The Kogi All Progressive Congress (APC) Support Group has called on the national leadership of the party to conduct direct primary during the party’s governorship primary in August.
The spokesperson of the group, Alhaji Abubakar Tanko made this known on Monday during a peaceful protest to the Secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kogi State Chapter.
The group who carried placards with various inscription, ” We want direct primary”, “Governor Bello must go” “We are hungry and no salary in Kogi State”, ” Please give us good APC governorship candidate”, also called on President Muhanmadu Buhari to come and save Kogi state from sinking in the presence of abundance .
Alhaji Tanko said people are dying for lack of payment of salary and pension stressing that workers and pensioners are living in penury.
“No physical development in the state. No roads , the hospital , schools are in a sorry state, worst hit is the school teachers they have have been waiting endlessly without salary and one expect them to teach the children who are the future of tomorrow”, he said.
He noted that the is demanding for direct primary election of APC in Kogi state to enable the party members elect the candidate of their choice who will take care of their need and wipe away their sorrow.
The group opined that they know Buhari to be a man of integrity and Oshiomole a man of his words who share in peoples sorry as they have seen the good thing he did in Edo while he was governor and therefore they want the next governor of the state to be a person that will emulate Oshiomole in terms of road construction, provision water, up liftment of basic education among projects that has direct bearing on the life of the people.
Also speaking, Suleiman Aliyu from Lokoja LGA Kakanda ward said the protest was necessary because they have called severally to the national body of the party to come to the aid of the people but to no avail.
He said that they decided to organised the protest to vent there anger to the elders of the party on the present government in the state .
“Our predicaments are known to the whole world and we can not continue like this , no salaries, businesses are collapsing on daily basis. Workers are no longer entitle to monthly salary as the current governor has turn civil servants to be beggars.
“We are calling on President Buhari to actualised the autonomy of the judiciary and the local government. We are appealing to the National Chairman of APC to help us by organising direct primary in the forthcoming primary election of the party.
It is through the direct primary that the real members of APC can elect any body that will represent them in Lugard House,” he stressed.
In a swift reaction, the Director General Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mr. Kingsly Fanwo said governor Yahaya Bello has been a party man as a foundation member of the party.
According to him, he is quite familiar with the constitution of the party and the need to wait for the leadership of the party to discuss the modalities to use for the primary and is prepared to wait for the decision.
“We won’t comment on anyone who is paid to do any protest. It is their choice to protest. Kogi people don’t protest to elect leaders. They vote. And in February and March, they exercised that right to show their confidence in the leader of the State.
“Governor Yahaya Bello has performed well and we are confident his mandate will be renewed in November this year. More sponsored protests are expected by desperate politicians who supported PDP in February and March but want to be our flag bearer in APC today. But the people are unperturbed by their propaganda.
“This Governor has done well in providing infrastructure and diversifying the economy as well as providing security. We are already defraying the few months owed the civil servants in the State and workers have commended the genuine efforts of the government.
“Protesters who were dropped in the state from Abuja will go back to tell their sponsors that Lokoja Township has become cleaner and saner.
“We know where we are going and the Governor is taking the State the Next Level. Salary is not the issue with the detractors. Many states are owing and we are already paying what we owed. The main problem is that this Governor has removed the plugs of ethnic division to ground their perfidious ethnic jingoism.
“Governor Yahaya Bello has united the State and showed what a united people can achieve. He has shifted power to a youthful and effective generation that is already moving the state forward.