By Umar Muhammad Puma
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday appointed the Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to chair the Party’s five-member primary election committee to elect the Party’s flag-bearer for the 2018 Ekiti governorship election.
The APC’s National Organising Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso, on behalf of the Party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun also inaugurated a three-member primary appeal committee chaired by Amb. Fati Balla.
The primary election is scheduled for Saturday, May 5.
Other members of the primary election committee include: Hon. Magaji Aliyu (Secretary); Mr. Duke Oshodin; Barr. Robert Okwuego and Mr. Tunde Balogun. The appeal committee include: Capt. Bala Jibrin (Secretary) and Mrs. Lilian Obenwa.
During the inauguration of the committees at the Party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Izunaso who said the APC was poised to win the Ekiti governorship election, charged the committee to ensure a transparent exercise.
Izunaso declared that the party has no preferred candidate.
He said the committee should rely on the party’s guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office, particularly section 14 (iii) which stipulates the composition of the Electoral College/delegates, secret balloting at a venue in the state capital and declaring winner an aspirant with the highest vote.
“If we conduct a transparent primary, any aspirant that wins will surely become the next governor of Ekiti state… The party has no preferred candidate, there is no such thing in our lexicon. It does not exist. All aspirants are equal until after the election” Izunaso stated.
The National Organising Secretary who disclosed that the official delegates list has been given to all aspirants said no petition has been received on the list. He said all thirty-three aspirants have been cleared by the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to contest the primaries.
Izunaso urged the primary election committee to convene a stakeholders meeting with aspirants and party chieftains in the state to agree on modalities for the primaries.
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and Chairman of the Primary Election Committee spoke on behalf of the committees.
“We thank the Party for considering us worthy to carry out this very critical and important assignment at this point in time. As far as we are concerned, we consider this assignment as a family affair which has to be done in strict conformity with our Party’s guidelines and the constitution. I wish to assure the National Working Committee that by the special Grace of God, we as members of the Ekiti governorship primary will do justice to this exercise.
“We will ensure free and fair election, conformity and adherence to all the guidelines so that by the time the exercise is over, the Party will become stronger and more cohesive. This will be the beginning of the assurance of our great party to reclaim the mandate in Ekiti state” the Governor said.