Some party members in the ruling All Progressives Congress in Kogi State are not happy with the way and manner with which 12 of the gubernatorial aspirants where disqualified from participating in the primaries schedule to hold on Thursday August 29
The screening committee chaired by Senator Hope Uzodimma, had cleared Governor Yahya Bello, a member of the House of Representatives, Hassan Bello, Ekele Aisha Blessing and Abubakar Bashir and disqualified Yahaya Audu, Mona Audu, Mohammed Audu, Danlami Mohammed, Babatunde Irukera, Rukkaya Ibrahim, Sani Lulu Abdulahi, Gen. Patrick Akpa, Prof Mohammed Onaili, Yakubu Mohammed and Rear Admiral Usman Jibril (rtd).
The family of the late former governor Abubakar Audu were the most hit as three members of the family were disqualified from the contest for reasons ranging from invalid nomination and not being financial members of the party.
One of the disqualified aspirant Vice-Admiral Usman Jubrilin a brief chat with selected journalists in Abuja on Tuesday accused the screening committee of being biased using a double standard in the exercise.
“There is, therefore, the need to give the report of the screening a rethink or conduct an opinion poll of Kogites on the credibility of the aspirants if our party is not ready to lose Kogi State as it happened in other states – Oyo, Zamfara.
Also expressing his displeasure concerning the report of the screening, Babatunde Irukera said told journalists that the process was deliberately skewed to favour the governor and his allies.
Irukera said, “The August 29 primary is already compromised, I find it difficult not to come to that conclusion. Even if the clearance is done tomorrow, the momentum is gone.”
However, the All Progressives Congress appealed to aggrieved governorship aspirants to be patient and pursue internal mechanism for dispute resolution.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said, “There are clear procedures for the conduct of screening of aspirants in our party’s constitution and the Electoral Act. The screening itself is not the final stage in the qualification process.”