CRN APC Ticket : Would Bye-Election Results Also Be Concocted In Makurdi?

By Inyali Peter

The event of the past one week regarding the primary for the nomination of candidate for the All Progressives Congress, APC in the forthcoming  Cross River North Senatorial district bye-election has been dominating political debates in the state.

For the benefit of those who may not be aware, it is imperative to recap major events that of concern to those who subscribe  to internal democracy ideals of party politics.

On the 3rd of this month, the APC held primaries to nominate candidates across the 8 states of the federation that would participate in the October 31st bye-election to fill vacant state houses of assembly and national assembly seats.

Cross River North is one of the Senatorial Districts that  took part in the exercise that sounds off activities to elect  a new Senator in the Red chambers. The seat became vacant after the passing on of Sen. Rose Oko about six months.

To nominate a candidate for the election, APC sent a 7-man panel headed by one Alhaji Suleiman Nakowa who recently defected to the party after its success in the 2019 Presidential election to conduct primary.

Out of the seven people, five people (excluding the Secretary) traveled to Ogoja, the natural Headquarters of the Senatorial District for the election as contained in a petition by Hon. Chinedu Ogar, one of the panel members.

Before they arrived, there were several attempts by the Chairman who is notorious for electoral fraud as reported by Vanguard in 2016 when he was arrested for kidnapping serving National Youth Service Corps members to illegally register people in the 2016 voters registration exercise. He forcefully ordered them to hand over materials to his preferred aspirant against provisions of relevant laws guiding INEC registration process.

After all attempts failed, he distributed materials but absconded immediately
with an aspirant, Joe Agi(SAN) to Markudi, the Benue state capital.
Unknowingly to party members, they left with a summary result sheet which they used to concoct results and forwarded same, the next day (bearing Sunday 6th of September which was two days after their actual date of submission) to the party's Director of Organization as results from the primary.

The said fake results wasn't a true reflection of what happened as the aspirant he submitted as winner came second in an election which  Prof. Zana Akpagu smashed records with a landslide victory even in Agi's LGA.

In the fake results that emanated from the imaginary primary held in Markudi, the purported winner was allocated about 113,000 votes which is higher than even the total number of registered APC members in the five Local Governments that make up the zone. If the votes allocated to other aspirants are added, the figure will even go higher.

Records from the party's registers shows that the total number of registered APC members in the North is about 89,000 but Agi and his cohorts manufactured over 120,000 votes. Where did they get the other votes from? Did members of other parties voted in APC primary?

The evidences against their criminality is too obvious and if the party is truly ready for any serious business in the state then the ticket should be given to the winner. otherwise, the PDP that already know the truth would be laughing if they see Agi's name as candidate. He is but a product of a Makurdi fictitious primary. He may be a PDP agent sent to destabilize the APC after all.

Also, those who are banking on President Muhammadu Buhari's directive to party faithful to withdraw all cases from court to commit this daylight robbery should know that true forgiveness and reconciliation cannot be achieved where injustice strive.

Again, even if Agi is foisted on the people, the conservative few perpetrating this act against the overwhelming majority should know that the main election would not be held in Makurdi, the venue of the imaginary primary that produced him. They cannot continue to abuse the sensitivity of the people and expect them to work with commitment and enthusiasm for the success of the party in the main election.

An opposition party that would be going into an election against a seating Governor who has given not less than 10 people each appointment in all the 54 political wards in the senatorial district, with 54 councillors for grassroots mobilization, five Local Government Chairmen, Six State House of Assembly members and about 9 or 10 Commissioners who need to impress and deliver to protect their jobs should do more to bring the party together and not to subvert the wishes of the people by imposing a "stranger" on them.

APC have had many opportunities to win several elections in Cross River State but have failed due to impunity and the wicked quest by leaders for imposition. Even if they're planning to rig the election, rigging can only be possible when there's a candidate that's properly nominated and the person is on ground. As it is now, Agi falls short of these two; he was neither nominated legally nor on ground.

Besides, the October 31st election is not just about the Senate seat. There's also the Obudu State House of Assembly election and between the two dominant parties that have the spread and structure to win the election, APC clearly have  a more acceptable, credible and sellable candidate but the division in the party caused by the attempt to subvert the desire of the people may not only cost the party the Senate seat but also the house assembly.

A stitch in time saves nine. APC should do the needful by allowing the person whom party members want to represent them in the election contest election or risk losing out again. In October 31st, it would  be the battle for the soul of Cross River North ahead of 2023 between the party and PDP and this time, there may be no room for Makurdi trip to write results therefore let someone who won and can win in the North and not Makurdi fly the ticket.
Prof Zana Akpagu 7730897159544900169

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