Contrary to reports making the rounds that Governor Simon Lalong has endorsed an aspirant for the All Progressives Congress (APC) bye-election in Jos North/Bassa constituency, the party hierarchy has insisted it is providing a level playing ground for all aspirants.
The Party also debunked claims in the news that it has zoned the House of Representatives position in the constituency to a particular local government.
There had been speculations in Plateau State, that Governor Lalong endorsed his Commissioner for Commerce, Abe Aku, who recently resigned for the position.
The rumours became rife after Aku joined the race to contest a seat at the upcoming bye-election.
Chairman of the party in the State, Rufus Bature disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Jos, Plateau State.
Bature said, “To the best of my knowledge, there has been no such instruction from Mr. Governor; we are creating a level playing ground for all aspirants. As I speak, they are all being screened in Abuja.
“We have about eight aspirants, we intend that by the 1st of February, 2022, the primary election will hold and it is going to be, by the grace of God, indirect primary”.
On whether there was micro zoning in the aforementioned constituency as reports have it, Bature said, “I was not on seat then, and I have not received any report from any committee in respect to micro-zoning, so I’m acting on what is on ground.
“And to be honest, that position has not been zoned to any particular local government; but one of the local government is trying to appeal to the other one to stand with them since the deceased member was from there (Bassa) so that they can complete his term”, he explained.
Speaking on the controversy that surrounded his emergence as chairman of the party in the state, Bature said, “Contrary to reports, there has never been a faction in APC on the Plateau, there were just a few disgruntled people, who felt they were not carried along in the course of the State Congress that took place last October.
“That notwithstanding, we had to call them, we sat down and discussed issues dispassionately, and we looked at the party above self.
“They all understood where myself and the other elected officials were coming from, and they went to court and withdrew the case they had filed”, he explained.
He said the party has continued to dialogue with other members who also feel disgruntled in one way or the other.
On which candidate the state will be supporting during the party’s National Convention, the chairman said, “Plateau will decide on the day of the convention.
“This race is not just for Plateau Benue and Nasarawa States, it is for the whole country; so where Nigerians will be going is where we will all team up; because we want to form a formidable party, where we understand ourselves towards 2023”.
DAILY POST recalls that the bye-election was necessitated by the demise of the member representing the constituency, Haruna Maitala, who died in a road accident along Abuja-Jos road, in April 2021.