From Mustapha Isah Kwari, Maiduguri
Ten of the 21 aspirants at Sunday’s gubernatorial primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State yesterday sent a petition to the National Chairman of the party calling for cancellation of the primary election for falling short of the party’s guidelines.
In the petition, copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, the aspirants complained that the primary fell short of their expectations, claiming that “neither the provisions of the guideline nor the party’s constitution has been observed.”
Signatories to the petition included Nigerian envoy to China Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, Alhaji Kashim Imam, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, Hon. Mohammed Kumaila, Alhaji Umar Alkali, Attom Magira.
Others were Alhaji Abba Jato, Mohammed Chiroma, Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri and Idris Mamman.
“We wish to bring to the attention of the party the following infractions which have compromised the integrity and the credibility of the process, and have eventually disenfranchised the majority of the aspirants.”
Among the infractions, they highlighted included “Th
e list of delegates has not been given to any of the aspirants up to the time of the primaries, which is a fundamental requirement for the conduct of the primaries.
“The delegates were hooded in locations that are not accessible to all aspirants except the preferred aspirant.
“The electoral committee that was sent to Maiduguri for the conduct of the primaries was lodged at the Government House and did not meet with the aspirants to inform them of the procedures of the election.
“The State Party Chairman summoned about 13 aspirants out of the 21 to announce to them that the Governor, His Excellency Kashim Shettima has anointed one Professor Babagana Umara Zulum as the candidate to be returned winner at the primaries. This is against the spirit of the party’s responsibility to promote a level-playing field for all aspirants, be fair, just and impartial.
“All the aspirants were denied movement to address delegates in the night before the Election Day except the governor and his preferred aspirant by imposing a curfew in spite of the police escort attached to all the aspirants to facilitate their movement.”
The aspirants wanted the gubernatorial primary election be immediately suspended and a new date for the election fixed.
They also asked for the recall of the electoral panel sent to Borno for the conduct of the gubernatorial primaries with another panel, for another free, fair and credible primary election.
The aspirants also said the party secretariat should direct that all aspirants be allowed to have access to all delegates and that the list of the delegates should be given to all aspirants to ascertain the authenticity of the delegates.