APC Still Unsettled Over Adoption Of Direct Or Indirect Primaries Ahead Of The 2019 Elections
The All progressive Congress said it has identified opponents of the direct primary who according to it, have begun moves to plan against the method on the states.
This comes as some party stakeholders including state APC chairmen and some members of the National Working Committee, reportedly converged on the Barcelona Hotel, Abuja, on Sunday, to consider the best way to confront the issue.
The stakeholders, who held their meeting in secret, earlier planned to meet at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but quickly dispersed and regrouped at the Barcelona Hotel when their initial location leaked to the party hierarchy hours before the scheduled meeting.
The NWC of the party had in a statement signed by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, earlier in the day, said the attention of the party leadership was drawn to “the illegal” meeting.
It said,“We want to state clearly that the meeting which has been fixed for 2 pm (on Sunday) is illegal and an attempt to puncture the sincere efforts being made by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC to reposition our party ahead of the 2019 general elections and to ensure unity, equity and justice in the party.
“The outcome of such meeting which is already known will be a nullity and we admonish our members to disregard such meetings in the interest of the party. It is illegal to call such meeting outside the purview of the constituted authority.
“The identities of those plotting such meetings have been identified and unless they desist from such they will be dealt with in line with the APC constitution at the appropriate time.
“The APC will resist any attempt to disrupt the current peace and harmony prevailing in our great party after the exit of some members of our party.”
It urged party members who had grievances over decisions taken by the party to use the appropriate party organs and channels to register their displeasure.
A source privy to deliberations at the abridged meeting of the group said, “Consultations are still ongoing. We are party members who want the best for our party. We will take this matter (mode of primaries) up with the NWC because the decision of the National Executive Committee was what governors Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Yahaya Bello (Kogi) told your colleagues on Thursday.”
When asked if a decision had been reached, the source said, “No. We are still consulting that is why we can’t talk to the media just yet.”
The APC National Vice-Chairman North-East, Mustapha Salihu, had dismissed reports that the party’s NWC had agreed to recommend the direct primary method to the party’s caucus and NEC.
He noted that the each state/geopolitical zone had its peculiarities, noting that the direct primary was an idea being pushed by the South-West geopolitical zone of the APC.
According to him, there is nothing wrong for any zone to push for what best suits states within its control but that it will be wrong to foist such on others.
Mustapha said, “If one geopolitical zone feels that (direct primary) was what is best for them, I think they can canvass that at the regional level and they now give us reason why they need that. I want to believe that in a democracy, the majority will have their way and the minority will also have their say.
“So, they have the right to wish and if we decide to make it flexible, definitely what they want will be given to them at their own various states, but one thing I want to assure you is that we will not succumb to regional imperialism so long that we are acting within the constitution.”
As earlier reported by Naija News, the All Progressives Congress (APC) during its sixth National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting last week Thursday, resolved to pick its presidential candidate through direct primary at a date to be announced later.
Also, the APC’s NEC decided to adopt either direct or indirect primaries for other positions – governors, national and state assemblies; as convenient in the regions.
However, the APC National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, told the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation in an interview on Saturday that the direct primary would only affect those aspiring for the party’s presidential ticket.
According to Buni, “Both direct and indirect primaries are contained in our party constitution. In the presidential primary, we are going to start the direct method at the various ward levels, then we’ll conclude everything at the national convention.
“Other primaries such as that of the National Assembly, governors and members of the state Houses of Assembly depend on what the states want.
“The party executive at the state level would sit down and decide and then forward to us the method they want for approval.”
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