From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
One of the top All Progressive Congress (APC) aspirants for governor in Kaduna State, Sani Sha’aban, has petitioned the State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the alleged non-holding of ward congresses and election of delegates by the Kaduna State chapter of the APC.
In a petition dated May 20, addressed to the State Resident Electoral Commissioner by the Director-General of Sani Sha’aban Campaign Organization, Joshua Danladi Ephraim alleged that: “The process was fragrantly abused in Kaduna State as the scheduled congress for the election of delegates never held in any of the 23 local areas of the State.
Ephraim added that “Government agents merely and secretly compiled a list and sent them to our national party Secretariat for return as delegates”.
But the Appeals Committee for the Ad-hoc Delegate Congresses of the APC in Kaduna State, penultimate weekend upheld the Congress, describing the exercise as successful.
The party had last week conducted congresses to elect local state and national delegates.
The exercise was said to have been done by consensus in accordance with APC’s elections guidelines and constitution.
The 5-man committee headed by Mrs Tinuke Gbadejo Ogunrinde said the congresses were hitch-free, as no petition was received before, during and after the congresses.
According to Mrs Ogunrinde, 1,275 delegates were elected for local and state respectively, while 69 national delegates were unanimously elected.
However, while addressing a press conference on Monday, Sani Sha’aban Campaign Director-General faulted the claims of the Appeal Committee, insisting that no such delegates’ primaries election to produce delegates were ever held in the whole of Kaduna State.
“We categorically deny, before you and before the whole world, that no such delegates primaries election to produce delegates were ever held in the whole of Kaduna State.
“Secondly, there was a petition written by our campaign organization which the appeal committee refused to collect.
“It is a fact, that many party faithful, paid for, and filled the delegates’ election forms, which were neither collected by the state nor the national office of our dear party, thus disenfranchising thousands of APC members in the state of their rights to become delegates as enshrined in the constitution of our great party and the elections guidelines, which we submit, are an integral part of the electoral process to produce the party’s candidates at the elections.
“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.
“Also, we have here before you, a petition by our campaign organization about the non-conduct of any delegates primaries election to produce the purported delegates in the state. The petition was not collected, by the appeal committee.
“We have here, our petition, challenging the conduct of any delegates primaries election within Kaduna state. Any such list of delegates is a contrivance of agents of the state
“The appeal committee refused to collect the petition from us. 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 party 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”. Ephraim said.