By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Emmanuel Aziken, Clifford Ndujihe, Festus Ahon, Ochuko Akuopha, Bashir Bello, David Odama, Peter Duru, Abdulmumin Murtala, Harris-Okon Emmanuel, &Emma Una
ABUJA— Less than a week three were drama, claims and counter-claims, yesterday, as governorship candidates emerged on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC in 15 states.
Similarly, intra-party intrigues erupted yesterday to cloud the prospects for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in producing a governorship candidate in Kano State, sparking tension in the ancient city. PDP activists accused the Federal Government of collaborating with state institutions to frustrate the party.
APC Candidates that emerged as of press time, yesterday were Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Babagana Umara Zulum (Borno), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Nsima Ekere (Akwa Ibom), Solomon Lalong (Plateau), Usani Usani (Cross River), Emmanuel Jime (Benue), Mohammed Badaru (Jigawa), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), and Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna)
Parallel primaries were held in Abia, Delta and Rivers. The party has also shifted the governorship primaries in Lagos State to today while the primaries in Enugu and Adamawa states were shifted to Thursday.Primaries: APC members with slips, party cards can vote in Lagos – Electoral panel
In Abia, Ikechi emerged as candidate of one of the factions while the rival faction is yet to pick a flagbearer. In Delta, the parallel standard bearers are Chief Great Ogboru and Professor Pat Utomi. And in Rivers, the rival candidates are Tonye Cole and Senator Magnus Abe.
Final results from the governorship primaries were being distilled by APC elders in Abuja, yesterday, with the injunction that party guidelines would be strictly observed in resolving disputes in the states.
In that direction it was specifically affirmed that those who went out of the loop to conduct primaries against the guidelines would be disregarded. In Rivers State for example where the Senator Magnus Abe faction of the party organised direct primaries against the prescription of indirect, a senior party source said only the outcome from the indirect primaries would be upheld.
A senior party official while responding to the crisis that characterised some of the primaries in some of the states told Vanguard yesterday that the party would rely on the guidelines issued for the conduct of the primaries in the states to resolve the issues.
“The guidelines will tell us what to do in each case. In Rivers State for example, what we said was that they should do indirect and anybody that went and did direct is just on his own.
“It is like taking laws into their hands. In Enugu we had a reason to stop it after it became noticeable that the hands of the state government were being seen in what was being done especially after thugs came to hijack the materials. But generally the process went well and people are exercising their democratic rights and nobody is now above the law, even governors are rushing panicky,” the official who spoke on strict confidentiality said.
As for Adamawa and Enugu, spokesman of the party, Yekini Nabena, said the mode of primaries in those states had also been changed from indirect to direct.
Stakeholders led by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Babachir David Lawal had consistently warned the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC against approving indirect primaries for Adamawa state.
In an earlier decision, the party national leadership had approved indirect primaries for the state but barred the state executive committee from overseeing the processes, alleging bias on their part.
The stakeholders had slammed the state Governor, Jubrilla Bindow over what they described as his glaring non-performance and undemocratic resort to indirect primaries in picking candidates of the party for the next general elections.
Aside Lawal, the stakeholders comprised governorship aspirants, statutory delegates and other party stalwarts including a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senators Ahmed Mo’Allayidi, Abubakar Girei and Bello Tukur. Others were Engr. Marcus Gundiri, Sadiq Muhammed and Dr Mahmoud Halilu a brother in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing journalists after a closed door meeting in Abuja, the former SGF, Engr. Lawal said they were constrained to once again express their “total rejection to the Indirect Primaries being concocted by Adamawa State Government and their cohorts”.
Ribadu now to participate in rescheduled Adamawa APC primaries
Erstwhile chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has changed his mind to step aside from the governorship contest in Adamawa State now rescheduled primary holding on Thursday.
Alhaji Salihu Bawuro, the Director-General, Ribadu campaign organisation, made the announcement at a news conference in Yola, yesterday.
Ribadu withdrew from the primary election on Sunday evening as the exercise was about to start but the exercise was cancelled and rescheduled.
Masari, wins clinch ticket in Katsina
Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari polled 5,562 votes at the APC primaries held in the state on Sunday to secure the APC’s ticket for his second term bid. He defeated the duo of Abubakar Samaila Isa and Garba Sani Dankani who scored eight and one votes respectively.
Chairman, APC electoral panel in the state, Dr. Isah Adamu declared Masari winner and the APC party flag bearer in the state. He said that 5,959 delegates participated in the exercise out of which 5,627 voted and there 56 invalid votes.
APC governorship primaries: Olamide drums support for Ambode
Governor Masari, thanked the committee and the delegates for ensuring a hitch free exercise and assured party supporters and the people of his administration’s will to leave the state united and better than he met it.
Ogboru clinches Delta APC guber ticket, Utomi wins at parallel primary
In Delta, veteran governorship candidate, Chief Great Ovadje Ogboru, won the APC primary held in Asaba, which was commenced on Sunday amid tight security and ended yesterday.
Announcing the results, the Returning Officer of the Delta State Governorship primary of the party Major Gen. Laurence Onoja, retd, said that Ogboru polled 3292 of the 3515 valid votes, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei polled 160, Professor Pat Utomi and Dr. Cairo Ojougboh polled 26 and 12 votes respectively.
Addressing the party members after he was declared winner of the primary election, Ogboru promised to “drive the state forward and make it a place where we believe that a new sense of value, a new sense of industry and a new sense of belonging will be the order of the day.”
He called on other aspirants to “come and unite, work as a party and face our common opponent to translate our state to a new Delta.”
Meanwhile, Professor Utomi emerged winner of a parallel governorship primary also held in Asaba.
In the result announced by the Returning Officer of the factional governorship primary, Elder Favour Adibor, Utomi polled 2481 of the 3755 total delegates votes while Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, Dr. Cairo Ojougbuoh and Chief Great Ogboru polled 801, 326 and 106 respectively. Three of the votes were however, voided.
Speaking on behalf of Utomi after the declaration of the result, a chieftain of the party, Dr. Nosike Agokei, said different groups in the party had agreed that Utomi should fly the party’s flag in the governorship election in the state. He appealed to aggrieved members of the party to come together to rescue the state, because “APC is a great party and APC will take over Delta State.”
Factional Chairman of the party, Chief Cyril Ogodo, described the exercise as peaceful, saying: “We want a credible exercise like this that will give the people a sense of belonging. Deltans are yearning for the desired change and l know that the candidate that has emerged from this process, Prof Pat Utomi, would give Deltans the desired change.”
Sule, Dangote Sugar refinery MD wins APC ticket in Nasarawa
In Nasarawa, the group Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Engr Abdullahi Sule, won the APC governorship primary has emerged as the winner of the APC candidate in Nasarawa state.
Sule’s emergence has shown Almakura’s superiority over Senator Abdullahi Adamu in the battle for the mantle of leadership in 2019.
Sule, who is Almakura’s anointed polled 926 votes to beat his closest rival, Hon Aliyu Ahmed Wadada, who got 519 votes to win the APC ticket.
The state deputy governor Hon Silas Ali Agara came third with 356 votes. Other results are as follows: Barr Danladi Envuluanza 246 votes, Hon Arc Ja’afar Mohammed scored 105 votes, Hon Zakari Idde 88 votes , Barr Dauda Kigbu 10 votes , Arch Shehu Tukur 9 votes, Hon Musa Maikaya 8 votes, Dr James Angbazo 7 votes and Hassan Liman 4 votes.
The secretary of the electoral committee, Candido Abdullahi while declaring Engr Sule Abdullahis as the winner 2341 delegates participated in the primaries, 2337 delegates were accredited and 2297 voted, while 19 votes were voided.
Udoedehe kicks as NDDC boss wins APC guber primary in A-Ibom
In Akwa Ibom, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere won the governorship primary.
Declaring the result of the primary at about 2.00pm on Monday in the presence of the party’s stakeholders and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Mike Igini, Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Barrister Yamah Momoh, said Ekere polled 160,458, while the former Managing Director, Barrister Dan Abia scored 4,189 votes, Senator Akpan Udoedehe received 2,015 votes, and 1,234 delegates voted for Dr. Edet Efretuei.
Momoh disclosed that 167,904 votes were cast in 30 local government areas excluding Uyo local government area where the primary did not hold over alleged votes hijack, adding that eight votes were voided thus leaving the total valid votes at 167,896.
Thanking the leaders and their followers for conducting themselves in good and orderly manner, he said the process was conducted in line with the party’s constitution as the aspirants were given level playing field, adding that the committee received two petitions from Uyo local government area and pledged that the complains would be handed over to the Appeal Committee which would definitely seat from next week.
State Party Chairman, Ini Okopido in a brief remark, described the primary as the fairest and freest election he has ever witnessed and called on all hands to be on deck.
In his acceptance speech, elated Obong Ekere dedicated the victory to the APC family in the state and vowed to reach out to the aggrieved members of the party and broker a truce so that the party would present a unity front ahead of the 2019 general polls.
Other aspirants including Barrister Dan Abia, Senator Akpan Udoedehe and Dr Edet Efretuei stayed away from the event where the result was announced but their agents signed the final verdict of the party.
However, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, yesterday, alleged that the primary was massively rigged in favour of Ekere fell short of all known parameters of modern democracy, and consequently called for its cancellation.
The former minister also alleged that the list of returning officers and agents of aspirants were not available, even as the mode of elections was not discussed and agreed.
He explained that not long commotion ensued and many of his opponent supporters began to release gun shots in the presence of police who did not put up any effort to stop the show of violence, adding that random release of forms followed afterwards.
According to him, three of his ardent supporters namely, Inyang Effiong, Ini Ward 7; Udeme Effanga, Southern Uruan Ward 1, and Emmanuel Asuquo (an engineer) Etim Ekpo, were killed by thugs loyal to his opponents in the race.
How Usani won the Cross River ticket
Pastor Usani Usani, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs was, yesterday, announced winner of the APC governorship primary in Cross River State by Mr Etim John faction of the party.
Declaring the results of the primary which took place on Sunday, Ntufam Emmanuel Anor, the faction’s Returning Officer said Usani polled 47,313 votes, while Senator John Owan Enoh scored 1,486 to come second with while Professor Eyo Etim Nyong, scored 1,052, Chief Edem Duke, 1,322 and Mr John Odey got 1,099.
“The exercise was conducted through direct primary as directed by the national headquartres of the party and attempts were made to disrupt the election in Yakurr, Abi, Obubra but that did not significantly affect the outcome of the exercise.”
He said results from seven local government areas were collated on Sunday the day of the election while those from the remaining 11 were taken to the party’s secretariat, yesterday, where they were announced.
Tension in Kano as police stop PDP primaries
Ortom emerges in Benue, Senator Lado in Katsina
By Peter Duru and Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano
Inter-party intrigues erupted yesterday to cloud the prospects for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in producing a governorship candidate in Kano State sparking tension in the ancient city.
PDP activists accused the Federal Government of collaborating with state institutions to frustrate the party.
Nonetheless, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State repeated his feat of four years ago when he crossed over from a former party to win the primary of his new party yesterday.
Besides him, Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke and Mallam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim, who served as chief of staff in the Sule Lamido administration respectively emerged as the party’s candidates in Katsina and Jigawa States.
Tension engulfed Kano after police sealed the venue for the PDP primaries at Marhaba Cinema claiming they were acting on a court order.
The police spokesman in Kano, SP Magaji Majiya said the order flowed from the PDP leadership tussle in Kano.
He explained that a Court Order had reversed the dissolution of the party leadership in the state and that the order should be maintained to avoid breakdown of law and order.
The governorship primaries were earlier scheduled for last Sunday but later postponed by the national headquarters pending the resolution of some leadership dispute in the state chapter of the party.
The national secretariat had appointed a caretaker committee under the chairmanship of Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi, a former secretary to the state government to run the party in the state.
Reacting to the development yesterday, a leading member of the Kwankwasiyya political movement and running mate to one of the governorship aspirants Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam accused the Police of acting the script of the Federal Government to cripple the party structure in Kano.
He explained that the security agencies had no right to prevent the opposition party from holding its lawful primaries.
Abdulsalam who served as a commissioner for State Affairs in the Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s administration also challenged the police for preventing the Kwankwasiyya members from accessing the Lugard House, Kwankwasiyya headquarters in the state.
According to him, PDP in Kano would not be intimidated by the Police from carrying out their lawful primaries.
“We are all from Kano, and we have the right to associate and to belong to any political party of our choice. We are aware the federal government and APC are jittering and intimidated by Kano PDP because of our strong and massive support. But we would not be intimidated we would go ahead to conduct our primaries let the Police come and kill all of us” he declared.
“The Police have no right to stop us from conducting political activities in Kano” he added.
Also reacting, the Director, Campaign Organization of Alhaji Salihu Sagir Takai Governorship Campaign, Barr. Faruq Iya Sambo said the party was still waiting for the Police for approval to conduct its primaries.
He said delegates from across the party’s structure were ready for the primaries to vote their choice but the sealing of the venue of the primaries has dampened the enthusiasm of delegates drawn from the 44 Local Government Areas of the state.
Ortom wins Benue PDP guber ticket with 2,210 votes
Meanwhile, Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, won after polling 2,210 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr. John Tondu who got 475 votes.
Other contestants in the election held Monday at the Ape Aku township Stadium Makurdi, included Engr. Felix Atume, who scored 44 votes and former NAFDAC Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, who garnered 10 votes.
Before the commencement of voting at about 7 am, three other contestants, pulled out of the race, among whom were Prof. Tor Iorapuu, Mr. Dave Iorhemba, and Dr. Tivlumun Nyitse.
Announcing the outcome of the poll, Chairman of the Benue state gubernatorial primary election organizing committee and member of the PDP Board of Trustees, BOT, Hajia Zainab Maina, said the election was peaceful, rancor-free, fair and credible.
In his acceptance speech, Governor Ortom who commended the contestants and those who withdrew from the race assured that his victory was a collective one for all of them. He assured: “I will make sure that we all work together because doing so will help the people and the state to be greater than what it is today.”
It’s Danmarke in Katsina PDP
Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke also picked up the PDP governorship ticket after polling 3,385 votes.
Chairman of the PDP electoral panel in the state, Senator Bala Adamu Kariya, said there were seven contestants, of which Kabir Ahmed Kofa withdrew from the contest before the exercise commenced.
Announcing the results, he said 3,657 delegates participated, 28 invalid votes were recorded, and Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke got 3,385 votes, while his closest rival, Arch Ahmed Yar’Adua scored 243 votes.
Jigawa: Ibrahim, Ex-Gov Lamido’s Chief of staff, wins PDP ticket
Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim, former chief of staff to former Governor Sule Lamido, was the winner in the PDP governorship primary in Jigawa State.
The other contestants were Barrister Ali Sa’ad, and former members of the House of Representatives, Tijjani Ibrahim Kiyawa and Hussaini Namadi.
Declaring the result, Chief Returning Officer, Oladimeji Fabiyi said Ringim got 2,028 of the 3,212 votes casted. While Hon Tijjani Kiyawa scored 394, Hon. Namadi Hussaini got 154 and Barr. Ali Sa’ad scored 30 votes, and 62 votes were invalid.
In Kwara State, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, former minister of sports and immediate past spokesman of the All Progressives Congress, APC stepped down along with other aspirants leaving former speaker of the House of Assembly, Razak Atunwa and Sha’aba Lafiagi in the race.
THE GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATES
S/N State PDP APC
1 Abia Okezie Ikpeazu Ikechi Emenike
2 Rivers Nyesom Wike Tonye Cole/ Magnus Abe*
3 Kaduna Isa Hashiru Nasir el-Rufai
4 Delta Ifeanyi Okowa Great Ogboru/Pat Utomi*
5 Ebonyi Dave Umahi
6 Niger Umar Muhammad Nasko Abubakar Sani-Bello
7 Taraba Darius Ishaku
8 Ogun Adeleke Shittu/Ladi Adebutu*
9 Enugu Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
10 Borno Mohammed Wakil/Bukar Kyari*
11 Jigawa Aminu Ringim Mohammed Badaru
12 Plateau Jeremiah Useni Solomon Lalong
13 Benue Samuel Ortom Emmanuel Jime
14 Cross River Ben Ayade Usani Usani
15 Akwa Ibom Udom Emmanuel Nsima Ekere
16 Katsina Yakubu Lado Danmarke Aminu Bello Masari
17 Adamawa Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri
18 Borno Babagana Umara Zulum
19 Nasarawa David Ombugadu Abdullahi Sule
20 Bauchi Bala Mohammed
21 Kano Abdullahi Ganduje
22 Yobe Mai Mala Buni
•Parallel primaries produced two candidates