Hundreds of protesters, on Wednesday, shut down the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, calling for the reversal of the ticket given to former Kogi State governor, Prince Abubakar Audu, to contest the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
The protesters alleged that Audu has a case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and therefore, should be barred from flying the party’s ticket.
Last weekend, Audu emerged the party’s flag bearer ahead of the November 21 governorship election in the state, defeating 27 other aspirants.
He was however, refused the certificate of return by the national secretariat on Tuesday, because the grace given to other aspirants to submit petition against the primaries conducted by governor Nasir El-rufai- led committee, was yet to elapse.
At the gate of the party’s secretariat, a large number of protesters, carrying placards with different inscriptions, urged the party leadership to reverse the nomination of the former governor, if it wanted to win the election.
The inscriptions on some of the placards read: “Kogi state say ‘no’ to Audu”, and, “We need a credible leader in Kogi” among others.
The situation at a point, got tensed as the protesters threw stones at Audu’s supporters, who were at the secretariat.
Addressing newsmen later, the leader of the protesters, Suleiman Muhammad, contended that Audu’s ongoing case with EFCC was enough to disqualify him from the contest.
He said: “We are here to protest against the candidature of Prince Abubakar Audu, on the platform of APC for the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State. We say ‘no’ to Abubakar Audu because he has N11 billion corruption case with the EFCC. Until he clears himself of the case, he has no moral right to present himself for an election.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has declared war against corruption. We, the concerned citizens of Kogi State, are in support of his anti- corruption move. We want to follow the path of the APC ‘change’ mantra and we will not support Audu because of his alleged corruption.”
In his reaction, Audu said 90 per cent of people in the Senate have cases with the EFCC, stressing that, “the fact that you have a case with the EFCC does not make you a criminal.”