The all important day for APC primaries in Kogi is here at last and it promises to be epic because battle lines have been drawn and outcome promises to break hearts and make others jubilate.
Yesterday, we learnt Governor Yahaya Bello muscled no less than seven aspirants out of the way and ordained his auditor as his preferred candidate. His imposed candidate, Alh. Usman Ododo, is expected to emerge candidate of All Progressives Congress today, if Yahaya Bello’s permutations sail through.
However, it important we all know that all the aspirants that stepped down for Usman Ododo are Bello’s appointees. He made them all and they are all local aspirants. Also, we need to get it clear that Bello’s imposition is only binding on the local aspirants. He is their local champion that has been chosen to battle other independent aspirants who have not yet, and may never step down from the primaries.
There are 17 aspirants cleared for the primaries and Bello alone sponsored 9 of them, namely Senator Yakubu Oseni, Chief Edward Onoja, Abdulkareem Asuku, Barr. Salami Momodu Deedat, Usman Ododo, YY Okala, Jibril Momoh, Ashiru Idris and Friday Idachaba. These are the local aspirants who knew they are nothing beside Bello. They all individually hoped that Bello will impose them as his anointed one and they are not chosen, they have no choice but work for whoever he brings up as the preferred candidate.
Now that the champion of the local aspirants has emerged, it is important we note that he will still have to cross the hurdle of contending with the Abuja Big Boys who have invested personal resources in the race without collecting a dime from Bello.
While Halima Alfa, Stephen Ocheni, Sanusi Ohiare, Shaibu Audu and Abubakar Achimugu may not have what it takes to cause upset, same can not be said of two other aspirants – Smart Adeyemi and Muritala Ajaka.
Muritala Ajaka is a member of the NWC of APC that will oversee the primaries while Smart Adeyemi is a political veteran who is bent on pursuing his ambition to a logical conclusion. While Bello has chosen his kinsman Usman Ododo, the other two senatorial districts are still hopeful that Muritala and Smart can cause upset today. Muritala is Igala while Smart is Okun form east and west senatorial district respectively.
The epic primaries will be a straight battle between the champion of local aspirants and the two main Abuja Boys who are hoping to use Abuja connection to snatch the ticket from Bello and his boys.
The focus will soon move to the chairman of the primaries committee, the Governor of Zamfara state Bello Mattawele whether he will circumvent the process for his beloved friend, Yahaya Bello or allow level playing ground for all aspirants to test their popularity.
In the end, one side will win and the other side will lose sorely. Whichever way the primaries go be rest assured that last has not been heard as losers are bound to retaliate at the appropriate time.
– Samuel Ajayi wrote from Lokoja.