Monday, December 1, 2014 8:22 pm
Ahead of the All Progressives Party (APC) Primaries fixed for Thursday, December 4, 2014, nationwide, Prof. Steve Torkuma Ugbah, today called for open and transparent primaries.
According to a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Simon Imobo-Tswam, the frontline contender for the governorship ticket in Benue state, spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, after under-going his successful screening for the primaries.
Besides Ugbah, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in the 2011 governorship election, other aspirants for the guber-ticket are: Chief (Sen.) J.K.N. Waku; retired permanent secretary in the state civil service, Mr. Akange Audu; and the immediate-past Head of Service (Benue State), Mr. Michael Iordye.
Others are: a serving member of the House of the House of Representatives, Barr. Emmanuel Jime, and Dr. Samuel Ortom. Although Ortom’s candidacy is still shrouded in secrecy.
Ugbah said as an opposition party intent on winning the 2015 general elections and making a positive difference, both at the national and state levels, it was imperative to give all aspirants a level-playing ground so that the best candidate would emerge.
His words: “Today, my quest to reclaim my stolen mandate of 2011 enters a new level. I today presented my self for screening before our party’s Governorship Screening Committee here in Ilorin, and I am happy to say I have been successfully screened and issued my certificate.
“By this, I am now qualified to vie for the governorship position of my state, come December. This also means our campaign for Change in Benue state otherwise known as the Ishior-Chenji movement is not only gathering momentum, it has entered a new and critical phase today.
“I use this occasion to, therefore, call on our party, especially the Benue State Chapter of our great party, to give all aspirants a level-playing ground so that the best candidate, the most acceptable candidate, can emerge. If we do otherwise, we would be no different from the ruling PDP, and all our shouts of being different would be mere grand-standing.”
Against the backdrop of an announcement on Radio Benue, that a governorship aspirant from Guma Local Government has bought nomination forms in PDP, Labour Party (LP) and the APC, Ugbah urged the party to come clean on the matter.
His words: “There is this announcement on Radio Benue, I have been told, of a governorship aspirant buying nomination forms in three different parties, including our APC. Ordinarily, I would ignore or dismiss this said announcement as outlandish, but I have come to learn that in our politics, everything is possible.”
“I, therefore, urge our great party to come clean on this. It would be a democratic abomination if it is true that our party, the state APC, was part of this disgrace or lent itself to this desperate act of ticket-shopping. Of course, in politics, we say: the more, the merrier, but let it be more in a democratic way; and not more through the back-door,” he added.
Pledging to run a campaign of ideas and issues, Ugbah urged aspirants within and outside the APC to eschew politics of bitterness, advising the APC particularly to take a stand that will conduce for peaceful, credible and transparent primaries