… As Aspirants, Delegates threaten showdown
Barely few days to Niger state party Primaries to elect Candidates that will fly the All Progressives Congress (APC) flags in the 2023 general elections, stakeholders have alleged a change in the delegates list by Chairman of the party in the state by Alhaji Haliru Zakari Jikantoro, Chairman of the party in the state.
It was gathered that, this development has unsettled both the Aspirants and party stakeholders across the state and they are therefore threatening a total showdown with the party if the delegates list earlier submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission is tempered with.
The change in the list, according to reliable sources close to some of the Aspirants, affects both the Governorship, the Senatorial, House of Representatives and the state Assembly delegates lists.
It was further gathered that worst hit in the manipulation is the Delegates’ list for Senatorial and House of Representatives Delegates’ list from Niger North Senatorial District, (Zone C).
Some of the Aspirants who spoke to our Correspondent on the condition of anonymity believe that it was a desperate attempt to impose some candidates on the people.
Stakeholders from Niger North Senatorial District who also spoke with our Correspondent said the Delegates’ List from Agwara, Rijau and which is the zone of the governor are heavily tempered with “because the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani is interested in the Senate seat from the zone and the party is bent on ensuring that he picks the party ticket against all odds”.
“You remember that the party Chairman, Alhaji Haliru Zakari Jikantoro told the whole world in a trending video that he is in full support of the governor’s Senatorial ambition, so we should expect something like this from the zone because he knows that the governor is not popular in the zone and can not defeat the incumbent Senator, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
“As I speak with you now, the governor has not gone anywhere in the zone to campaign ahead of the delegates election because he wants the party Chairman to impose him on the people. It will not work because the people will resist any attempt force him on them.
“The people of the zone can not afford to have a diaspora senator in 2023, therefore if the party succeeds in manipulating the process and impose him on the people as Candidate, that will be the end of APC in the zone because the people will wait for them in the general election.
“Their power will only stop at the party level but at the general elections, the people will reply them, and that is when the people will also exercise their power with their votes.
“This governor can not win a free and fair contest against the incumbent Senator in the zone”.
Recalled that in the trending video, the Chairman openly declared that though as the party Chairman, he is not supposed to take side with any Aspirant ahead of the party primaries, he has no choice than to throw his weight behind the senatorial ambition of the Governor.
The Chairman was said to have made the declaration when he played host to a former Commissioner for Land and Housing in the state, and house of representative Aspirant for Agwara/Borgu federal constituency, Barrister Mouktar Ibrahim Nasale in his office in Minna.
According to the Chairman in the trending video, “I am not suppose to do this as the Chairman of the party but am saying this to the hearing of anybody who cares to listen that I am fully in support of the Governor’s aspiration.
“In fact, I am not only in support, I am in the forefront of the struggle, and I want the whole world to know about this”, he declared.
There are similar agitations over the change in the delegates list in other zones of the state, and this is not going down well with party stakeholders who vowed never to allow this criminal manipulation of delegates list.
Although, the governor was said to have disassociated himself from the ongoing manipulation of Delegates’ list, saying I do not want to be senator through fraudulent means, and therefore the right process must be followed”.
But one of the Governorship Aspirants, Alhaji Mohammed Bago was also said to have warned the party to revert back to the original delegates list to avoid crisis ahead of the primary election.
In the the same vain, the Vice Chairman, North Central of the party, Alhaji Bawa Rijau while expressing reservations, urged the party to be neutral in its handling of the party Primaries.