Ten of the 21 aspirants at Sunday’s gubernatorial primary of the All Progressives Congress in Borno State have petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, calling for its cancellation for allegedly “falling short of the party’s guidelines.”
In the petition copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, the aspirants complained that the primary fell short of their expectations, claiming that “neither the provisions of the guideline nor the party’s constitution was observed.”
Signatories to the petition which include Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, Kashim Imam, Gambo Lawan, Hon. Mohammed Kumaila, Umar Alkali, Attom Magira, Abba Jato, Mohammed Chiroma, Mustapha Shehuri and Idris Mamman, said: “We wish to bring to the attention of the party the following infractions which have compromised the integrity and the credibility of the process, and have eventually disenfranchised the majority of the aspirants.”
The petitioners alleged that, “The list of delegates was not given to any of the aspirants up until the time of the primaries, which is a fundamental requirement for the conduct of the primaries.
“The delegates were herded in locations that are not accessible to all aspirants except the preferred aspirant.
“The electoral committee that was sent to Maiduguri for the conduct of the primaries was lodged at the Government House and did not meet with the aspirants to inform them of the procedures of the election.
“The State Party Chairman summoned about 13 aspirants out of the 21 to announce to them that Governor Kashim Shettima has anointed one Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum as the candidate to be returned winner at the primaries. This is against the spirit of the party’s responsibility to promote a level playing field for all aspirants, be fair, just and impartial.
“All gubernatorial aspirants were denied movement to address delegates in the night before the election day except the governor and his preferred aspirant, by imposing a curfew in spite of the police escort attached to all the aspirants to facilitate their movement.”
They therefore asked that the gubernatorial primary election be immediately suspended, while they also urged that a new date be fixed for the election.
They also asked for the recall of the electoral panel sent to Borno for the conduct of the gubernatorial primaries, urging its replacement with a new panel for another free, fair and credible primaries.
The aspirants also said the party secretariat should direct that all aspirants be allowed to have access to all delegates and that the list of the delegates should be given to all aspirants to ascertain the authenticity of the delegates.