Primaries divide Kebbi APC
A crack has appeared on the wall of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kebbi State over the conduct of the internal election held last week to pick the candidates of the party for the forthcoming local council poll in the state.
The primary election, which was held on May 26, and 27, had pitched a section of the party against the state government, which they accused of imposing unpopular candidates over loyal party members and without recourse to the constitution.
Although agreement were reached between the party leadership and members on the emergence of consensus candidates in some local government areas, many refused to be placated by the consensus option and insisted on the conduct of open and fair primary election.
It was observed while The Guardian was monitoring the exercise across the 21 local councils, that aggrieved party members threatened to either leave the party or work against its interest during the council poll.
In Gwandu local council, Alhaji Sheahu Danleja defeated Habib Lambo with 225 votes to 109 but in areas like Fakai, Shanga and others, there were allegations that the poll was mere kangaroo exercise thereby ending in disarray.
In Fakai, some aggrieved members threatened to defect to another party or work against the APC during the election while in Shanga and Sakaba councils, there were allegations that the process was skewed in favour of government candidates.
Speaking to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, one of the local party leaders said, “The government just brought whom they want. They imposed their candidates on us. If that is what they have concluded to do, we are going to work against them.
“My people are not happy, they want to scatter the party and we are ready to move to another party if they did not make any correction.” In a similar reaction, some of the party officials in Fakai council alleged that a retired general in the area did not allow the wining candidate to collect the party’s ticket.
An eye-witness who witnessed the primaries in Fakai corroborated the position of the aggrieved members when he told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi that the candidate that won the exercise was not given the ticket while somebody else got it adding, “We are going to protest, we are ready to leave the party if justice is not allowed to prevail.”
It would be recalled that three weeks before the primaries, some supporters from Kalgo local council protested to the Government House with placards warning government against imposition of candidates.
When contacted, Kebbi APC spokesman, Alhaji Sani Dodo denied allegations of imposition of candidates saying that all the primaries were conducted in free and fair manner.
He appealed to the aggrieved members to remain in the party stressing that “the APC government is the only one that can lead the people of Kebbi State to the Promised Land. There is even no more opposition in Kebbi, all of them have defected to APC because the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is dead both in the state and at the national level.”
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