Group fault Muslim/Muslim tickets in Niger, APC locks out Senator Umaru’s supporters.
Niger State Christian Youth Forum has faulted the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the exclusion of Christians in the governance of the state.
The group’s publicity secretary, Mr. J.A. Gusadi, claimed that the two parties sidelined Christians, who constitute a formidable number in the state, in the choice of their governorship candidates.
According to the group, the preference of Muslims by the leading parties does not truly reflect the composition of the state, which is peopled by both Muslims and Christians.
It called on the political players in the state to review the decisions by the major political parties to reflect a fair outlook of inclusiveness, aimed at ending marginalization and ill-treatment of Christians in the state.
“The outright disregard for the request by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is not acceptable to us, as it does not portray the state in its right composition.
“We are committed to teaming up with our Muslim brothers to work assiduously to deliver dividends of democracy to the good people of Niger. We, by this statement, call on the major actors to demonstrate their independence and executive powers to make immediate changes to reflect our request and grant us the opportunity to build the state together.”
The state chapter of CAN had on October 11, through a statement, requested a reflection of fairness and justice in the pairing of governorship candidates by ensuring that all parties field a Christian/Muslim ticket.
In another development, the APC yesterday locked its gate against supporters of Senator David Umaru.
Umaru’s supporters had stormed the secretariat to thank the executive for their principal’s emergence as the party’s candidate for Niger East Senatorial district.
Their principal’s emergence as APC candidate had pitched the state chapter against the party at the national level.
The national executive committee (NEC) of the party led by Adams Oshiomhole had awarded the ticket to the senator, who reportedly lost in the primaries to Alhaji Sani Musa.
Supporters of the senator, as early as 10am, gathered at the city gate in Minna from where they marched to the party’s secretariat in Zarumai, but were refused entry by stern-looking private security guards and a police inspector, Yakubu Mohammed.
All explanations by the leader of the group, Kabiru Ibrahim, were rebuffed by the security operatives.
Mohammed said he was not informed of the visit, even when Ibrahim insisted that the state auditor of the party was informed.
One of the party leaders in Niger, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the party would never accept Umaru.
“Let us wait and see how Oshiomhole and the presidency can make him senator. Those who won the election were given certificates of return after the primaries, only for those in Abuja to award victories to the losers. We are waiting.”