The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reversed its earlier decision on Wednesday morning as it later cleared Babatunde Irukera to contest the Party’s Kogi governorship primaries. The supporters of Irukera had stormed the headquarters of the ruling party to protest against his disqualification, describing it as injustice.
However, a statement issued Wednesday by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, revealed that the gubernatorial aspirant had been cleared. According to him, Babatunde Ayo Kunle Irukera successfully met the conditions provided by the Party’s guidelines for the nomination of candidates within the time granted to clarify his claims.
The dramatic reversal came after the Hope Uzodimma led committee had earlier disqualified Irukera, citing invalid declaration of age; spent less than one year in the party and without waiver; academic credentials and supporting documents not attached.
However, the APC appeal committee of the party in its own report overruled the committee, saying the committee cannot establish any evidence on all matters raised based on his oral and documentary presentations and subsequently cleared him. But he was subsequently disqualified by the party’s NWC.
Supporters of Irukera, under the umbrella of Kogi Mandate Group, led by its Spokesperson, Amos Alfa, while addressing journalists, wondered why he was disqualified by the NWC. The protesters were armed with placards with various inscriptions such as: “APC, learn from Zamfara” “Irukera is our choice” among others. Alfa queried why such thing happened to Irukera, adding that the governor, Yahaya Bello, was aware that the only person that could unseat him was Irukera, alleging that was why he did all he could do to ensure that Irukera did not feature in the primary.
“We have a copy of the results from the screening and it was written boldly that Babatunde was cleared. Why won’t he be a participant in the primary? That is why we are here. “Justice should be done and ensure that this party doesn’t lose Kogi State to a wrong hand. Babatunde is capable to handle Kogi State to the best Next level. Let APC body as a whole do justice to ensure that Babatunde is being featured in the primary.’
Alfa therefore appealed to the party to do justice and avert losing Kogi State to the “wrong hand”, warning that Irukera won’t hesitate to challenge the NWC’s decision through all legal means. The Kogi gubernatorial primary election holds Thirsday where the standard bearer of the party would be elected.