The All Progressives Congress (APC) will today conduct primary elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States to produce governorship candidates.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed the off-cycle elections on November 11, 2023.
However, in Kogi State, the Deputy Governor Edward Onoja and the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr Mohammed Abdulkareem Asuku have withdrawn from the contest.
This came after a stakeholders’ meeting hosted by the state governor, Yahaya Bello at the APC secretariat in Lokoja, the state capital.
Onoja and Asuku announced their withdrawal from the governorship race via their verified facebook account shortly after the meeting in Lokoja.
Edward Onoja’s post reads: “To God be the glory for life and divine health. My appreciation to my leader, HE Alhaji Yahaya Bello and all my supporters for your love and prayers. Let love, patience and perseverance lead. I am forever grateful”.
While Mohammed Asuku posted “I sincerely appreciate His Excellency, my benefactor, for all that Allah have been using him to do in my life. As such, I hereby submit myself publicly to the decision taken today and I will forever live to remain loyal and dedicated to the decision of my party as I enjoin all my well-wishers to work with us for our great party APC to become victorious in the November 11th general election.”
In Bayelsa State, the chairman of the APC Primary Election Committee, Maj. Gen. A. T. Jibrin has assured party members of a free, transparent and peaceful primary election in 105 Wards across the eight local government areas of the state.
Maj. Gen. Jibrin gave the assurance yesterday during a media briefing after the party’s stakeholders meeting at the APC secretariat in Yenagoa, the state capital.
According to the chairman, six aspirants have been cleared for the primary election. He said the committee has put in a lot of measures to ensure a hitch free exercise as well as the primary election appeal committee headed by DIG Habila Joshua.
“We assure of the compilation of the voters register based on our party register in each and every ward in the 8 local governments and nobody will be allowed to join the queue of voting until you are accredited.
“We cannot give you a figure because in some of the wards, you have up to 100 people, in some it’s less. So it is difficult because there are 105 wards, it’s difficult to have it off the top of my head. But just know that we have a register for all those that will participate. We will accredit everybody before they cast the votes”, he said.
Maj. Gen Jibrin further noted that the committee have had series of engagement with the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Bayelsa Police Command, Department of State Security Service (DSS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to seek advice on how to go about the exercise peacefully according to the regulations.
On the outcome of the stakeholders meeting, he said, “We had a coordinating meeting of the joint members because we have the election committee and the appeal panel committee. After that we came in for the stakeholders meeting.”
In a related development, Governor of Imo State Hope Uzodimma assured that today’s primary election will be peaceful and credible.
Today (yesterday), at the meeting of the Imo State chapter of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), I restated the objective of political parties and politicians, which centers on the provision of welfare to the citizens and their protection.
As a family, in the course of our transformation drive, we have invested enormous patriotism and faithfulness to the ideals and objectives of our great party, the APC, which conforms with the above stated objectives.
“Our people-centric objectives are in tandem with contemporary and globally-accepted ideologies in the development of a society. To this, we have maintained an open-door policy, not just in administration but also in the admission of prospective members who desire to be progressive.”
He commended party members in the state for performing optimally in membership drive and spreading of our campaign messages to the grassroots, which is evident in the landslide victory of our great party at the just concluded 2023 General Elections.
“It is my belief that by Friday, 14th April 2023, we shall conduct a peaceful and credible governorship primary election to produce a standard flag bearer ahead of the November 2023 governorship election in Imo State.
Together, we shall continue to build on our efforts as we transform our dear Imo State.”