Professor Zulum, middle, with Governor Kashim Shettima: 10 aspirants kick against Zulum’s victory as APC governorship candidateBy Rabiu Sani/Maiduguri
Ten aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have called for the cancellation of governorship primary election in Borno, in which Prof. Babagana Umara-Zulum was declared the winner.
The aggrieved aspirants made the call at a press briefing on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
The spokesperson of the aspirants, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri, said the exercise was fraught with irregularities.
Shehuri, Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, alleged that Gov. Kashim Shettima had prior to the primaries issued a statement which compromised the process by anointing a governorship candidate for the party.
He alleged that the governor requested 13 aspirants to withdraw in favour of the anointed candidate, hijacked the electoral panel, and purchased 10 gubernatorial nomination forms for his commissioners and associates.
Shehuri further alleged that the aspirants were denied access to the delegates. He also claimed there were irregular accreditation of delegates, illegal utilisation of state resources and payment of N200, 000 to each of the delegates as inducement.
“Unfortunately and as we had feared, the indirect primary exercise conducted in Borno State from its preparation to implementation was fraught with several irregularities. It did not meet the barest minimum required for a free, fair and credible election.
“Based on the foregoing, 10 of the aspirants came together and took a stand condemning the bastardisation of the primary election designed by the governor to favour his candidate.
“We have written a letter of protest to the national chairman of the party demanding a postponement or cancellation of the election.
“We are also aware that the governor is set to compromise all the primaries including senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.”
Shehuri called on President Muhammadu Buhari and National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, to take appropriate action to salvage the situation to avoid breakdown of law and order in the state.
While calling on their supporters to remain calm and law abiding, Shehuri urged the anti graft agencies to investigate the alleged misuse of state resources during the election.
The aggrieved aspirants include Baba Ahmad Jidda; Kashim Ibrahim Imam, Gambo Lawan, Umara Kumalia and Umar Alkali.
Others were Attom Magira, Abba Jato, Muhammad Liman Ciroma and Idris Durkwa.
The APC’s National Working Committee cleared a record 21 aspirants for the governorship primary election in the state.
Prof. Babagana Umara-Zulum emerged winner of the election with 4, 432 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Alhaji Idris Durkwa, who polled 114 votes.
Also, ten of the candidates withdrew from the race and supported Zulum, while four others abstained from the election.
Among those that withdrew from the race were Kaka Shehu; Sen. Baba-Kaka Bashir Garbai, Sen. Habu Kyari, Mohammed Makintami and Adamu Dibal.
Others were Adamu Zaufanjiba; Alhaji Mai Sheriff, Babagana Tijjani Banki, Mohammed Liman and Mustapha Fannarambe.