President Muhammadu Buhari is currently the rallying point for most members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and unless the party reforms the way it does things, particularly its conduct of primary elections and make such elections transparently credible, the party may not survive Buhari’s presidency, some members of the party said Wednesday.
Aggrieved members of the party from Taraba State who made submissions at the party’s National Peace and Reconciliation Committee meeting in Yola, complained of gross irregularities in primaries conducted in Taraba State and concluded that if not because they were loyalists of Buhari, they would have left the APC.
Hajia Zainab A. Ibrahim, a House of Representatives contestant in the state’s NASS primary, who spoke for all aggrieved House of Representatives contestants, told the committee, “There was no National Assembly primary in Taraba State, but after two days of the scheduled primary, results were announced. There must be reforms away from such unimaginable occurrences. If such things continue to happen, there will be no APC after Buhari.”
She said she remained an APC member, but appealed for a return of the money that aspirants used in obtaining nomination forms. She said, “We spent our hard earned money to buy the very expensive forms. We should have been told that some people had been anointed for the positions. What happened in Taraba is especially discouraging for women. How do I convince my husband the next time I want to vie for a position after the charade that happened? I asked that at least our form fees be returned to us.”
Aspirants who were entered for the House of Assembly primary in Taraba State, projected the same mindset to the APC National Peace and Reconciliation Committee (Northeast) which sat in Yola under Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Al-Makura as chairman.
Speaking for the the aggrieved APC House of Assembly aspirants, Malam Sanusi Maigari said the aspirants were so dissatisfied about what happened around the primaries that they were to have been in court Wednesday, the very day of the sitting of the eeconciliation committee in Yola.
“We had resolved to go to court. We would have been in court today, in fact. We held back only because this committee came up and we felt we should present our case,” he said.
He said they chose to remain in the APC after how they were treated by the party because of their loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, but appealed for either a cancellation of the primaries or a return of the money they spent to obtain nomination forms.
The committee chairman Umaru Al-Makura had promised at the beginning of the meeting at he Government House in Yola Wednesday that his committee would be fair to all and would make appropriate recommendations to the APC headquarters for meaningful reconciliation.