KATSINA—President Muhammadu Buhari’s son-in-law, Malam Abubakar Isma’ila Isa, has headed to court to challenge the outcome of the just concluded All Progressives Congress, APC, party primaries in Katsina State that saw Governor Aminu Masari clinching the return ticket of the party in the state.
Isa’s rejection of the primaries outcome came as Masari’s name had been forwarded by the party to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as its governorship candidate in the race.
Isa, in a petition filed to the Appeal Committee of the party in Abuja to register his grievance, faulted the adoption of indirect primaries, which led to the emergence of Masari.
The petition read: “As stakeholders in the election, we ought to be consulted in whatever decision that may be arrived at, but we were neither consulted nor informed on the decision to go in for indirect primaries.
“Consequently, no notice to that effect was served on us. Therefore, our delegates and agents could not trace the venue for accreditation and election.”
Referring to the election panel headed by Dr Isa Adamu, he said: “You and your committee arrived in Katsina in the night of September 29, 2018, in a chartered flight allegedly provided by the state governor, you went straight into Government House, met with the governor who is one of the aspirants and members of his government.
‘’You did not invite us to the usual stakeholders meeting and did not meet us until the following day, September 30 by 12.30pm. At the meeting, you informed us that you have finished screening of delegates and we’re to start voting.”
Isa had earlier issued a statement before the governorship primaries in the state, saying: “We wholeheartedly align ourselves with the position of President Muhammadu Buhari in deepening and entrenching internal democracy in our party by openly supporting direct primaries as a mode of electing those who will carry the party’s flag in the forthcoming general elections.
“However, we are sad to report that the national secretariat of our party closed its eyes to the inherent dangers in conducting indirect primaries in Katsina State.
“This trend, if not checked, will throw the party into chaos and may further factionalize the party and affect its fortunes in the forthcoming general elections in 2019.
“We have lost confidence in the ability of the executives of the party in the state and the state government to conduct free, fair and transparent primaries.
“We are solidly behind the President and the National Working Committee, NWC, in supporting direct primaries to choose candidates who will carry the party’s flag in the 2019 elections, more so as direct primaries remain the most transparent and credible process of selecting popular and acceptable candidates for the party.
“The so-called executive members of the party at all levels in Katsina State were illegally elected in a phantom congress of the party and, therefore, ineligible to take decisions on behalf of the party and its members and we call on all those concerned to intervene and save the party from the merchants of manipulation and disunity.
“There was never a stakeholders’ meeting of the party where it was agreed that the party in Katsina State should go contrary to the well known views of our dear President who is an advocate of direct primaries for the party and that we hold the view that as a mark of respect for our President, we will never shame him by going contrary to his views.
“It is pertinent to note that at present, there are not less than seven suits pending before the various high courts challenging the illegality of the present set of executives at the wards, LGA’s and state level of the party in Katsina.
“These suits are challenging the constitutional legitimacy of the present exco who constitute the delegates for indirect election at the primaries. These suits are still pending before High Courts, Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
“We are by this drawing your attention to these breaches of the guidelines and the APC constitution and urging you to take immediate steps to rectify them before it is too late.”
Meanwhile, the electoral committee from the party’s national headquarters, headed by Dr. Isah Adamu, had declared Masari winner after polling 5,562 votes against the duo of Abubakar Samaila Isa, 8 votes, and Garba Sani Dankani with one vote
Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari, on Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, reacting to the patition said the emergence of the governor as gubernatorial candidate did not contravene party rules and the Nigerian constitution.
He said: “The constitution of the APC provided for three options— direct, indirect and consensus primaries method.
“A state can adopt any of the three. And Katsina adopted indirect, the party did not query or say anything was wrong with that.
“By adopting the indirect primaries, the Katsina APC did not contravene any law, either electoral or Nigerian constitution or the party’s constitution.”
Contacted, APC Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Gambo Danmusa, said the adoption of indirect primaries was the prerogative of the party, exco and stakeholders in the state.
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