- The APC’s NEC will on Thursday, August 30, take a final decision on whether to use the direct or indirect mode of primaries to select candidates for the 2019 general elections
- Reports indicate that most of the party’s governors have expressed reservations about the direct primary method
- Mustapha Salisu, the party’s national vice chairman (north-east), however, said only the party’s NEC was empowered to take a final decision on the issue
The All Progressives Congress (APC)’s National Executive Committee will take a final decision on whether to choose its candidates using the direct or indirect mode of primaries, on Thursday, August 30.
The ruling party will also deliberate and agree on the modalities for the nationwide membership registration/revalidation of members, Punch reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that there are divided opinions over which method would best serve the party’s interest.
According to a top ranking member of the party with intimate knowledge of the matter, “The general opinion in both meetings tilted more in favour of the direct primary because the experiment succeeded with the recent primaries in Osun and Bauchi states.”
Hillard Ita, the party’s national vice chairman (south-south), however stated: “The final position of the party as regards the method to be used for our primaries will be taken at NEC. Be patient, we will make it public after the meeting. Our party under the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole is transparent.”
Reports however indicate that most of the party’s governors have expressed reservations about the direct primary method.
One governor in the southwest reportedly threatened that if the method is imposed on him, he would leave the party.
Mustapha Salisu, the party’s national vice chairman (northeast) said only the party’s NEC was empowered to take a final decision on the issue. He also pointed out that there are arguments for and against the direct primary.
He said: “The direct primary is not a new mode of primary. It is something that we have been practising before. With the advancement of Electoral College that we have decided to go indirect (sic).
“If you remember, part of the parties that formed the merger was the CPC (Congress for Progressive Change). In the CPC in 2011, we went through direct primaries and we didn’t find it funny because there were some pre-requisites we didn’t meet before we embarked on those primaries.
“If you walk down memory lane, we couldn’t field candidates in Kastina, Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi states because the processes were very porous. Many candidates emerged and there were so many court orders restraining us from sending names to INEC. In the end, we would send a dummy.
“That was how we entered into the election without clear candidates and you remember a lot of House of Representatives seats that we won were later annulled by courts because of the fault in the processes of the primaries.”
He noted that the direct primary method was easier for councillorship and ward chairman positions because the party would be dealing with an almost homogenous society where many people were related either through blood or marriage.
Salisu continued: “But when you want to do a direct primary at the governorship level, senatorial seats and House of Representatives and the House of Assembly members, it is beyond that of the ward primaries.
“A lot of supervision is required; otherwise, even people from another ward can come and create trouble.”
He added: “I am aware that some members of the House of Representatives from certain parts of the country are circulating text messages to their colleagues that a decision has been reached as to the nature of the primary to be used by the party.
“The NWC deliberated on the matter; the reason why I am doing this is that some people are trying to mislead members of the public, claiming that some decision came from the party or an organ of the party.
“Any decision that will come from the party will be disseminated officially from the spokesperson for the party. We should wait for the outcome of the NEC.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that some All Progressives Congress senators were threatening to leave the ruling party if it does not adopt direct primaries for the 2019 elections.
Some of the ruling party lawmakers warned that if the party fails to adopt the direct primaries, it will experience mass defections.
Senators, lawmakers defect from APC - on NAIJ.com TV: