- Some APC senators are threatening to leave the party if it adopts indirect primaries for the 2019 elections
- According to the senators, the only way to reclaim leadership of the Senate is an assurance of direct primaries by the party
- One such lawmaker said if the APC goes along with indirect primaries, the party risks losing at least 20 senators
- The ruling party will on Thursday, August 30, hold its first NEC meeting since Senate president Bukola Saraki defected
Some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators are threatening to leave the ruling party if it does not adopt direct primaries for the 2019 elections.
According to Premium Times, some of the ruling party lawmakers warned that if the party fails to adopt the direct primaries, it will experience mass defections.
NAIJ.com gathers that they alleged that the national leadership of the party was being pressured by some governors, to adopt indirect primaries to choose candidates for the 2019 elections.
According to the senators, the only way to reclaim leadership of the Senate is an assurance of direct primaries by the party; and the party will lose its majority status at the upper legislative chamber, if it adopts the usual indirect primary system.
Indirect primaries involves use of delegates - often party leaders at local levels and political appointees, as well as elected officials - to elect party candidates; while direct primaries involves the participation of all party members in the selection of party candidates.
One of the lawmakers reportedly stated: “I am aware the national chairman and members of the NWC are under pressure from state governors to adopt indirect primaries.
“Most of us suffered injustice during the congress. Till this moment, the leadership is yet to resolve the issues. We will not tolerate injustice again.
“For me, the next NEC meeting is a make or mar meeting for our party. The APC has assured us of justice through direct primaries. If the party bows to governors, we will have no option than to leave the party. It will be mass exodus."
According to another senator, if the governors have their way, the APC will lose its majority status in the Senate.
The senator reportedly stated: “With the war that exists between the party and Saraki, the party has confidentially resolved to return the senators because it is dangerous to come back on 25th when some people don’t have assurances.
“The governors have their individual agenda because the people whom they want cannot win election by direct primaries. If you cannot win by direct primary, it means that you are unpopular and the party cannot bring people who cannot win election.
“The party will be heading into trouble because it will be the Senate presidency that will be at stake at the National Assembly. The point is that if you have an indirect primary election, the governors will replace up to 90 percent of existing federal legislatures. Now, that will be playing into the hands of the PDP.”
The lawmaker said if the APC goes along with indirect primaries, the party risks losing at least 20 senators.
The senator said: “The moment the Senate resumes, the conflicting figure we have now is that PDP are saying they are the majority, APC are saying they are the majority, what do you take for consideration?
“We have up to 20, 30 APC senators without a ticket and they have nothing to lose (if they leave the party).
“Let us get there first, because we were kept in the party on the promise that it is going to be direct primaries. If the party says Saraki must go, who is going to remove Saraki? Is it the governors? We are in a tango. The governors must concede, they must keep their heads down.
“We’ll see what happens but I can tell you that the Saraki group are waiting for those eliminated in the APC to join them."
The ruling party will on Thursday, August 30, hold its first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting since Senate President Bukola Saraki defected.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Senator Godswill Akpabio said that he was attracted to the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to the party’s method of fighting corruption and poverty.
Akpabio, who defected to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party, praised President Muhammadu Buhari after the party caucus meeting on Tuesday, August 27.
Senators, lawmakers defect from APC - on NAIJ.com TV: