…reschedule exercise, holds today
By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has alleged that some unidentified people were behind the disruption of its governorship primary election held on Sunday.
This is coming just as one of its top contenders for the ticket and Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad yesterday, withdrew himself from the race.
Although the Speaker was eulogised for demonstrating courage and character by one of the aspirants, Ahmad did not inform the delegates especially his supporters and constituency who he was stepping down for or which aspirant they should cast their votes for.
He was the only one among the 10 aspirants that recluse himself from the race.
All the contestants were allotted a minute each to address the delegates on their manifesto for the people before the commencement of voting.
Trouble started when some delegates complained of alleged imposition which led to the disruption of the exercise.
But the party blamed those it called fifth columnists for the development in a statement on the matter issued by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, last night.
According to him, the election was going on peacefully and smoothly, with delegates voting after accreditation before unidentified persons disrupted the exercise.
He explained that delegates from two local governments had finished casting their votes but at the turn of another local government, the delegates raised concern about their ballot papers, which was brought to the attention of the national electoral committee led by Charles Menagbo.
“The committee was trying to address the matter before some fifth columnists who were not happy with the progress of the party in the state took advantage of the situation to disrupt the exercise.
“We, however appealed to members of the party to remain calm and assured them that arrangements are ongoing to ensure that the voting exercise is resumed and concluded tomorrow (Monday), noting that the electoral committee from Abuja are still around to conduct the exercise.
“Emergence of candidates in the Saraki dynasty had always been through consensus, but in order to ensure an all-inclusive and more transparent process, the leader of the party, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki declared that a primary election should be held this time to decide the party’s candidate for the 2019 governorship election.
“To this end, the party remains committed to conducting a free, fair and credible primary election and we therefore, urged all aspirants and delegates to comport themselves to prevent any acrimony while the exercise holds tomorrow, adding that security would be beefed up at the venue”.
Ashaolu thanked Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki for taking urgent steps to ensure that all issues raised by some concerned aspirants and delegates were resolved.
He denied that Saraki had anointed a particular aspirant to emerge as the party’s governorship candidate in the primary election and emphasised that neither the Senate President nor the State Working Committee (NWC) of the party had a preferred candidate.