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In Makurdi 5 aspirants accuse APC of imposing chairmanship candidate on LG

Abari alleged that one Chief Akange Audu, who was defeated in the APC governorship primaries in December 2014, was being compensated with the chairmanship position.

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Five All Progressive Congress (APC) members aspiring to contest the Makurdi Local Government Chairmanship seat in the June 3 local government polls have accused the party of imposing a sole candidate.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aspirants – Christopher Abari, Emmanuel Fagah, Alex Ayayer, Dennis Udepuun and Anthony Dyegeh – stormed the office of the Deputy Governor, Benson Abnoun, to protest the said imposition, on Wednesday.

The aspirants,  however, did not meet the official as he was said to have traveled.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of his colleagues, Abari accused the state party leadership of “deliberately manipulating the entire party primaries to compensate a former APC governorship aspirant”.

Abari alleged that one Chief Akange Audu, who was defeated in the APC governorship primaries in December 2014, was being compensated with the chairmanship position.

“Audu’s wife, Juliana, has been declared the sole APC chairmanship candidate to fly the party’s ticket in the Makurdi Local Government contest.

“We do not think that such is fair because five of us bought the party’s nomination forms more than a year ago and were bracing up for the contest when it was called off and sole administrator appointed to head the local governments.

“When the process resumed not long ago, the six of us, including Mrs. Juliana Audu, appeared for the screening exercise, but the result of that exercise has not been made public.

“We were waiting for the result and the subsequent primary election, only to be told that we have been disqualified and that only Juliana scaled through the screening,” he said.

He alleged that Mrs. Audu was not qualified for the race because she was still a staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi.

Reacting, Mr Alfred Berger, APC Publicity Secretary in Benue, said that no candidate had been imposed on any constituency.

“The APC primaries are holding tomorrow (Thursday, April 20), so it does not make sense to say that we have imposed anyone anywhere.

“The fact is that after the screening exercise, some aspirants were disqualified either based on some local zoning arrangement, or that they did just did not meet up the party’s strict requirements for possible success,” he said.

Also reacting, Chief Akange Audu, husband to Juliana, described allegations that he was being compensated with the local government chairmanship seat as “spurious”.

“I am not a contestant. My wife decided to contest based on her own merit.

“She submitted herself to the screening team and was cleared on merit. That is all that I know. I am not owed anything and certainly not being compensated by anyone,” he said.

Audu advised the aggrieved aspirants to follow due process in the search for answers to their questions, pointing out that the APC had several channels through which such matters could be resolved.

He rejected suggestions that his wife did not resign from the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi before seeking the APC ticket.

My wife resigned on March 17, to contest the election scheduled to hold on June 3. From what she told me, and which I verified, all the rules guiding the process were adhered to,” he said.

Dr. Peter Inunduh, Managing Director, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi could not be reached for comments on Mrs. Audu’s resignation, while a subordinate official, who pleaded anonymity, said that only he (Inunduh), could clarify her current status.

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