By TERYIMA ANDREW-
Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) in Plateau state, Hon. Latep Dabang has said the petition written by an aspirant demanding for the issuance of certificate of return to him (Hon Gondina Sambo) following sudden death of a state house of assembly member elect from Pengana constituency Hon. Ezekiel Afon was a mire desperation, and will not lead the aggrieved person to fusion.
It will be recalled that an APC member elect for Pengana constituency Ezekiel Afon died few hours after he was declared winner of the 9th March 2019 elections. He has since been buried.
And his rival during APC party primaries who came second with 83 votes during the primary elections, Hon. Gondina Sambo, a former member of the same constituency wrote to the electoral body to issue him certificate of return, rather than conduct a bye-election, since the decease was yet to take oath of office.
The six page petition to INEC copied national chairman of APC, state APC chairman, Bassa local government APC chairman, Plateau state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Commissioner of police Plateau state, director of state security service (SSS) and that of Bassa local government command of the DSS, as well as the Divisional Police Officer of Bassa local government area.
The APC chairman in an interview with Journalists at his residence in Jos, Wednesday, while reacting to the petition by Hon Gondina Musa Sambo who had on the 22nd March 2019 wrote to the chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to issue him (Gondina Sambo) certificate of return as member elect for Pengana constituency of Bassa local government; Dabang said the act is insensitive to the yearning of the party and the constituents.
Hon Dabang said Gondina wrote the said petition out of ignorance, according to the APC chairman, the death of the member elect warrant a bye-election, with a fresh mandate through party primaries, but not an automatic issuance of certificate of return to anybody who contested the said party primaries.
The APC party chieftain also said the demand by Hon Gondina was unnecessary, insensitive, and a distraction toward getting a replacement for late Ezekiel Afon.
Hon Dabang recalled that Hon Gondina lost state house of assembly elections to late Ezekiel Afon in 2015 due to not holding to a written agreement which he made with his constituents not to seek for second term in office as member, Pengan constituency.
According to the APC chairman, Hon Gondina ranged on his earlier pledged to represent his constituency for a single term of four years in office.
According to Hon Latep Dabang, Gondina had written an agreement with his constituents to rule only but one term, which he was given opportunity from 2011 to 2015, through election, but went contrary to the promise during the 2015 and 2019 elections, and contested.
Hon Dabang presented a two page letter of agreement Gondina allegedly wrote through his Lawyer “Uncle Jesse ad co, Barrister and solicitors, No 5 Jekada Fari” and signed hy his person (Gondina Musa Sambo) and his constituents to represent them in a single term of four years.
Part of the agreement reads “that I Gondina Musa Sambo hereby make this promise that if given the support of Buji people and I am elected, I will only spend 1 (one) term of 4 (four) years as Plateau state house of assembly i.e. from 2011-2015, thus not contesting for re-election.” The document stated.
The said document which copy was obtained by Kakaaki- Reporters in Jos, through the APC chairman, was signed on the 29th of March 2011.
The following Pengan constituents signed, at Amo District, Suru Sumaila, Yusuf Zupha, Laushi Nabasu, Danladi Palaka. In Jere District Danladi Markus, Mustapha Kan’iyaka, Lawal Chaku and Ibrahim Maigamu. In Buji District, Bitrus Arabo, Haruna Markus, Simon Awada and Rabiu Nuhu Abdullahi signed the Gondi agreement, agreeing that Gondina should be allowed to serve a single term in office as a representative for Pengana constituency.
Hon Dabang said the APC is awaiting directives for a bye-election in Pengana constituency from INEC, therefore should Hon Gondina desires ad is willing to participate in the forthcoming elections, should notify the party of his intension.
According to Hon Latep, when Senator Gyang Dantong of Plateau senatorial district and his house of representative counter for Barkinlad/Riyom constituency Gyang Fulani and recently a state house of assembly died in active service while serving, a fresh bye elections were conducted to fill the vacancies, therefore, the case of Pengan constituency won’t be different.