A major crisis is brewing within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following fallout from party primaries.
Across the country, many aggrieved aspirants who were short-changed in the process are crying foul and threatening to defect en-masse to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) party in order to frustrate the ambition of imposed candidates.
Checks across the states reveal that many of the governorship aspirants in state like Rivers, Adamawa, Enugu, Taraba, Sokoto and Kebbi States have vowed to give a bad blow to the ambitions of so-called anointed candidates and work against the success of the party in favor of the opposition party wherever they can do so.
One of the aggrieved aspirant today in Abuja appeared on a Radio Program (Ray Power), the apparent, a former deputy governor in Sokoto state, Mukhtar Shehu Shagari said that the result declared in the state was written by somebody and that no primary election was conducted. “I personally went to meet with the election committee and told them that with the situation on ground election cannot hold because delegates were allowed to enter the venue and security situation was not encouraging and I told them to postpone the election, not only that I even wrote it and handed it over to them but they ignored me. Now they have announced the result written by one person and said that I had just only one vote out of 984 delegates while the imposed aspirant got 983 “.
Mr. Shagari has asked the party to rescind its decision and re-conduct a fresh election for all the aspirants or deal with the consequences.
“Therefore I wish to call on the national leadership of our party (PDP) to take note that there was no gubernatorial primary election for Sokoto PDP, disband the electoral committee which by the attitude of its chairman, cannot guarantee a free and fair conduct of the primary election.
My appeal to the leadership of our great party, the PDP is to formally and immediately set up an unbiased Electoral Committee made up of credible men and women of proven integrity to conduct the Gubernatorial primaries for Sokoto state within the shortest possible time.”, Shagari stated.
Shagari shocked listeners when he said that APC was an organized party in the state coupled with the likes of its candidate, Aminu Tambuwal. He maintained that if PDP fails to field him as the flag bearer the party will lose in the state. Though Shagari did not reveal his next line of action but a reliable source within the party said that he has perfected his plan to pitch his tent with the APC.
In Rivers State 15 aspirants alleged that their names were deleted from the list of contestants for the state governorship primaries, leaving only Nyesom Wike, a former education minister imposed on the state PDP by the first lady, Patience Jonathan. The aggrieved aspirants recently held a joint press briefing asking for outright cancellation of the purported governorship primary. According to a reliable source close to the aspirants, many of them have perfected plan to work for the emergence of APC candidate in the general election.
In Taraba State where the party moved the governorship primary for the state to Abuja to enable the fraudulent installation of a candidate favored by billionaire and former army general, Theophilus Danjuma, the party reportedly sold the governorship slot to General Danjuma, who selected Samuel Ortom-Darius Ishyaku, a former Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs to get the ticket.
In Enugu State, three candidates have emerged in a bitterly contested primary, they include Senator Ayogu Eze, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Professor Onyeke O. Onyeke, all from Enugu North senatorial zone where the governorship slot had been zoned by the party.
Crisis started in the state when the Electoral Panel arrived Enugu from Abuja with a different list of delegates which was reportedly handed to them by the National Secretariat of the party. The bizarre occurrence forced all other the aspirants to conduct parallel elections in their respective constituencies and declared themselves winner. Feelers from the state indicated that in the next few weeks some of the aggrieved aspirants will move en mass with their supporters to the opposition party.
In Lagos, former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro has dragged the party to the court over the shoddy conduct of the gubernatorial primary in the state and continued to threaten fire and brimstone. The Lagos governorship primary had a dubious distinction of producing more votes than the number of the delegates at the convention that produced newcomer Jimi Agbaje as governorship candidate.
In Oyo state where a former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin emerged as the PDP party flag bearer, many aggrieved candidates said elections did not take place at all. The disagreement has forced a former governor of the state, Alao Akala to move to the Labour Party in protest against the manipulation that characterized the exercise, others took the party to court to get a cancellation of the exercise.
Adamawa State primary which later held in Abuja where the former chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu emerged as the winner continues to feed discontent in the party. A group of aspirants led by the incumbent governor of the State, Bala Ngilari, met and decided to suspend Ribadu from the party at the state level.
With the the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the PDP is jittery that the APC stands to reap from its internal crisis and disaffection of many party aspirants schemed out its primaries.[Sahara Reporters]