By Peter Amine
Jos, May 14, 2022 A group, Equity and Justice Forum, has advised Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau and the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) against imposing a candidate on the delegates at the forthcoming gubernatorial primary election in the state.
Equity and Justice Forum Chairman, Mr Omar Shittien and the Co-Chairman, Chief Samu’ila Danko Makama, gave the advice when they addressed newsmen on Friday in Jos.
The group said that equity, justice, fairness and a level playing ground should be provided for all the governorship aspirants.
They warned that Plateau would never allow itself to be piloted by a cabal as it was trending on social media.
“What is about to happen is disheartening to Equity and Justice Forum, a stakeholder and political action entity, that worked for the emergence and victory of APC in Plateau in 2015.
“We are faced again by the injustice perpetrated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during its party primaries in 2014. It is sad that such an unfortunate history is about to repeat itself in the APC.
“It would be recalled that in 2014 the Equity and Justice Forum did a press briefing cautioning the then governor of the state not to impose an anointed gubernatorial aspirant during the governorship primaries in the state.
“The forum also stated the consequences that will follow if the warning was not heeded.
“However, the call fell on deaf ears and eventually the consequences caught up with the governor and the PDP in the secondary election.
Unfortunately, it is now evident that the present administration and beneficiary of the Plateau Project appears not to appreciate the efforts of the good people of Plateau in combating injustice and undemocratic processes.
“Instead, we see anti-people policy and undemocratic processes playing out within the party.
“It will amount to total hypocrisy, bias and injustice to Plateau if the Equity and Justice Forum keeps mute and watches nonchalantly a repeat of the vice and undemocratic process it fought against in 2014 and 2015,” Shittien said.
The chairman said that if the group gave its consent to the act about to be perpetrated within the APC in the state, it would become partakers of it.
He said this would contradict members firm belief in the growth of democracy and dispensation of equity and justice to all.
He said that the news briefing was to enable the group to speak out against the undemocratic act that was about to be executed by the present leadership of the ruling party in the state.
According to him, what started as a rumour that there is an anointed candidate in the APC that must win the governorship primary election at all cost is gradually becoming a reality.
“We acknowledge that any member of the party has the constitutional right to support any aspirant of his or her choice within the APC.
“What is, however, worrisome is the crooked process been taking to ensure a particular candidate clinches the APC gubernatorial ticket at all cost and against the popular wish of party men and women.
“We got it on good authority that forms meant for delegates election have been hijacked for onward distribution to specific stooges to be used as delegates in the primary elections, to make it appear that the primary is free and fair.
“The preferential treatment given a particular candidate at the expense of all other governorship aspirants who have deployed their resources, time and energy … is a total show of ingratitude to them and their huge supporters,” he added.