Ishaq Dan-Imam, Lokoja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirants in Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, Yomi Awoniyi and Dr. Bolufemi Rotimi, have expressed disapproval of the delegates list to be used for Sunday’s primary election.
The former Kogi State Deputy Governor, who addressed a joint press conference together with his Co-Contestant, said there would be an ‘inevitable’ crisis that could disrupt Sunday’s PDP governorship primary if the original delegates list approved by the Senator Ningi-led Committee is replaced with the alleged ‘doctored list’ in favour of a particular aspirant.
According to the duo, only the authentic delegates list that emanated from the delegates’ election of 29th March and the ratification of same on April 8th supervised by the Ningi Committee as duly approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is unacceptable to them and other PDP stakeholders in Kogi West as “any attempt by any interest to subvert the will of the people, will be resisted and dealt with, and with a serious force that may generate to a serious crisis.”
Awoniyi alleged that over 183 foreign names were imported into the original list while some local governments like the Yagba West delegates list were completely changed and names of prominent party members removed from other local governments and substituted by “people who are not even PDP members.”
He stressed that it was disappointing that when this anomaly was observed, they quickly petitioned the national working committee of the party and all necessary party organs but instead of addressing the issue, the party leadership allowed some compromises to “put some of us that have served the party faithfully and diligently at a disadvantage position” in the primary election.
He said the press conference was to draw the attention of the world to the ‘anomaly’ adding that the guidelines for a seamless and fair process have been jeopardized to serve the interest of an individual who is an interested party in the primary election, “having unreasonably imported strange names into the original delegate list.”
The aspirants said, “PDP is a party bound by laws and as a bonafide member of the party in the last 25 years, any attempt to make nonsense of the party’s primary would not be acceptable.”
On his part, another aspirant, BoluFemi Rotimi, stressed unequivocal terms that the approved list must be used, adding that failure to do so would lead to the cancelation of the election and a serious crisis if due process was not followed.
Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf said the doctored list was meant to accommodate people who are not even members of the party in a bid to impose an aspirant on the party.
Tajudeen said if his name as a three-term member of the National Assembly could be removed from the delegates’ list and only returned after a serious petition, then it means the hope of other non-prominent delegates whose names were removed may have been dashed.
He urged the Makarfi-Led Primary Election committee to be upright and just to everyone.
“We paid for the intent and nomination forms and other sundry levies. The only option for the party is to use the original copy from the delegates’ congress, endorsed by Security Agencies and the INEC to prevent the total collapse of the party,” he warned.
Those in attendance at the press conference included local government party chairmen from the zone, Hon. Sam Abenemi, former state chairman, Hon. Shola Ojo, former secretary to Kogi State Government, Chief Asaju, Mrs. Margret Orebiyi, and a former state assembly member, Hon. Philips Orebiyi, state PDP Deputy Chairman among some other critical stakeholders.