With only a few hours left to submit the list of candidates who emerged at various primaries organised by political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress National Working Committee has ordered a re-run for the governorship primaries in 12 local government areas in Benue.
The chairman of the Benue governorship rerun committee, Joel Omajali, disclosed this when he addressed APC members on Thursday in Makurdi, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
According to Omajali, the affected council areas are Kwande, Ushongo, Buruku, Konshisha, Ogbadibo, Agatu, Ohimini, Ado, Oju, Okpokwu, Obi and Apa. He, however, stated that in Buruku LGA, the rerun would take place in only three council wards, namely Mbaya, Mbaapen and Binev.
He acknowledged that the party was in a race against time, as it was the last day for the submission of the names of candidates by parties to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“We have a timeline for this exercise. We are supposed to turn in our results latest by 5:00 p.m. today since it is the last day for all primaries. If we do not do it now, then Benue will risk not having a candidate. So, the returning officers will be dispatched on time.”
On June 4, the appeal committee of the APC recommended the nullification of the governorship primaries.
The Benue APC had adopted direct primaries which the governorship congress held on May 27.
The primaries produced a suspended Catholic priest, Hyacinth Alia as the winner.
The appeal committee, however, submitted a report to the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, on Saturday in Abuja.
The report was signed by the Benue APC primary election appeal committee chairman, Uzoamaka Onyeama, and the secretary, Gyang Dung Gyang.
The committee said it received petitions and reports from party stakeholders and members, including governorship aspirants, Barnabas Gemade, Terhemba Shija, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), that the said governorship primaries did not hold.
“The few result sheets the aspirants presented to us had more curiously no agent of the governorship aspirants or agent of the declared candidate to prove the results sheets produced and declared genuine,” said the report.
“It is the submission of the Appeal Committee members that from the foregoing, the past event of Zamfara state and the most latest and potent danger of Anambra state; that no governorship primary held in Benue state and we recommend as follows; that the NWC cancel in its entirety the gubernatorial primary election in Benue state and conduct a fresh election.”