By Ben Idah
Comrade Dan Onjeh, former Benue South senatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2015 general and 2016 re-run elections, on Monday, explained how the recent party’s ward congresses in some parts of Ogbadibo local government area were manipulated by some party big wigs.
The former National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS) President also explained how the common man and woman who had great love for the party and also sacrificed their time and resources were denied participation in the congress as they never got a glimpse of the electoral officials nor the materials.
He poured out his anger thus.
“Benue APC Congress of Sham !
Just to give you an idea of what transpired in Benue over the weekend. At the three Council Wards of my district, Orokam 1, 2, and 3, popular aspirants complied with the party guidelines for the Ward Congress. They individually deposited money in the APC official bank accounts, collected their tellers and subsequently, presented same to the congress committee and obtained their Nomination Forms within the time stipulated by law. In spite of this, they were shortchanged.
On the day slated for the congress, May 5, 2018, the aspirants who are mainly farmers, palm wine tappers, Okada riders and artisans, who relentlessly devoted their time, energy and hard earned resources to build the party at the grassroots, abandoned their trades and waited endlessly from morning to night without a glimpse of the congress officials nor materials at their respective wards.
The congress committee members who obviously, have been compromised, stayed behind in Makurdi instead, at the Trust Royal Suits Makurdi, where they are being accommodated by the same people who plotted and scuttled the congress, and they have since been doing their bid.
The desperate state party chairman, re-contesting his position, who, but for the waiver granted all current party executive by APC NEC, ought to have resigned his current position a month before the congress, together with his sponsors, hijacked the entire process of the congress. The committee are right at the said hotel writing and dictating names at will for the congress committee which was constituted from Abuja.
The names of people who neither deposited money in APC account nor obtained NOMINATION Forms are been prepared for onward announcement as winners and consequently, issued with Certificates of Return, against the aspirants who complied with the law and ought to have been declared unopposed.
This scenario is ubiquitous in the entire Benue State. As I type, majority of the people who are about to be declared winners do not know the colour or texture of the nomination form. Even if an endorsement for the return of the entire party executive in the state is collectively agreed, there are procedures which must be followed. It’s the provision of the law that anyone aspiring a position in the party must pay and present his or her bank Teller to obtain Nomination Form, and his or her return in such circumstance is subject to an affirmation at the ward level. There is no shortcut to this.
The big names sponsoring this charade are only laying templates to cheat popular candidates in the primary elections ahead of 2019 general elections.
While we prepare to forward our petition to the Appeal Panel which is expected to resume today, we hope that the party machinery as structured in place will step up to the plate to effectively address and redress this injustice, so we don’t resort to litigations.” Dan posted online using his facebook handle.