Aggrieved All Progressives Congress, APC, members in Kanam Local Government of Plateau State, has accused Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State, of making governance to be the Governance of family and friends, as they accused him of allegedly substituting Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau with that of Hon. Abbas Wokdung,
In statement issued by the group they said; “We are worried by the extent of political provocation being meted out to us in Kanam LGA, especially in the face of clear disregard to the rule of law and the essence of judicial intervention. We are particularly irked by the fact that the Governor against whom our complaint relates is a legal practitioner who should readily adhere to judicial processes without any advice or prompting”. Mr. Kalamu Idris stated in his press text.
“Contrary to the convention and the zoning arrangement, hon. Abbas Adamu Wokdung, who is of the Khinbogghom area to which the position is not zoned, bragging of his personal support and connection with the governor with the aid of Hon. Dayyabu Garga, who is the Governor’s maternal cousin not only contested the said election but lost with a wide margin as a clear attestation of the resolve of the people of Kanam against him. Governance on the Plateau has been reduced to family and friends as manifested in the way and manner in which the kits and kin of the Governor meddle into primary election processes in Kanam LGA, the group said.”
Read full Press Statement Below
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE APC STAKEHOLDERS IN KANAM L.G.A IN REACTION TO UNDUE POLITICAL INTERFERANCE AND ILLEGAL ATTEMPT BY RT.HON SIMON BAKO LALONG THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE TO SUBSTITUTE HON. ABDULLAHI MOHAMMED BARAU WITH ABBAS ADAMU WOKDUNG AS THE CHAIRMANSHIP CANDIDATE OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS IN KANAM L.G.A IN THE FORTHCOMING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION IN PLATEAU STATE.
27TH AUGUST, 2018
Gentlemen of the press and members of the general public, it has become abjectly imperative to address you on the negative political developments in Kanam L.G.A as it pertains to the build up to the Local Government elections to be conducted in Plateau State. We are compelled to issue this press release in the face of wanton threats, overbearing political interference and attempt at perpetrating illegalities by the Executive Governor of Plateau State Rt.Hon Barr. Simon Bako Lalong. We are worried by the extend of political provocation being meted out to us in Kanam L.G.A especially in the face of clear disregard for the rule of law and the essence of judicial intervention. We are particular irked by the fact that the Governor against whom our complaint relates is a Legal Practitioner who should readily adhere to judicial processes without any advice or prompting.
Our grievance as captured by the heading of this release stems from the recent illegal directive credited to and confirmed by the Executive Governor of Plateau State to the APC leadership in the State to write the PLASIEC to effect the illegal substitution of Hon Abdullahi Mohammed Barau with Abbas Adamu Wokdung. We are fortified in christening the action of the Governor as out rightly illegal because there is no law empowering the Governor in his capacity either as such or in the APC to issue the said directive or intervene in the manner sought to be done in the electoral process for Kanam L.G.A. Secondly, the directive by the Governor is issued in defiance of pending judicial processes which are yet to and must be exhausted before the right of the parties are effectually determined as regards either the nomination or occupation of the office of the Chairman of Kanam L.G.A. This much is even conceded on the face of the letter purportedly written by the APC upon the Governor’s directive.
We say without equivocation that the circumstance of the case in Kanam dictates that parties must maintain status quo to await the outcome of the judicial processes and especially in the present circumstance where Abbas Wokdung whom the Governor prefers is the one who first initiated the judicial process against the APC and Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau who is the legitimate beneficiary of the overwhelming mandate of the delegates who voted massively for him as against Abbas Wokdung who trailed far behind him with a wide margin of about ninety delegates votes. The APC constitution even abhors the steps taken by Abbas Wokdung in the first place and it is surprising that the Governor who is a lawyer did not sanction him but is devising means to use the judgment of the lower court which is not only now on appeal to the Court of Appeal Jos Division but is sought to be stayed as a justification for his action.
For a better understanding of our complaint against the Governor which points to a clear case of injustice, we state the following facts which are apparent and easily verifiable;
That when the All Progressives Congress (APC) commenced the process of nomination of candidates vying for elections into various offices in the forthcoming Local Government Elections in Plateau State, the APC family in conformity with the existing conventional standard of Zoing in Kanam L.G.A zoned the position to Tankwal Zone of the Bogghom speaking group of Kanam L.G.A who in turn unanimously presented Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau who duly filled the expression of interest forms and also purchased the party nomination form for the office of the chairman of Kanam L.G.A.
Contrary to the convention and the zoning arrangement, Hon. Abbas Adamu Wokdung who is of the Khinbogghom area to which the position is not zoned, bragging of his personal support and connection with the Governor with the aid of the Hon. Dayyabu Garga who is the Governor’s maternal cousin not only contested the said election but lost with a wide margin as a clear attestation of the resolve of the people of Kanam against him. Governance on the Plateau has been reduced to family and friends as manifested in the way and manner in which the kits and kin of the Governor meddled into the primary elections processes in Kanam LGA.
In consequence of his presentation by the people of Tankwal Zone of the Bogghom speaking group of Kanam L.G.A, the said Hon.Abdullahi Mohammed Barau was duly screened by the Screening Committee, adjudged qualified and cleared to contest for the primary elections to be conducted by way of delegates elections as stipulated by the party constitution and the guidelines issued on the 13th day October 2017.
In line with the Party Guidelines, he embarked on aggressive campaigns throughout Kanam Local Government Area and mobilized hundreds of delegates on the 18th day of November 2017 who were ready to vote for him but for the violence which truncated the electoral process at Kanam.
After the aborted primary election in Dengi, another election was scheduled on the 21st day of November 2017 at Pankshin and Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau emerged as the most popular choice of Kanam people at the venue of the elections in Pankshin having received the blessings of One hundred and Seventy Two (172) delegates as against the Ninety five (95) delegates who voted for Abbas Wokdung.
As a result of the above, he was returned duly elected and assured of victory against candidates of other political parties being the most popular choice and holder of the mandate of APC in Kanam LGA.
Despite the uncontestable facts and instances chronicled above, a series of discriminatory tactics began to evolve against Hon. Abdullahi Mohhamed Barau who is the popular mandate as he was invited by the Plateau State APC Chairmanship Appeal Committee and for the first time at its sitting confronted with a petition allegedly authored by one Musa Isa Musawa and Mr. Shem Damisa in their purported positions as agent and Stakeholder respectively and said to be against his emergence as the duly returned candidate from the party primaries. Interestingly, Abbas Wokdung never even authored the purported petition while Musa Isa Musawa and Shem Damisa in their purported positions as agent and Stakeholder respectively have no locus standi to present the petition having not contested as candidates against him in the said primary election.
That the APC Chairmanship Appeals Committee not only went beyond their bounds in upholding the petition written by persons who were not aspirants but purportedly issued a directive that Abbas Wokdung who scored 95 votes against 172 votes credited to Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau should be nominated instead leading to an appeal to the State and Central Working Committees of the APC in Plateau State who unanimously rejected the recommendation of the Chairmanship Appeals Committee and proceeded to nominate Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau for the election.
It is instructive to note that while Article 21 sub X of the provisions of the APC constitution enjoys members not to initiate actions in court against the Party, Abbas Wokdung proceeded to file an originating summons against the party and Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau and again in another surprising twist, the High Court of Justice in Pankshin relying on the case of Matto vs. Hembe which concerns an entirely different election conducted pursuant to the provision of the Electoral Act as against ours which is governed by the PLASIEC Law entered judgment in favour of Abbas Wokdung.
Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau and the All Progressives Congress aggrieved by the outcome of the said judgment immediately lodged separate appeals, the record of which has since been compiled and transmitted to the court of Appeal Jos Judicial Division and to fortify and protect their rights of appeal both Hon.Abdullahi Mohammed Barau and the All Progressives Congress filed two separate motions before the High Court seeking to stay the execution of judgment and also restraint PLASIEC and the APC itself from effecting any substitution till the appeal is determined. All the applications are still pending are slated for hearing on the 15th day of October 2018 at the High Court Pankshin.
In addition to the judicial processes identified above, Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau filed an application before the Court of Appeal on the 15th day of August 2018 when the Governor’s illegal directive seeking to restraint the APC from forwarding the name of Abbas Wokdung as a substitution to him pending his appeal and also to restrain PLASIEC from accepting any letter seeking to substitute him and all the court processes have been served on all the parties became apparent.
It has become patently worrisome to us that despite the clear observance and adherence of the rule of law by Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau, the Governor has chosen to tour the path of injustice in an attempt to deprive the people of Kanam of their popular mandate. It amounted to a rude shock to us when the Governor openly admitted his complicity in the injustice at a meeting with the stakeholders on the 17th day of August 2018 with a threat of removal of his appointees from Kanam, the APC chairman of Kanam Local Government and also allowing the exit of the people of Kanam to defect to other parties if they so desire.
We view the utterances of the Governor as not only unfortunate but an insult to our individual and collective sensibilities. How else can one justify that a person who is genuinely aggrieved is being threatened and not pacified. For the avoidance of doubt, the Governor must note that by appointing the people of Kanam to occupy positions of responsibilities little or no favour has been done to the APC family in Kanam. The Governor should note that he has not reciprocate our gesture in churning out large votes which gave birth to this administration. Let it be noted by the World that we shall not accede to insults, threats or intimidation in our quest to achieve justice on this matter come what may because our collective resolve in this matter has since transcended those bounds. We have taken great pains to calm this great provocation of our supporters to avoid distasteful consequences. The APC family in Kanam will not succumb to any intimidation to leave the All Progressives Congress as we shall remain to make positive statements through our votes to our detractors because we have laboured to built and nurture the party out of our collective resolve and not the individual patronage of the Governor.
The Governor in a further attempt to cajole us into believing his directive is in good faith, claimed that it was done within the confines of the law. We dare to ask, what law empowers the Governor to meddle into the primary election for Kanam Local Government? None! What law empowers the Governor to disregard court processes or take actions capable of determining their fate? None!. How can the Governor be said not to have taken side when his eagerness to substitute Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Barau with Abbas Wokdung led him to issue a directive even when the Appeal and the application before the Courts have not been determined? In the cause of our research, we came across a salutary judicial pronouncement which has put a direct dent on the Governor’s pretence on adherence with the rule of law when in the case of DENTON WEST V. MUOMA (2008)6 NWLR (PT.1083)418 PP. 437-438 Paras. H-C @ page 480 paragraph 6-7 the court held that;
“Thus; any action of any of the parties taken while an application for stay of execution is pending in the court of appeal, for the purpose of stultifying the exercise by the court of the jurisdictional powers thereof, must not be condoned…..It will amount to an effrontery for a party or court to proceed with execution of judgment knowing full well that a motion for stay regarding that judgment is pending in the court”.
We make bold to say that the Governor’s actions and inactions in conducting the affairs of APC in Plateau State is not helping the Party in any way as enumerated in the instances above. We fear that what is happening to APC in other states of the country may also affect us in Plateau State, hence the needs for all concern APC stakeholders to call the Governor to order to avert looming crisis in APC family in state.
We sincerely thank you for your patience in entertaining this press release and are hopeful that this statement will circulate widely to draw the attention of the world to the perpetration of injustice by persons who should ordinarily enhance justice. We maintain an astute resolve to ensure that justice is achieved in this matter and we shall not relent. We must protect our mandate at all cost even the authorities are being used to truncate our popular mandate. We shall cause our complain to be heard by all the relevant authorities in this country.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Long Live Plateau State
Long Live Kanam L.G.A
Long Live the All Progressives Congress.