- APC has adopted direct primaries for Osun gubernatorial election
- INEC is conducting gubernatorial election on Saturday, September 22
- But the APC youth leaders said that direct primaries may create more problem among party members
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it would adopt direct primaries for the emergence of its candidate for the gubernatorial election holding in Osun state on September 22.
Vanguard reports that the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday, July 16.
NAIJ.com gathered that Oshiomhole said that the party had screened and cleared 17 aspirants who obtained nomination forms to contest the primary.
He said: "Just as we are celebrating Ekiti, we have commenced the process of organising the primary election in Osun state. We have gone through the screening exercise of the 17 aspirants who obtained nomination forms and have been cleared to contest the primary.
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"We are impressed that the 17 of them are competent enough to effectively govern the state and that we do not lack competent hands to provide leadership in Osun state after the exit of Rauf Aregbesola.
“We have decided that in order to ensure popular participation, and to deepen democracy in Osun state, in line with the provisions of our party constitution which allow for either direct or indirect primary, we have resolved that the governorship election primary in Osun state will be conducted on the basis of direct primary.
"What that means is that every card-carrying member of our party will participate in the process of nominating the flag bearer of the party. This for us, is the most democratic way to conduct elections and is in line with what our critical stakeholders from that part of the country want and we are quite happy to oblige.
"The whole idea of that is that the more we allow our party members to participate in the process of nominating candidates, we will remove the issue of corruption or monetizing the processes of nominating aging candidates, in addition to the fact that party members will have a sense of ownership of the outcome of the exercise.
"We have also decided to nominate a panel that will be chaired by the Governor of Zamfara state who is also the chairman of the governors forum. We have no doubt that no one can compromise him and will approach this exercise in line with the spirit and letters of our constitution.
"He will be assisted by four others who will work with (him to ensure that this direct primary is conducted hitch free and the outcome lay a foundation for popular mobilization of the Osun electorates.
“Our slogan is change, but we have not changed from bad to worse. We have only changed from a situation where only few delegates determine who flies the flag of the party, to one in which all party members have a say and can participate actively.
"Our democracy has to grow and our constitution allows for this process and I am proud that the people of Osun state are ready to go the whole hog of allowing party members rather than allowing party caucus to determine who flies our flag. I think that is more democratic.
“We see in America how party leaders go from one state to another as voting goes on even before they come back to the proper election and I think the beauty in that is those members have a sense of ownership of that person and therefore we have a duty to mobilize for that person so that he wins.
"We are not deterred by a particular approach but we are doing this in line with the wishes of the real stakeholders in Osun state as we know them.
“We are particularly excited not because we won, but like we said the last time, what matter to us is the process rather than the outcome. We just want to make sure that the results of elections reflect the will of the people.
"You will also recall there were issues about police deployment. I am very happy that all the commentators and observes including the European Union EU are happy that the election was free of violence and that the process was free and fair.
“We cannot ask for more. We celebrate not just the fact that we won, we celebrate that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, we now can see that elections can be conducted without people being hospitalized or some finding their way to the grave because they have been killed in the process. We are very proud of this accomplishment.”
Meanwhile, the youths, under the aegis of APC forum of local government youth leaders, have rejected the plan to adopt direct primary methods to elect the party's governorship candidate for September 22 election in the state.
The youth leaders, who advised the Oshiomhole-led NWC to drop the idea, also canvassed for the zoning of the position to Osun west senatorial district.
This, according to Daily Trust, was contained in a petition signed by 24 youth leaders in the state and was sent to the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole through the national secretary, Mai Mala Buni.
The petition, dated July 14, 2018, and made available to journalists in Abuja, advised the party to use the delegate system to pick the gubernatorial candidate as done in Kogi, Edo, Ondo and Anambra states.
The petition partly read, "We, the undersigned Osun All Progressives Congress forum of local government youth leaders, wish to call the attention of national leaders to the current insinuation being championed by a smaller unit of the party to organize an open balIot system otherwise known as option A4.
"Our position is dear, the party should go ahead with the delegate system to pick the gubernatorial candidate as done in Kogi, Edo, Ondo, and Anambra States and recently in Ekiti state."
The party youths warned that the party should not jettison the zoning arrangement if it wanted peaceful co-existence within the party, arguing that since 1999, Osun west has not produced anybody for the coveted seat.
"Moreover, in order to allow peaceful co-existence to continue and the spirit of equity, fairness and justice, west senatorial zone of Osun should be allowed to produce the next governor.
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"Since the return of Democracy in 1999, central senatorial district has occupied the post for eleven and a half years (1999-2010). East senatorial district where the present governor hails from will complete their eight years uninterrupted tenure."
"In view of the above facts, the west senatorial district should be allowed to present the flag bearer of the party with a view to winning the forth coming election," it added.
NAIJ.com had previously reported that the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole reacted to the reported exit of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state from the party saying he was not pushed out.
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