National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has assured those who participated in the party primary but lost the ticket to the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello, would be adequately compensated by the party.
Comrade Oshiomhole gave the pledge on Thursday at a meeting with the aspirants who were cleared and participated in its recently conducted primary. He was, however, silent on the compensation awaiting the aggrieved aspirants just as he was evasive on the question posed by newsmen on whether the over N22 million paid by the aspirants would be refunded.
Oshiomhole told newsmen that the aspirants were willing to make personal sacrifices ahead of the November 16 governorship election to ensure victory for the APC.
He said the party national working committee had made it clear to Governor Bello not to alienate them in his administration.
He said:” I believe that some of you know the faces of those who participated. Those who were fit to govern participated. But as you know, if 16 angels participated, 15 won’t win. If you have one seat and more than one participated, only one will emerge.
As you know by now the committee led by Governor Abubakar Badaru conducted the process and Governor Yahaya Bello won. We are meeting to put the issues that arise out of the process behind us.
I am very happy this afternoon to thank all those who participated and our party members. Going forward, to thank the people of Kogi state who don’t belong to any party but believe in our party as the best platform to meet their aspirations.
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Many of you have said as believers in the party, they aren’t about to go to court. We appreciate their sacrifice.
“We have agreed with the governor that yes, there can only be one governor in a state but everybody can be in government. He has assured us that everybody will have a sense of belonging.”
The APC chairman further claimed that the huge debt burden inherited from Governor Bello predecessor in office, incapacitated him from meeting up with the expectations of the people in terms of payment of salary and other statutory responsibilities.
“Governor Bello met huge debt burden for contacts awarded, part payment done but job not completed. We must remind our people the poor performance of the Peoples Democratic Party before us. If we’re to do comparative analysis, Kogi is better even in terms of security than under PDP.
Governor Bello in his remarks thanked the APC national chairman for the peace meeting and his colleagues who have agreed to work with him as one united political family during the election.
He also told newsmen that the state was no longer owing workers and pensioners.
“I am happy that we have been able to trash out our differences, they have agreed to work with me so that APC emerge victorious in November. Some of them called me privately to congratulate me.
” We shall ensure that Kogi becomes the safest in the country. We on our part will ensure that there is a playing field for all governorship candidates.
Yes, I inherited salary arrears but I m happy to announce to you that Kogi is up to-date, we aren’t owing at all.
President Muhammadu Buhari graciously made fund to us to pay all salary arrears and pensions.
Our opponents believe that we haven’t performed but as we do our campaigns we shall be commissioning projects.
“Every person that participated will be carried along, one-way or the other. They will be absorbed in the committees as we prepare for the elections. ”
He equally restated his defence that he didn’t instigate the disruption of the governorship primary conducted by the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
“I ‘m not a member of PDP. We gave a level-playing field to PDP and other political parties to carry out their activities freely within the State. They moved round the nooks and crannies, all the aspirants in other political parties moved round the nooks and crannies of Kogi State and we provided security for them and we ensured that they were secured and safe.
In fact, let me tell you, my colleague, the governor of Adamawa State, His Excellency Adamu Ahmadu Fintiri, who was the chairman of their primaries committee, before he came to Kogi state, he contacted me that he was coming to conduct the election, I provided his accommodation, his feeding and some other logistics within the state to ensure that they had hitch free election exercise.
I conducted the security people round the Stadium and went round the stadium and my security chiefs in Kogi State were very excellent and up and doing as far as Kogi State is concerned.
We, on our own part, when we conducted our own primaries on 29th of August, we had a larger number of delegates than the PDP. I was the first person to go to the Stadium around 9 O’clock. As early as 10am, we started our exercises and finished everything before 10pm and left the stadium, that is how efficient we are.
“So, PDP shouldn’t make excuses for their inefficiency or for their brigandage. I’m sure you know that a lot of them have records of criminalities. In fact, a lot of them are still having many criminal cases in Court. They are known for such activities, this is not the first time they are attacking themselves. They had attacked themselves during their congresses from ward level down to the State level. If they are attacking themselves again, why should anyone point an accusing finger on me. I think they should look inward and solve their problems.”