…As Oshiomhole wades into Imo crisis
Former Minister of state for health and governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi state, Ali Pate, has said that his party may not win the 2019 general election in the state if unpopular candidate is forced on the people.
He believes that direct primary should be used during the primary election so as to test the popularity of all the aspirants.
Speaking with newsmen on Friday in Abuja after his screening exercise by the Screening Committee of the party, Pate, who is among the governorship aspirants campaigning for direct primary said his group has made its case known to the national leadership of APC that without direct primary, winning Bauchi state might be difficult.
He said: “We have made our case, if the party wants to win Bauchi state, it should put forward a credible, popular candidate.
At this point, we know that the mass of people in Bauchi state are worried that an imposition will not go well in the general elections so, we placed our faith on the leadership of the party to do the right thing and allow fair process to play out otherwise we cannot guarantee APC winning Bauchi state”.
On his experience at the screening, the former minister said: “There is a structured process that we have been made to participate for the various offices we are seeking on the platform of the party. I have done mine and for Bauchi state, we have an agenda which is to bring development which has so far eluded our people.
“We have an incumbent governor, we know his term comes to an end in 2019 and we are sure to takeover even as we also believe in the party to do the right thing and ensure that members and aspirants get the justice they deserve if the party wants to succeed in Bauchi”.
Meanwhile, the national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has appealed to the Governor Rochas Okorocha led faction of the party to take 55 per cent of the party structure in the state while the other group led by Senator Hope Uzodinma takes 45 per cent so as to achieve lasting peace in the Imo APC.
He also said the party may adopt direct primaries in the state to avoid litigations that may affect the candidates of the party, besides saying: “All of you have agreed you are popular, so we may have to adopt the direct primaries mode so that all the aspirants will go and test their popularities”.
Oshiomhole stated this at a peace meeting held at the early hours of Thursday just as he recognized that Governor Okorocha is the leader of the party in the state adding, “I will not allow any body to take him for granted or rubbish his personality”. Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Acho Ihim led the governor’s group while Senator Uzodinma led the other group.
The APC chairman described the first congresses held in Imo State under the Chief John Oyegun led administration as a fraud, stressing the need for the warring members to sheath their sword in the interest of the party.
He noted that, “the essence of this meeting is to seek equity and justice. I respect Governor Rochas because he is one governor that fought to ensure we have APC in Imo State.
But now more people are joining the party, the house has gotten bigger, we need peace in Imo state and I am urging you people to reconcile and harmonize.
“I suggested a formula to the Governor. It is not right that under my watch a faction of our members are wiped out. If we don’t work together it will weaken our party and that is why I am suggesting 55 per cent to the Governor’s group and 45 per cent to Senator Uzodinma’s group. Some people are speaking law but I want to win election in Imo State not court cases.
“That is why we have chosen not to talk about the law but coexistence. Court don’t give peace they give judgment. We should talk less about power and talk more of peace.
Everybody matters in this business. It can be dangerous to take one for granted. Don’t ever take one another for granted on the day of election and any one of us who have not learnt on former President Jonathan’s mistake is not a politician. So we must all swallow our pride and embrace peace for the sake of the party”, he stated.