2019: Dark Clouds as confusion, Anger, Impositions Trail Primaries

By Uche Mbah

These are times that try men’s souls. In recent times, the nexus of do or die has passed through most, if not all election primaries in Nigeria. And this has nothing to do with party affiliations, though the ruling party is said to have had a fair share of the whole saga.

For example, the Primary elections that held in Lagos by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to choose their governorship candidate ended up in an anti climactic manner. The incumbent governor, Akinwumi Ambode, has been told by his Godfather, Bola Tinubu, that he will not be going for a second term. Ambode appeared to have been emboldened by the fact that he appeared to have the backing of the presidency to continue, possibly due to his track record of performance. It was believed that Buhari is not comfortable with the inference that he was put in Power by Bola Tinubu, a fact that many would flaunt in his face. But it appeared that the anger is from his lieutenants who would want to do anything to clip Tinubu’s wings. Hence, Ambode had defied his boss, and, after a period of to-ing and fro-ing from Aso Rock, he accepted the Direct Primaries. Field reports allege that the Lines behind Ambode was too long in many places, but that Thugs were threatening his supporters and forcing them away, while people are receiving alerts of N10,000 as gratifications for voting the candidate of the establishment. The Person dispatched by the National Working Committee to supervise the election condemned the election, cancelled it and said the election will hold in a future date. The state went ahead and declared the establishment candidate winner. It was alleged that Tinubu prevailed on the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to convince the presidency to accept the election, which he did. So after initial confusions, Babajide Sanyaolu was duly returned as the APC candidate, making Ambode the first governor to be denied a second term in Lagos.

In Imo state, the elections ran into hitches when the returning officer, Ahmed Gulag, disappeared after the elections, only to reappear in Abuja and announced the result of the elections which did not favour Okorocha’s Candidate. He said the Okorocha was planning to kidnap him, having kidnapped four of his boys. Oshiomhole has cancelled the elections and said it will be conducted at a later date.

In Enugu, the story is not different, and there has been reported violence and police had to intervene. In Kaduna, el-Rufai is fuming that his candidate has been dropped for Shehu Sanni, a serving senator. As at press time, El Rufai had stormed the Presidential Villa to lay his complaint. Accusing fingers, once again, is being pointed at Oshiomhole.

Recently, youths from the Federal Capital Territory kept the APC secretariat under lockdown protesting against the Direct Primaries being “forced down the throat of the party by Oshiomhole”, as one analyst puts it. They feared that the party would want to impose a candidate on the FCT, since the direct primaries means no indigene will get the ticket.

Meanwhile, Ondo APC has called on Oshiomhole to resign. Oshiomhole has masterminded the disqualification of indigenes. The disqualified aspirants include: former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Olabimtan, Tunji Abayomi, Lucky Ayedatiwa, Odunayo Akinrinlola, Felder Olatunji and Chief Morayo Lebi.

According to spokesperson of the group, Tunji Abayomi, “Oshiomhole has failed as APC party chairman, he does not have the intellectual capacity to lead the party while he has never hidden his intolerance to opposing voice. He is unstable to lead the APC that is supposed to bring change His election as the national chairman of the party has increased the crisis within the party; he is unfit to rule the party. In order not to destroy and kill APC, Oshiomhole resign, resign and resign now. It is wrong for Oshiomhole to underestimate the character of our people on Ondo state, we stand for justice, equity, rule of law, constitution of the country and the party, he added.

One of the aspirants, who were cleared, said Oshiomhole gave preferential treatment to some party members. “The most violent, wrongful and unconstitutional violation is the purported act of denying the right of the people to elect their representatives,” he said.“More disturbing is the increasingly audacious impunity associated with the leadership of the party under Adams Oshiomhole.” He further alleges

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