A governorship aspirant in the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State, James Ocholi (SAN), has petitioned the National Secretariat of All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged cloning of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by the former governor of Kogi State and one of the governorship aspirants, Prince Abubakar Audu.
Ocholi, who was the governorship candidate of Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in the 2011 governorship election in the state, stated that the practice if not stopped would disenfranchise many delegates who are expected to vote in the August 29 primaries.
“Right now I am writing my petition which I would send to the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on the matter,” he said.
He said the former governor had been calling some delegates to his house, trying to convince them to surrender their party membership card and the PVC for an amount of money.
Ocholi urged the national leadership of the party to investigate the matter before the trend portend a dangerous dimension to the governorship primaries of the party.
Ocholi who was the interim Deputy National Legal Adviser of the party further stated that Audu is jittery over the decision to conduct primary because it is the first time in his political career to undergo the process.
“You know, all these years, it has been endorsement, right from ANPP to ACN, but the new arrangement did not favour him that way.”
He advised the people of Kogi State to disregard the purported endorsement of Audu by delegates in the state.
“A primary election has been scheduled for August 29, how then would you expect delegates who are expected to vote for the aspirant of their choice to now endorse an aspirant?”
He described the purported endorsement as a political gimmick aimed at deceiving the people of the state.
However, Ocholi expressed confidence in the leadership of the party to conduct a free and transparent primaries judging by the promise made by the state chairman of the party, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, on several occasions.
Speaking on the large number of aspirants in the election, Ocholi stated that it is a serious concern but since it is the decision of the party, there is nothing anybody can do about that.
He said: “Some people who were abusing President Muhammadu Buhari and calling him names during the presidential campaigns but joined the party few weeks after the elections are now governorship aspirants in the state.”