Saturday 5 February 2022


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

Although the All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary Election and rescheduled Rerun, may have come and gone, the intra party conflict still lingers, as petitions concerning the elections are still pending.

It is of note that, the Primary Election and the Rerun, were scheduled by the APC and monitored by INEC officers, to enable the APC elect a flag bearer for the Plateau State chapter, who would contest the forthcoming Rerun Election fixed for the 26th of February by INEC, to fill the Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency seat, currently declared vacant at the Lower Chambers of the National Assembly.

The answer to the question concerning, who the winner of the Primary Election and the flag bearer of the APC is in the forthcoming rerun election to be conducted by INEC has been put to rest with the official communication of the party in its press statement, dated 4th February, 2022, signed by Hon. Sylvanus Namang, its State Publicity Secretary.

According to the party’s press release, “Hon. Joseph Abbey Aku has emerged the winner of the rerun primary election for the Jos North /Bassa bye election slated by INEC for 26th February, 2022”.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, the Rerun Primary Election was conducted at the Prestige Event Centre Jebu Bassa in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

While declaring the result of the election, which was between Hon. Joseph Abbey Aku, (the immediate former Commissioner of Commerce in Plateau State) and Hon. Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, (a two- term former Member of the Federal House of Representatives), the Chairman of the Seven- man Electoral Committee, Rt. Hon. Habu Ajiya, had announced that, Joseph Aku, scored a total of 809 votes to beat Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, who scored 74 votes.

Adding that, “a total of 888 delegates were accredited for the election, and all of them voted with 5 invalid votes recorded.”

You would recall also that, immediately the tie between Hon. Joseph Abbey Aku, and Hon. Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, was announced at the first Primary election at Lamonde Hotel, Jos, apprehension, tempers and petitions began to fly to the national secretariat of the APC from Plateau State.

A group in the Plateau State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and under the aegis of APC Progressives Forum, sent a petition to the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, over alleged attempts by Amb Yahaya Kwande, a Board of Trustee Member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to impose his son, Hon  Suleiman Kwande, as flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress bye election for the Bassa/Jos North bye election, which took place in Jos.

The  group  in the petition, signed by its Convener, Comrade Shehu Mohammed, further accused the PDP chieftain of allegedly manipulating the electoral process in Jos with aim of destabilizing and creating confusing in the ruling APC in the state.

According to the petition sighted by newsmen in Jos, the group raised the alarm, calling on Mai Mala Buni, to intervene and stop the sabotage aimed at creating disaffection among the peaceful party faithful in Plateau State.

The petition in part states that, “Amb Yahaya Kwande is a high ranking member of the PDP and a close ally of Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria, who has perfected plans to infiltrate the party and cause division in order to weaken the ruling APC and further his pact with Atiku to deliver the state to PDP to boost former Vice President’s ambition to emerge as the flag bearer of PDP’S Presidential candidate”.

In the petition, the group also disclosed that, “during the APC primary bye-election to fill up the seat of Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency held in Jos on 2nd of February 2022, Hon Suleiman Yahaya Kwande successfully participated in the primaries and became a top contender through monetary inducements. In spite of these insidious strategies Hon Abbey Aku, emerged victorious, with overwhelming votes against other contenders. However in a political abracadabra, for which the PDP is known for, the results were tempered with, resulting in a stalemate, where the leading aspirant, Hon Abbey Aku was disenfranchised.

His protest was muffled resulting in the announcement by the electoral officers that, Hon Aku and Hon Kwande scored 344 votes each and therefore, a tie.

Amb Yahaya Kwande has therefore perfecting plans to ensure a run-off where his son will emerge as the sole candidate, through vote-buying from funds from his benefactor, Atiku Abubakar”

The petition added that, “If left unchecked, Hon Suleiman Kwande will emerge as member of the House of Representatives and join the ranks of rebellious members in the National Assembly to frustrate the policies and programmes of President Buhari administration’s remaining tenure.”

According to the petitioners, “Amb Yahaya Kwande and his son are not from the constituency, which is Northern zone, but are from the faraway Southern Zone Senatorial District, wondering why the incursion to an area other than theirs, if not for mischief”.

The petition said “Amb Yahaya Kwande, who is blaming Governor Simon Lalong for his defeat in a local chieftaincy tussle in Kwande has sworn to make the state ungovernable”

The group called on the leaders of the party to intervene and restore the populist mandate of, Hon Abbey Aku, to forestall the impending disintegration of the party.

However, the second primary election, which took place in Bassa LGA also did not go down without a petition.

Hon. Suleiman Yahaya Kwande had issued a press statement stating that, he was not aware of the re-run election, as he was not notified of same.

He claimed that, based on the decision of the Electoral Committee  to call for a re-run after the 1st  February, 2022 exercise, he had written a petition to the National Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John James Apkanudoedehe, PhD.

Kwande also stated that, he was in possession of the acknowledgement copy and equally expecting the decision of the national office of the party regarding the petition.

Recall that, during the primary earlier held on February 01, 2022, both Abbey and Kwande claimed victory as they recorded a tie scoring 344 votes each prompting the Friday re-run election.

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