Mixed fortunes for Adamawa, Kogi PDP after primary elections
•INEC tasks security agents on professionalism
The Adamawa State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is currently enmeshed in crisis following allegations that the results of the local government primary elections went missing three days after the exercise last Saturday.Conversely, the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), while announcing the winners of its own primary elections, vowed that it would use the forthcoming council poll to bounce back by winning all the 21 councils and 226 wards in the state.
Indications of crisis emerged when shortly after the straw poll last Saturday PDP state secretarial remained under lock and key, even as some youth suspected to be party thugs milled around protesting what they called plots to impose candidates on the party for the November polls.
Adamawa State chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Tahir Shehu, did not respond to calls or texts from The Guardian to explain the non-declaration of results of the primaries and why the secretariat is locked three days after the exercise.However, checks revealed that trouble started when some party executives allegedly wrote names of their preferred candidates ahead of the primary, ostensibly to impose them on the party faithful.
It was also discovered that the controversial primary took place at a time when the governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, was in Rivers State on a trouble-shooting visit to Governor Nyesom Wike.One PDP executive, who confided in The Guardian, narrated how the dubious party stalwarts took advantage of Fintiri’s absence to impose their relations and cronies, which led to the crisis.
While contending that PDP might lose the LG poll if Governor Fintri failed to take decisive action, the source stated: “We are not voting based on party affiliations, if some people feel they are more powerful than the voters, we will teach them a bitter lesson at the poll.
“Since APC’s candidates are all Adamawa people we will vote them. The party chairman (Tahir) has become an opposition within the PDP; he is becoming a tin god. So, we must tame him before he turns PDP to his private estate.”He accused Tahir of working against Fintiri, alleging that a prominent stalwart nursing governorship ambition for 2023 is using the party’s chairman to plant his foot soldiers as council chairmen.
However, when contacted the PDP State Secretary, Mr. Abdullahi Prambe, said he was in Abuja and promised to respond to the development when he returns to the state. Since last Monday his phone line remains unreachable.On their part, while announcing the result of the primary election, APC’s Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, told reporters that his party is prepared to win the local government poll. Mohammed noted that the crisis in PDP is clear signal that the party will lose the council polls, pointing out that APC has learnt its lessons after the last governorship poll.
Similarly, while the Adamawa PDP contends with the aftermath of the council primaries, their Kogi State counterparts preparing for the November 16 gubernatorial poll got a boost following the endorsement of their standard bearers, Engineer Musa Wada and Samuel Bamidele Aro.The PDP stakeholders and leaders from Kogi West Senatorial District announced the endorsement after their meeting in Lokoja, which was chaired by the party’s zonal chairman, Sam Abenemi.
Speaking on the occasion, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiya, urged the stakeholders to put aside grievances arising from the last primary election and forge a common front to ensure victory in the forthcoming election.Ologbondiya disclosed that the party’s national chairman, Uche Secondus, was committed to the ongoing reconciliation efforts aimed at uniting all aggrieved party faithful in the state ahead of the election.
In his remarks, Aro, the governorship running mate to Wada, thanked the stakeholders for the endorsement and promised not to betray the confidence reposed on him.He appealed to all those aggrieved with the outcome of the primary to bury their hatchets and join hands for the party’s victory at the polls, even as he enjoined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a free, fair and credible governorship election in the state.
Prominent PDP chieftain that attended the meeting include, a former deputy governor, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, former deputy Chief of Staff to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Prince Olusola Akonmode and a former member of House of Representatives, Mr. Sola Ojo, among other top party leaders.
Meanwhile security agents in Kogi State have been charged to be more professional in the discharge of their duties during the November 16 polls to enable the country witness peaceful, free and fair exercise.INEC’s certified trainer, Mrs. Safia Garba, gave the charge during the training of 50 security officers on election security in Okene the headquarters of Kogi Central Senatorial District.She said the success of the gubernatorial poll depends much on how far the security agents discharge their duties without bias to any political party.
The training, which was organized by European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) in collaboration with INEC, held simultaneously in the three senatorial districts of the state.While calling on security agents in the state to exhibit high level of professionalism and civility during the election, the facilitator urged them to maintain impartiality and fairness in dealing with both the electorate and competing political parties.
She said: “The perception that security agencies are partial and lack neutrality in the electoral process can be a real source of discord, tension and violence in the electoral process.
“The general perception that the police in particular is corrupt could have implication for the level of public confidence in the institutions in the context of providing electoral security.“However, recognizing that there is no alternative to the deployment of security agencies under the control of the police in providing electoral security implies that conscious efforts need to be made on the part of the police and other security agencies to increase public confidence in the agencies.
“Electoral security should therefore be provided on the basis of professionalism of security agencies and loyalty to the nation as envisaged in the constitution of the country.”The INEC trainer urged political gladiators to desist from breeding thugs, saying they constitute problems for the electoral process of the country.
“As a matter of fact, some of the threats to the electoral process comes from the youth gangs that are recruited as thugs by politicians to snatch ballot boxes and papers during elections,” she added.Garba also reminded the security personnel to observe the guidelines and rule of engagement to ensure that they perform in line with international best practice during elections in the country.
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