From Khalifa Abdul Ibrahim, Katsina
Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has won the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket for the 2019 general elections.
During the party’s governorship indirect primaries on Sunday, Masari polled 5,562 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abubakar Ismaila Isa Funtua, who got eight votes while the third contestant, Garba Danlami, received one vote out of the total 5,627 votes cast.
Chairman of the APC governorship primaries committee, Dr. Isa Adamu, who announced the results at the conclusion of the polls late Sunday night said that a total of 5,959 delegates from across the 34 local government areas in the state participated at the primaries.
Speaking after the declaration of the results, Masari said that he was thankful to God, “for making it possible to produce a candidate for Katsina for the 2019 governorship polls, after a hitch-free exercise.”
In a similar development, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State also conducted its governorship primaries on Sunday during which Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke emerged winner.
Lado beat five other contestants having polled 3,385 votes, according to the Chairman of the PDP gubernatorial primaries election committee, Senator Adamu Kadia, who announced the results at 2.40 am on Monday.
Another contestant for the position, Alhaji Ahmed Aminu Yar’Adua, received 233 votes while Musa Nasiru got one vote.
Speaking earlier before the commencement of the election process, a former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, lamented what he described as failure of the current APC administration to improve on the welfare and living condition of the people since it assumed power.
“The APC government has brought about severe hardship for more than six million people in the state,” Shema said.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the PDP National Secretary, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri, noted that in spite of “mistakes” which he said his party made in the past, the PDP did not allow the condition of the people in the country and state to deteriorate to the level the ruling APC had allowed it to.
“The ruling party has brought so much hardship on many but the PDP is poised and ready to take back power and better the lives of the people as from next year,” Tsau said.
Criticisms and controversies had trailed the polls as a cross section of members and governorship aspirants from the APC had protested the party’s decision to conduct indirect primaries as opposed to direct primaries.
Funtua, an advocate of direct primaries, hadregretted that their appeals to the APC national headquarters to to reverse the decision apparently fell on deaf ears.
According to him, “we wholeheartedly align ourselves with the position of President Muhammadu Buhari in deepening and entrenching internal democracy in our party by openly supporting direct primaries as a mode of electing those who will carry the party’ s flag in the forthcoming general election.
“However, we are sad to report that the national secretariat of our party closed its eyes to the inherent dangers in conducting indirect primaries in Katsina State.
“This trend if not checked will throw the party into chaos and may further factionalize the party and affect its fortunes in the forthcoming general elections in 2019. “We have lost confidence in the ability of the executives of the party in the state and the state government to conduct free, fair and transparent primaries.
And, for the PDP, the choice of Lado as a “consensus” candidate after a ” “mock election” before the primaries did not go down well with a cross section of members of the party.
For Yar’Adua, “there was supposedly a mock election staged by 18 officials of the party, to select what they called a consensus candidate. What they did is illegal.”