All Progressives Congress APC in Plateau state on Sunday said that the Governor Simon Lalong-led administration has not endorsed anyone as his successor.
A statement signed by Hon Sylvanus Namang,
APC State Publicity Secretary and made available to newsmen in Jos reads that it has come to the notice of the All Progressives Congress APC in Plateau State, the text of a press conference jointly addressed by two Elder Statesmen in the state, namely Barrister Umar Shittien and Chief Samu’ila Makama who signed as Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Equity and Justice Forum respectively.
They warned in the press release the Governor of Plateau State and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress in the state in the release on 13th May, 2022 against any move or attempt to impose a preferred aspirant on the party as a candidate during the forthcoming primary election commencing this week.
To put paid to their warning and fears, the duo appeared on a morning programme on Rhythm 93.7 FM Jos on Saturday 14th May, 2022 restating their position as elders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in Plateau State.
According to the Forum which describes itself as a political action entity which contributed immensely to the emergence of the APC government in the state in 2015, history is about to repeat itself as there are semblance of the same imposition which took place at that period which they strongly warned against.
The two elders said in their release that it would amount to hypocrisy and bias if they fail to warn against such tendencies by keeping mute. Before the Equity and Justice Forum, such fears had been raised by 18 out of the 19 gubernatorial aspirants under the banner of the All Progressives Congress and the APC Elders Council presently chaired by Amb. Danladi Wuyep.
The statement further reads that “The APC in Plateau state hereby states categorically for the umpteenth time that there is no plan or contemplation by the state governor, Right Honourable Simon Bako Lalong or the leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Plateau State to impose any aspirant on the party.”
The Governor of Plateau State as a seasoned politician and accomplished democrat has not told the party or anyone to the best knowledge of the party that he has a preferred aspirant amongst the 10 aspirants who at the close of sale of forms had purchased the expression of intention and nomination forms to contest the forthcoming gubernatorial primary election in the state.
What the party is aware of is that out of his concern and desire for the party to win the forthcoming gubernatorial election, he had at the recent stakeholders meeting of the party at the Government House, Little Rayfield appealed to the governorship aspirants to make all efforts to reduce the number by agreeing amongst themselves as only one aspirant would become a candidate in the end.
He clearly stated that he had no preferred aspirant and even sited instances where some aspirants, some whom he had not even come in contact with of name dropping which he frowned at.
He added that his eyes and ears are on ground to ensure that the process of electing candidates across board are transparent, fair and equitable.
This was followed by the party leadership in the state which invited all the aspirants to a meeting at the Kalwa House party secretariat where the Governor’s appeal was reiterated.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Honourable Rufus Bature appointed a Cordinator amongst the aspirants in the person of Chief Amos Gizo which they all agreed would serve as a link between them and the party.
It is based on the strength and weight of the appeals that only 10 out of the 19 aspirants bought the forms to contest.
For the avoidance of doubt the APC in the state would want to allay the fears of our most respected elders particularly the Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Equity and Justice Forum, Barrister Umar Shittien and Chief S. D. Makama both who the governor and the party hold in very high esteem that there is no plan to impose any aspirant on the party as a preferred candidate.
The APC in the state wishes to restate its assurances and commitment of providing a level playing ground for all the gubernatorial aspirants and aspirants at all levels.
The party is interested in producing the best, credible and acceptable candidates who would give it victory to break the jinx of not producing a successor since 2007.
Our esteemed elders who have unfettered access to the Governor or the party Chairman should exploit these avenues for clarification and proferring of advice and solutions where necessary.
The APC in the state advises in strong terms our most valued members, especially our distinguished aspirants not to overheat the intra party polity and concentrate on the task ensuring the emergence of electable candidates for the 2023 general elections.
The unity and brotherliness in the APC family should be strengthened and sustained.