Nigeria

Confusion in Benue APC over ‘nullification’ of guber primary

A suppoter tries to display All Progressives Congress (APC) party flag on a pole, during incumbent President Mohammadu Buhari's presidential campaign rally at the Sanni Abacha Stadium in Kano, on January 31, 2019. - Buhari has flag off campaign in Kano, the commercial nerve centre of northern Nigeria to seek re-election at the forthcoming February polls. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

There is confusion in the Benue State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, following the alleged nullification of its governorship primaries by the Princess Uzoamaka Onyeama led Gubernatorial Appeal Panel.

The party had held direct primaries on May 27 and 28 which produced Revd Fr Hyacinth Alia as the candidate of the party.

But following the protests that greeted the outcome of the exercise and evidence adduced by aspirants like Prof. Terhemba Shija, Chief Micheal Aondoaka, Senator Barnabas Gemade and others, that no primary election held in the state, the appeal panel in its report currently circulating on social media allegedly recommended the nullification of the process and new indirect primaries to avert a repeat of the Zamfara and Anambra states experiences in Benue State.

Part of the said report read “It is the submission of the Appeal Committee members that from the foregoing, the past event of Zamfara State and the more latest and potent danger of Anambra State; that no governorship primary election held in Benue State and we recommend as follows.

“That the NWC cancel in its entirety the gubernatorial primary election in Benue State and conduct a fresh election as INEC has extended its time limit to 9th of June, 2022.

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“To avoid putting the party in public ridicule and odium as in Anambra State, the party should avoid unnecessary litigations, ” part of the report read.

The panel’s report also accused the Benue APC of doing what it described as Yahoo Yahoo guber primary election stating that “no election took place in Benue State gubernatorial primary election on 26, 27, 28 May, 2022, and the results so submitted by the primary election committee members were an allusion, mirage, façade and at best a “Yahoo Yahoo result sheet.”

While querying the suspiciously huge figures churned out in the election which was as high as 815,452, the report read “we the appeal panel unanimously agreed that it is not a true reflection of a credible election result, it is too flawless in figure a clear proof of the assertions of the aspirants/stakeholders submission that it was written in somebody’s house, the state party secretariat, in hidden places.”

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However a counter statement weekend by the Benue State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Daniel Ihomun dismissed the said appeal panel report insisting that Revd. Fr. Alia remained the governorship candidate of the party.

Mr. Ihomun in the statement said: “The APC on the 26/5/ 2022 conducted its governorship primary election to produce a candidate for the 2023 general election using the direct method of election. The election which was carried out in all the 276 wards in Benue State produced Revd. Fr Hyacinth Alia who scored the highest number of votes and was returned winner.

“We wish to make the following points very clear to our members and good people of Benue state; that the purported report is fake and have no substance. An appeal panel by a political party lacks the powers to cancel any primary election. The election that produced the candidature of Revd. Fr. Hyacinth Alia is valid and reflects the wishes of majority of APC members across Benue State.”

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