Disgruntled members of Plateau State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress under the aegis of Progressives Foundation Movement on Tuesday called for the removal of the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Dr. Nentawe Goshwe.
The development is coming after the leadership of the ruling party published the name of Goshwe among state governorship candidates ahead of 2023 general elections.
The group swore that if the APC defied its earlier warning by sticking with the former Resident Electoral Commissioner, the party may not have a valid candidate on the ballot at the general election.
The Plateau APC crisis started after a petition was filed on June 15 on behalf of 17 aggrieved delegates of the party.
According to the petition, virtually all aspirants for the party’s May 26 governorship primary in Plateau had staged a walkout at the venue, alleging that the exercise was conducted without an authentic delegates list among other irregularities, including non-adherence to laid down rules and Party’s procedures.
Rather than address their grouse, the leadership of the APC continued with the process that eventually produced Goshwe as Plateau APC governorship candidate.
In a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, the Progressives Foundation Movement threatened that they cannot guarantee the party support or victory in the forthcoming elections unless the Senator Abdulahi Adamu-led APC accedes to its demand.
The statement read, “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.
“In further compliance, we 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.”
The group also emphasised 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” was an outright contravention of the APC Guidelines and Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 (As Amended).
The statement alleged, “An unknown list of delegates was concocted in Jos, kept and 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.
“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. .
He is 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.”
The group also accused Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, of complicity by fostering an unpopular candidate in the state APC.
“As 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,” the group said.
Efforts made to contact the National Publicity Secretary for reaction to the allegation proved abortive.
As of the time of reporting this story, he did not answer or get back to our correspondent.