A chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Plateau State, Chief Amos Gizo has described the party’s gubernatorial primary election as the worst form of degrading democracy, saying the exercise was a “sham”.
He also said that the process that saw to the emergence of the party’s gubernatorial flagbearer, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda was brazenly abused and skewed to favour him.
The APC chieftain, who equally aspired for the party’s governorship ticket, said that the magnitude of abuse of process during the exercise was a terrible experience he had never witnessed in his 45 years in politics.
Gizo disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Jos, the State Capital.
He called for the proper conduct of the exercise, beginning with the election of five delegates from each ward in line with the guidelines and constitution of the party.
“It’s a disgrace that a State like Plateau engages in such a sham and people are walking scott-free. The process was abused even from onset.
“First and foremost, our party guidelines and constitution stipulates that delegates that would eventually vote to nominate the gubernatorial candidate should emerge through an election. But I want to tell you that some people sat in Jos and made a list of five delegates for each of the 207 wards in the State.
“This came after the State Chairman of the party, Hon. Rufus Bature promised there was going to be delegate elections to produce the five delegates from each ward. Consequently, we bought forms for the candidates across the 207 federal wards, making a total of 1035. Till this moment that I am talking to you, no notice has come to us that there would be a delegate election. So, it was highly surprising to us when they said they had delegates’ list,” he lamented.
Gizo also disclosed that prior to the purported primary election, no delegates’ list was made known to other aspirants.
“What that means is that the delegates’ list was kept for a particular aspirant. Therefore, the other aspirants hadn’t the opportunity to even know who the delegates are, not to talk of reaching out to them for the purpose of campaigning”, Gizo stated.
He added that all these eventually happened despite the denial of a concocted delegates’ list by the Chairman when he confronted him on the matter.
The APC Chieftain further stated that up to the time of the primary election, no aspirant knew whether he was cleared or not as no certificate of clearance was given to anyone two weeks after the exercise.
Gizo added that it was at that moment that he started becoming suspicious that the process was being manipulated.
Speaking further, the APC stalwart said, “I have never witnessed an election when you have delegates from a whole Local Government Area, (about 70 of them) and there is no one of them who knows how to write because they are all illiterate.
“And as a result, an agent for a particular aspirant was the one voting for all the delegates. What touches me the most is that among the delegates perpetrating this illegality was a Reverend. Imagine a Reverend saying he doesn’t know how to write. So, how does he shepherd the flock?
“So you can see that a lot of abnormalities happened during the primary”, he maintained.
“As far as we are concerned, there was no primary election in Plateau and if APC wants to get it right, it has to start this process all over again”, he advised.