From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Appeals Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has confirmed that no fewer than five petitions from the aggrieved aspirants protesting the conduct of the APC primaries last weekend were in its custody.
Chairman of the committee and governor of Gombe State, Inuwa Yahaya, who made the disclosure on the sideline with newsmen after the inauguration of the committee on Friday, promised to resolve the crisis arising from the disputed primaries.
Asked to update Nigerians on the outcome of thei committee’s meeting, he said: “The outcome is that we sat, we trashed the issue at stake which is the appeal of the primary election held in Anambara State.
“We strategised and resolved to work towards getting any issue that arose out of that election in contention for discussion, dialogue and a solution.
“I think we have already gotten petitions from the aspirants and we shall trash them and find solution to all claims or observations made by the constants. Five petitions are with us right now and we are given time within which we shall conclude with them,” he said.
Speaking earlier after the inauguration, the Gombe governor said: “Let me thank God mighty for this opportunity that given us by this great party. Elections, petitions and all processes involved in the democratic process are very normal therefore we wish to come together all of us.
“Thanks to the Caretaker Committee for deeming us fit to serve in this capacity as the Appeal Committee. As democrats we are aware of the processes. As you rightly observed, you expect us to be fair, just and equitable, in the handling of this assignment. We shall discharge our duty without fear and favour.
“And we shall be fair and just in accordance with the guidelines issued by your party and in accordance with the Constitution of the party so that we maintain ourselves as one big family. Having in mind that in Anambra states it is a different party that is in control, and one to unseat that party and government, what that means is that we need to go in unison.
“We need to go together and we need to have the understanding and cooperation of each and every one of us, both leaders and followers of the party. And therefore I would like to urge all contenders that have any reservations or misunderstandings with the results to get to us.
“We shall resolve all the issues and face the issue at stake, which is the election, which is paramount and most important. Wining primary election is not enough until you win the main election.
“So that party men and supporters will now join together and push the principles of the party forward and ensure that democratic dividends have reached each and everybody. Not only the party members but a wider path people in the country at large.
“So, on that note I would like to assure you, Mr Secretary that this assignment has been given to people of repute, people of responsibility and people that have the capacity and tenacity to execute it properly,” he said.
“Defection, may be the opponent would claim that people leaving them is not good for them but a party that is in control necessarily has to attract people that are without to give there support and they are coming because they realise that APC is more solid, more on ground and really more transparent and open in terms of how it deals with everybody; the high and the low.
“That is why they’re coming so we welcome them and anybody that says no to that I think may be we will have a rethink because party is about people and all politicians are invited and welcome to any party that they think belongs to the right track. That is what APC is.
“We are not heading to one party state. No, no, no. As at last count, INEC, and mind you, the process of registration is there free for all. Anybody could go to register a party provided he meets the constitutional provisions and the regulatory requirements of INEC. There are parties and there will still be more parties. So, why one party? I think that will never arise. Not in Nigeria,” he said.
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