- Some aggrieved APC youths of the Yagbaland of Kogi state on Tuesday, September 5, went on a protest
- The angry youths resisted what they described as the plot and attempt by some persons to impose a candidate on the Kogi west senatorial district
- The leader of the protesters, Owa David, claimed that in 12 years no native in Yagba has emerged as a member of the House of Representatives
The alleged plot and attempt to impose an 'anointed' candidate on the Kogi west senatorial district have been condemned and resisted by some All Progressives Congress (APC) youths in Yagbaland in the state on Wednesday, September 5.
With placards bearing inscription like “2019: For Fairness, Allow Yagba for Kogi West Senate” “Endorsement of únpopular Candidate is Dangerous to our Party’s Victory” and “What is Yagba’s Crime?”, the youths called for justice and fairness for all aspirants in the primaries, The Nation reports.
The young protesters called on the APC's leadership to adopt the direct primary system in order to ensure fair play the emergence of credible candidates.
The leader of the group, Owa David, wailed over an alleged 12-year marginalisation in the land, claiming that during this period, not one representative has emerged in the area at the National Assembly.
David called on the party to continue with the existing zoning by ensuring a candidate from Yagba becomes the party’s candidate for the 2019 election.
However, the state secretary Onoja Emmanuel Joshua, addressing the protesting youths, assured them that the party would not impose any candidate on the people.
Joshua stated that the party is transparent and run an open door policy in its dealings, and would not take any action that will bring it into disrepute, urging them to return to their areas and do their homework by ensuring they have a credible flag bearer of the party.
He said that the party executives would look into the issues raised in their appeal letter and urged them to maintain peace before the issues are resolved
In reaction to the development, Governor Yahaya Bello assured the members and aspirants seeking for elective positions in the APC that he has no ‘anointed’ candidate ahead of the party primaries.
At an APC stakeholders’ meeting at the Government House in Lokoja, Bello reaffirmed that he is for all the aspirants, saying whoever wins at the primaries will be the party’s candidate.
The governor promised that the party will sponsor the candidates in the general election to ensure that APC wins the contestable positions.
Bello said: “I have never anointed any aspirant for any position. Forms are on sale; any party members willing to contest elective positions should purchase their forms. The party will create a level playing ground for all the aspirants so that we can achieve our set objectives.”
He warned party executives against collecting money from aspirants in the name of helping them, warning that whoever indulges in such act will be sanctioned.
The governor stated: “We will sanction anybody who goes against this warning. Whoever is caught will face the wrath of the law, no matter who she or he is in the party.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that Bello had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari wanted more Nigerians to speak, while he was still consulting, before deciding if to seek re-election in 2019.
The governor made the disclosure in a chat with newsmen at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, on Thursday, February 23.
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