Crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Niger State took another turn as members representing the state at the national level openly shunned the flag-off of the local government council election fixed for January 16.
Except for Senator Aliyu Sani representing zone C, where Governor Abubakar Sani Bello hails from, the Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Abubakar Bwari Bawa, Senators David Umaru and Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi representing Niger East and Niger South respectively were conspicuously absent.
Also, the ten members of the House of Representatives did not grace the occasion.
A top source said national representatives of the party in the two chambers refused to attend the flag-off campaign over the manner that the candidates emerged.
According to the source, the aggrieved members claimed that the governor singlehandedly handpicked candidates for the election, and therefore, they cannot be part of the process.
“The truth is, members of the National Assembly refused to attend the flag-off because they were not happy with the outcome of the party primaries which they claimed was done in secrecy by the governor alone without any input from representatives of the party.’’
But a former Publicity Secretary of the APC, who is also the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, claimed that most members of the National Assembly did not turn up for the event because they were engaged with other functions.
Sharing the same position with the state chairman of the APC, Engr. Mohammed Iman, Vatsa explained that the senator representing zone C spoke on behalf of other members at the function.
The commissioner added that their absence does not take credit away from the party as it is sure of total victory at the polls, insisting that the APC remains a united family.
Earlier, during the flag-off campaign, the governor expressed confidence that the party will win in the 25 local governments and the 274 councillorship seats and urged the people to turn out en-masse and vote for the APC.
He called on elected officials to go back to their constituencies and work for the success of the party.

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