Some members of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in Jalingo local government area of Taraba State on Monday rejected the consensus arrangement adopted to pick the party’s officials in Saturday’s local government congresses.
A group that called itself “Stakeholders” of the party had earlier set out a consensus formula for the party and forwarded it to the state caretaker committee for implementation.
The protesters, however, said the decision was reached without consultation and should not be allowed to stand.
Ahmed Hamza, who led the protesters, told journalists that they opposed the arrangement at the stakeholders’ meeting held with the local government congresses committee.
“During the meeting with the committee, we insisted that we prefer open election to the consensus arrangement,” Mr Hsmza said.
“We were then asked to proceed to the party office and wait for the officials who would come and conduct the congress. To our greatest surprise, none of them showed up.”
Mr Hamza said the committee did not show up but went ahead to announce some names as consensus candidates.
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He said the party must do the right thing and stop promoting the interest of a group if it wants to make impact in the state.
“You need to understand that there are people who paid for the forms to contest various positions at this congress. What happens to them? They did not subscribe to the consensus arrangement and yet they were tricked out of the meeting and abandoned.”
Mr Hamza warned that the aggrieved members would consider their options if the party officials failed to address their grievances.
“The APC is an all-inclusive party and encourages collective participation. We would not sit back and allow one or two people to highjack the party for their selfish interests. That is exactly what will kill the party.
“As such, we have already prepared our petition and will proceed to the appeal committee as soon as it is appointed. This travesty cannot be allowed to stand,” Mr Hamza said.
The state caretaker chairman, El-Sudi Tukur, had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview that the party would encourage consensus in electing its local officials.
“We encourage consensus but where there is no consensus, we will go for election.”
Mr Tukur said the decision was agreed to by critical stakeholders across the state and was not taken to favour any group.
He assures all party members of justice and fairness to ensure that APC takes over the state from PDP in 2023.