Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos
Ahead of the November 2 governorship election in Kogi state, some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state will today storm the National Headquarters of the party in Abuja to protest alleged plans by the party leadership to deny the state governor, Yahaya Bello the party’s ticket.
Daily Independent gathered that the protesters, who are staunch loyalists of the governor are drawn from the 21 local government areas of the state.
Speaking to Daily Independent, Jonah Adavi, one of the protesters who claimed to be a card-carrying member of the party said he would join other loyalists of the governor to “caution Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other members of the party’s National Working Committee to refrain from carrying out the wishes of some powerful individuals outside the state who are hell-bent on denying Governor Bello a second term”.
According to him, some of them have already left Kogi for Abuja on Tuesday where they will be joined by indigenes of the state residents in Abuja.
“We are protesting because we don’t want the politics of Kogi to be determined by some outsiders who are not even residents in Kogi. Even before the primary, we are already getting feelers that Governor Bello would be denied the party’s ticket. That is what we don’t want”.
“If the party wants direct primary in Kogi, we are okay by it. If it is by delegates voting, we are also comfortable with it. If Yahaya Bello lost in a free and fair primary, we have no problem with that. After all, he didn’t win the primary in 2015 but God ordained him as the governor,” he said.
Reacting, Governor Bello who spoke through Onogwu Mohammed, his Chief Press Secretary (CPS) said he was not aware of the development, directing our correspondent to speak with the state executives of the party.
“We are not aware of that. Since they are not going for a government function, we cannot be in the picture. If it has to do with the party, then it is the party people that will be in the best position to explain, not the state government”.
On whether he has started reaching out to party leaders who are rumoured to be opposed to his reelection bid, Mohammed said the governor is focused on governance is eight months away and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not given the go-ahead for campaigns in the state.