Andy Esiet, Calabar
Results for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal House of Representatives primaries in Cross River state have been rejected by aspirants alleging irregularities. The federal constituencies affected are the Ikom/Boki and Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi.
The Commissioner for Works in Cross River state, Mr.. Dan Osim Asu yesterday in an interview with some newsmen in Calabar has disassociated himself from the recently conducted controversial APC primary of the Boki\Ikom Federal Constituency by the party in Ikom saying if an urgent apology was not tendered to him he will seek legal redress.
The primary was earlier scheduled for Friday last week but could not hold and was rescheduled for Saturday yet it could not hold due to protest by the aspirants over the issue of the delegates list and consensus and worried by this development, the Publicity Secretary of APC in the state, Mr. Erasmus Ekpang in a release said, “arising from the security breach that disrupted Saturday’s Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency Primary Election of the Party, and the aftermath of the meeting with aspirants and His Excellency Sen Prof Ben Ayade towards consensus building; pursuant to the need to comply with S.84 (9) (10) of the electoral act 2022. The Party has directed that primary election has been rescheduled for May 30, 2022 at Ikom Council hall”.
At the meeting with the governor, Asu a one time lawmaker in the state said the governor announced Victor Abang (AKA Mature) as the consensus candidate and he did not say anything even though “there was a protest which Edward Ogon said he was not part of and according to the law if there is no consensus everyone will go to the field. They went to Ikom and wrote something like the result. I was not there but in Calabar yet they wrote the result and put my name there and votes allocated to me. I am extremely angry and bitter about it. Not for a person of my reputation and standing.
“I don’t care how they did it but my grouse is how come I was not there and votes were allocated to me. I reject it in totality. I did not participate in the process; I was not there but in Calabar when it was done. I feel embarrassed that my name was there on the ballot. I reject it. How can you shave a man’s hair in his absence? I have to present my skull for my hair to be shaved. So I reject it in totality and if an apology is not tendered to me I will seek a redress for my fundamental human right. I cannot be conscripted into a process where I was not there physically. I feel very bad about it and may seek a legal redress”.
Asu who is very bitter with the entire process said, “how can you say I participated and lost? There is no way anybody can put me there that I participated and lost when I was not there and my agents were not there. They allocated 24 votes to me and 84 votes to the purported winner. They should have gone ahead and did their allocation or affirmation without putting my name. The governor mentioned him as the consensus candidate and this is somebody who had purportedly stepped down for me on Saturday.
“I kept quiet and accepted the consensus arrangement by the governor in good faith. I came back to my house in Calabar and kept quiet. They should have gone ahead to do their affirmation without putting my name and embarrassing me and since I was not there my name should not have appeared on the result sheet. It’s vote allocation and will not accept my name to be used that way”.
Summary of the APC result sheet as signed by the Chairman of the APC Primary election committee, Mr. Eddy Aati and Secretary Joseph Ohiero scored Victor Abang 84 votes and Dan Osim Asu was given 24 votes.
In Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi federal constituency, the past Commissioner for Transport and Marine, Mr Saviour Nyong also rejected the disputed primaries at the Cultural Centre that produced the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Joseph Bassey as the candidate.
Nyong said election materials were hijacked and the process hurriedly done without the due delegates and even the INEC officials hence the result of the fake primary should be cancelled and a fresh one conducted.
Meanwhile Abang has expanded satisfaction with the primary in Boki as he thanked the governor and all stakeholders for making it possible for him to emerge.