The All Progressives Congress in Plateau State said it has read and  watched with keen interest what it called, “hullabaloo” about its gubernatorial candidate, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe who the party stated remained its credible candidate for the 2023 general elections. 
A statement by the party and signed by its State Publicity Secretary Hon. Sylvanus Namang noted that the claims and counter claims about his candidature raised by many were distraction which he said the party seriously frowned at.
According to the statement, some of the claims and comments against Yilwatda’s candidature were products of absurdity while others were mischievous and diversionary. 
 The APC posited that before now, the issue had been the laughable claim that the gubernatorial candidate had not been issued a certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. 
“This is  base ignorance as INEC issues certificate of return only to candidates who have won an election conducted by it.

“Perhaps based on the morbid fear of  the APC gubernatorial candidate by the opposition parties based on his intimidating credentials, which have given them sleepless night, they have conceded defeat ahead the 2023 gubernatorial election”. 

The APC stated that the most ridiculous issue which is trending in the media is the one by some pseudo forces and fifth columnists led by the trio of Jacob Gyang, Elder Victor Useni and Musa Ardo who call themselves Progressive Foundation Movement (PFM).

“Our checks reveal that these  characters are strange and unknown to any available records of our party.

“We therefore challenge them to unmask their true identity by publishing their membership details i.e. ward of registration and registration numbers.

“The fictitious group which is being used by some forces who are desperately seeking for acceptance by one the opposition parties in the state   want to cause confusion and inflict some damage to the party before they leave”, the statement noted.

 The APC revealed that it was fully aware of nocturnal meetings being held whose outcome is this vain attacks and attention seeking. 
The ruling APC further noted that exactly two months after the primary election, which Yilwatda emerged as the undisputable winner of the excercise after beating three other aspirants (out of the eight aspirants who bought the party’s form but four withdrew before the contest),these so- called stakeholders are asking the  Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee of the party to substitute the gubernatorial candidate. 

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“If we may ask, substitute him for what  reason(s) and with who?
They claimed that the gubernatorial candidate did not meet the guidelines for membership of the party and was not duly elected at the gubernatorial primary election duly conducted by electoral committee from the National Secretariat of the Party.

“The self-styled  Progressive Foundation Movement claimed Dr Yilwatda is not a duly registered member of the party as he joined the APC on 6th  January, 2022 after resigning as INEC Commissioner in charge of Benue state in December 2021 and had not been granted waiver before the contest.

“These claims are as  spurious as they are totally based on ignorance of the party’s new guidelines and the  amended constitution.

“Asking the National Working Committee of the party  which is the implementing organ of NEC  to replace the APC gubernatorial candidate is invariably telling it to reverse itself for no cogent reason.

“Dr Nentawe Yilwatda duly met all the set conditions and provisions of the guidelines and constitution of the APC before  contesting  the primary election on June 5th, 2022.

“Article 9.1 of the amended constitution which deals with eligibility/registration states;  Membership of the party shall be open to any citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has attained the age of 18 years and who accepts the aims and objectives of the party, and is willing to abide by the provisions of the constitution, provided such a person is not a member of any other political party, a condition which the candidate is more than qualified. 

“Sub section ii.  of the same Article states; Application for membership shall be made to and cleared by the Ward Executive Committee of the party in the ward of the Local Government Area where the person was born,resides, works or originates. 

“On-line registration shall also be acceptable provided it is acceptable by the National Working Committee.

“The candidate more than passed this process like any other aspirant before he could qualify to contest as the party has many checks from the state to the national levels so as not to stand the risk of disqualification of its candidates”, the statement explained.

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On the issue of resigning as INEC Commissioner in December 2021, which was clear six  months before the primary election, the party said Yilwatda needed only 30 days required for  an employee in the public service preceding the date of electionas as provided in section E.  of the APC guidelines for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 General Elections.
The APC further made it clear that its governoship candidate is of sound mind, has never been convicted for any offence nor adjudged to be bankrupt or a member of a secret cult which are issues that can disqualify an aspirant from contesting an election. 
Yilwatda, the statement said was duly sponsored and screened by the party’s appropriate organs before contesting.
On the allegation that the delegate list was concocted in Jos and not in the 207 wards of the state, the APC said this allegation cannot stand any integrity test, saying, “All congresses of the party to elect five  delegates for the State House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and  National Assembly primary elections took place in all the 207 federal wards of Plateau state supervised by officials from the national secretariat of the party and  witnessed by INEC and security agencies as provided in the party’s guidelines. 

“If not the height of mischief and the desperate attempts to demarket our gubernatorial candidate who is the candidate to beat in the 2023 general elections, why the selection of only delegates for the gubernatorial primary to vent their adrenalin?”, The party asked rhethorically.

The ruling party said What Plateau State needs in 2023 is the best and that best has been found in the combination of the youthful and most capable duo of Dr Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe and his running mate, Honourable Pam Bot Mang. 
It further noted that no amount of blackmail, subterfuge or  denigration would stop the winning team.
According to the statement, the party in Plateau has its challenges like in other states  which it said was occasioned by normal fallout of any contest, adding that moreso, in fierce contest at  gubernatorial levels where aspirants put in their energy and resources. 

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It acknowledged the fact that those who lost at the primary election were definitely aggrieved, the party however, said this must not lead to throwing away the baby with the bath water.
The statement said the party in the state was not sleeping over these fallouts, revealing that It has begun the  process of reconciliation across board as the primary elections remained a family contest. 
“Moreover there is only one position for each seat contested for.  The party does not believe in a winner and  loser syndrome in a win win situation. 

“There are different ways the aggrieved aspirants would be accommodated as losing election do not mean the an end to the loser”, the statement added.

In the light of the above, the party further made it categorically clear to those who are ambivalent or double- minded  to reconsider their stand  whether to move  to another party at this point to add to their number and remain irrelevant as have been seen in the case of those who made such grievous mistakes in the past.

The APC also frown at those accusing Governor Simon Lalong (who is also the leader of the party in the state) who the party said himself, just like his colleagues in other states was not a delegate at the gubernatorial primary election and called on those making such accusations need to desist in order to allow the party concentrate on the elections ahead.
The party in conclusion, strongly advised on the need to demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship without necessarily sermonizing, stressing that God gives power to who He desires and that no one’s destiny can be stopped by mere mortals that we all are.


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