A former deputy governor and governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi, Mr Yomi Awoniyi has rejected the delegates list for the party’s primary election scheduled for Sunday.
Some other aspirants joined Awoniyi in rejecting the delegates list.
The aspirants made their position known at a news conference held in Lokoja on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that present at the media briefing were some leaders, stalwarts and party chairmen from the seven local government areas of Kogi west senatorial district.
Awoniyi told the news conference that the delegates list produced at the March 29 and April 8 ad-hoc and delegates’ congresses in the district had been manipulated to favour a particular aspirant.
“We are calling this meeting to address the great anomalies that have come to the fore regarding the PDP’s primary election slated for Sunday.
“With me here are photocopies of the authentic delegates list, which had been duly certified by INEC as the result of what transpired on March 29 at the PDP congress in Kogi.
“We have copies of the delegates list for the 21 local government areas and the entire 239 wards across the state supported by the state’s PDP executives,’’ he said
He emphasised that the congresses were witnessed by INEC, the police, the Department of State Services and other security agencies, after which INEC wrote a report as to how the congresses went.
Awoniyi, who was Director-General, Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council in Kogi, noted that the entire delegates list in Yagba West and Ijumu Local Government Areas had been replaced in favour of a particular aspirant.
He added that 31 names out of 45 names of delegates were removed and replaced in Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area.
He said that a total of 158 legitimately-elected delegates had been replaced by strange people who did not participate in the congress.
“We, as members and governorship aspirants of the PDP will like to draw the attention of the world to this anomaly.
“It is trite to say that while the party sets up guidelines for due process and the process is adhered to; it is unreasonable to have the same party jeopardising the same process by importing strange names into the delegates list,’’ he said.
Awoniyi charged that there was a grand design to skew the list in favour of a particular aspirant, and other aspirants would not stand by as they had worked so hard for the party.
“We are a party that is bound by laws, and we live in a country that is bound by laws.
“There will be serious and grave consequences for the PDP if the approved delegates list is not used.
“We can assure the party of this because nobody can make a fool of us,’’ Awoniyi stressed.
Also speaking, Dr Bolufemi Rotimi, another frontline aspirant, said there would be grave consequences if the approved delegates’ lists from ward to state level, as submitted by the state’s PDP chairman, is set aside.
“Failure not to use the authentic list will result into total cancellation of the whole process.
“We will not tolerate it because one man cannot be an island to us. We all paid the same fees for Nomination and Express of Interest forms and we went through the screening process.
“If they forge any list on Sunday for the primary election, there is going to be serious crisis.
“Let nobody underrate the word `crisis’ because we mean business. We will help them to bury PDP finally in Kogi if they refuse to use the authentic list,’’ Rotimi charged.
On his part, Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf, a PDP senatorial candidate for Kogi West, described the manipulated delegates list as a total shamble and horrible with the intention to commit fraud.
He noted that names of many people who are not members of the PDP were added to the manipulated list to favour a particular aspirant.
Yusuf, a three-term House of Representative member representing Kabba/Bunu-Ijumu constituency, said his name was initially removed from the delegates list.
He urged the party’s leadership to do the right thing, warning that the consequences of doing otherwise would be so unbearable for PDP in Kogi. (NAN)
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