthy sharp practice being concocted by some party members who are using the opportunity to unceremoniously sack legitimate delegates.
“First, we thought it was a joke, but the incessant calls have compelled us to call this meeting, so that the world would know that there are people working to frustrate the internal democracy in our party and that we are set to reject any unwholesome practice.”
Umar Mustapha warned that this alleged underhand tactics would definitely cause some ripples in the party if allowed to go unchecked.
He said, “Our goal is to have a healthy party congress which is scheduled to hold this weekend.
“During the last party stakeholders meeting all party stakeholders agreed to shelve aside consensus candidacy and elect all our candidates through indirect primaries.
“By that, it simply means, delegates will determine who flies the party flag.
“The Congress also agreed on five delegates per ward and that among the five delegates, there must be two women and for men that would be replaced, they should be replaced by their wives or sisters or their wards.
“But we have reliably gathered that some members of our party have began the process to sabotage the entire process.
“Delegates from across the state have began to lodge in complains that their names were mysteriously being omitted from the list of delegates ahead of the party primaries.
“We are bringing this to attention of the world so that they know and will not accept or condone any fraudelant practice.
“In fact, we have reliably gathered that they have actually plotted to manipulate the process, we will resist it firmly and totally.”
Wafari Theman, while fielding question from the press, said, “Just before calling this conference we had an interaction with the state chairman of the party who has confirmed that the party stands by the agreement of the stakeholders meeting and we are aware that the party has set up a committee to ensure that only necessary changes would be allowed. This means that the inclusion of two women and in the event where there are deaths or members who left the party, substitutions would be made.
“But anything other than that, will be resisted vehemently. We have gathered that some party members are working to overturn the agreement reached at the stakeholders meeting, and that will be resisted firmly.
“We know all our delegates and know those whom we replaced with female members.
“We will not allow anyone to sabotage this process by cooking up the list of their delegates.”