One of the contenders for governorship ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna state, Sani Sha’aban, has protested against alleged non conduct of special congresses for the election of delegates in the state.
The special congresses were said to have taken place across the 23 Local Government Areas in the state on May 17 and 18, 2022, through consensus, in accordance with the APC election guidelines and constitution.
A five-member Appeals Committee headed by Tinuke Ogunrinde (from Oyo state) had told journalists that the congresses were hitch-free, and that no petition was received before, during and after the congresses.
According to Ogunrinde, ” 1,275 delegates were elected for Local Government and state delegates while 69 national delegates were unanimously elected.”
However, addressing a news conference on Monday in Kaduna, the Director General of the Sani Sha’aban Campaign Organisation, Chief Joshua Ephraim, said there was no election anywhere in the state to produce delegates for the primary elections.
Ephraim also alleged that the campaign organisation wrote a petition to the Appeal Committee, but it refused to collect it.
He disclosed that the campaign organisation had already submitted a petition to the Resident Electoral
Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kaduna state to the effect that no congresses were held anywhere across the state to produce delegates.
Ephraim said, “This statement is a direct response to the misleading and erroneous press released by the APC Delegates Primary Election Appeal Committee, given some hours ago in which it is claimed; that delegates Primary Elections to produce delegates in Kaduna State were held and; that there was no petition that was submitted by any person, or campaign organisation, during the purported two-day sitting of the Appeal Committee.
“We categorically deny, before you and before the whole world, that no such Delegates Primary Elections to produce
delegates were ever held in the whole of Kaduna State. “Secondly, there was a petition written by our campaign organisation, which the Appeal
Committee refused to collect”.
According to him, “many party faithfuls paid for, and filled the Delegates Election forms, which were neither collected by the state, nor the national office of the APC, thus disenfranchising thousands of APC members in the state of their rights to become delegates as enshrined in
the constitution of the party…
“Furthermore, we have submitted a petition to the Resident Electoral
Commissioner of INEC in Kaduna State to the effect that no Delegates Primaries Election to produce delegates were ever held, a copy of which is being made available to you”
Ephraim maintained that, “Any such list of delegates is a contrivance of agents of the state government.
“We, categorically state, that there was no delegates election in Kaduna State APC. This, to us, is a travesty of justice and fair-play. The whole world should know this.
“We urge the National headquarters of the APC to take note and to take corrective actions, in the interest of justice, as we are in a democracy and not a dictatorship.”
Also speaking one of the members of the campaign organisation, Nuhu Umar, argued that insecurity was not a reason for the non conduct of the congresses to elect delegates.
He said, “As we have seen only yesterday (Sunday) that the PDP mobilised security agencies and had conducted its primaries all over the state with its national officers going round the state supervising the election.
“Even in the no go areas of state the state like Birnin-Gwari Chikun, Giwa and some parts of Southern Kaduna, the PDP conducted their primaries.
“It is therefore not as a result of insecurity but lack of confidence by some aspirants who are scared of the popularity of Sani Sha’aban.
“That is why they concocted a list of their families, friends and cronies and submitted the list to the fraudulent and bias committee who accepted it and equally submitted it to the appeal committee who endorsed same.
“I will categorically state that, that list, is a fabrication, there was no consensus and there was no congress anywhere in Kaduna state.”
The group vowed that it will explore all avenues within the party constitution to ensure that justice is done.