By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Following the recent publication of names of candidates of various political parties for the 2023 general elections by the electoral umpire, a group, comprised of some foundational members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of Progressives Foundation Movement (PFM) has raised alarm over the publication of Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe as 2023 party’s governorship candidate for Plateau state, reiterating it’s earlier warning that the party may not have a valid candidate on the ballot at the general election.
PFM reminded the national leadership of APC under Senator Abdullahi Adamu of an earlier petition to him where all other aspirants that refused to participate in a purported primaries that produced Nentawe Yilwaltda Goshwe as governorship candidate, following alleged irregularities vowed to seek justice if the party fail to use the window period for substitution of candidates to right the wrongs.
In a statement released on Tuesday in Abuja and signed on behalf of others by Mr. Jacob Gyang, Elder Victor Useni and Musa Ardo, said they cannot guaranty supporting the party to victory in the forthcoming elections unless the right thing is done.
“For the records, we are Bonafide members of the APC who are duly registered as required and whose membership is in compliance with the APC guidelines and constitutions.
“We painstakingly entrenched the party in the state and further still indicated our respective interests to contest the Governorship of Plateau state under the platform of the APC and in further compliance, took all the requisite steps including but not restricted to buying the party’s nomination forms, believing that the processes leading to the party primaries was not only going to be all inclusive, but was to be free, fair and credible such that its conclusion was to be easily acceptable and capable of galvanizing our collective efforts and unity of purpose towards ensuring the overall victory of the party in the state.”
While emphasising that non-compliance to the party’s guidelines and litany of undemocratic practices in the primary which foisted “an unpopular, unqualified aspirants in the person of Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe on all of us,” the group said despite the expressly stated process that delegates were to emerge via a democratic process of being elected at ward level and forms sold to the effect, “the case in Plateau state was completely different and in outright contravention of the APC Guidelines and Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 (As Amended).
The statement claimed that “an unknown list of delegates was concocted in Jos, kept in Jos and was used, whereas the State Party Chairman had assured us of full compliance to the party guideline where from election of delegates was to be conducted in all the 207 Wards of the state on the scheduled date as indicated in the party guidelines. This can be verified by the INEC report on the Party Primaries in Plateau state.”
The group therefore, said: “Given the last window of opportunity as prescribed by the Electoral Act (2022) as Amended. We once again reiterate and rest upon our earlier petitions on the invalidity of the candidacy of Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe and state unequivocally that unless the party takes urgent and acceptable decisive steps to address this issues, and amicably resolved same, we cannot guaranty supporting the party to victory in the forthcoming elections for the following reasons:
“That Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe, was a staff of INEC until 23rd December, 2021 when he purportedly resigned his appointment but he had not resigned his appointment from the University of Agriculture, Makudi, from where he had gone to on secondment.
“Meanwhile records show that he had drawn salary to March, 2022. He joined the APC on the 6th of January, 2022 when party membership had been closed. All registers had been transmitted to INEC via State Party Offices. Not qualified to contest under APC platforms unless waiver is sought and granted and available evidence does not support the facts that this has been complied with. NEC of APC ceded powers of Granting Waiver and other statutory functions to NWC and it is not on record that either NEC or NWC has granted the said waiver to him or any aspirant. Moral burden to the APC and an embarrassment to INEC and all these facts are in public domain.
“As a leaders of the party in the state, despite knowing and having these facts at his fingertips, the governor chose to ignore, turn the black eye because of his self-serving interest to appease his In-laws and members of his immediate Family.
Finally, we expect our great party to respectfully stitch the time and act responsibly with the sole objective of party unity, cohesion and victory in the forthcoming elections if and only if we must get involved.”