- Delegates who emerged through the congresses of the All Progressives Congress at ward and local government levels are against direct primary option proposed by the party
- The delegates have joined their state party executives and governors to reject the option
- According to them, the direct primary option does not favour the party delegates
The train of those rejecting the direct primary option proposed by the national working committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been joined by delegates who emerged through the congresses of the party at the ward and local government levels earlier this year.
Punch reports that the delegates have joined their state party executives and governors to reject the direct primary option.
NAIJ.com gathers that investigation by Sunday Punch revealed that the delegates had vowed to work against the interest of the governors if they embraced the direct primary option.
According to a delegate and leader of the APC in one of the southwest states, it would be unfair to deny ward and local government officers of the party the opportunity to “reap from their investments” during the general elections.
He said: “There are lots of advantages in being a delegate. At least, you are assured that you will make enough money to defray the expenses you incurred in the course of your election.
“Where do they expect this to happen now with the direct primary option? The aspirant will expect you as ward leader to share the money given to you among all your members. That does not make sense at all.”
One of the delegates in the 2017 governorship election in Ondo state alleged that N200,000 each was given to every delegate by two leading aspirants of the APC, while three others spent N150,000 each to settle each of the delegates.
He said: “The implication of this is that a very smart delegate could pocket about N700,000 without much stress. It would be impossible to make such money in a direct primary arrangement.”
According to a delegate in the 2018 Ekiti governorship election, each leading aspirant who contested the APC primary also spent between N150,000 and N200,000 to bribe each of the delegates.
He said: “That is why we are on the same page with the governors to fight the senators who are pushing for direct primary in order to secure automatic tickets from President Muhammadu Buhari and our National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.”
Also speaking on the direct primary option, a delegate from the Oredo local government area of Edo state, said: “If the party decides to adopt direct primaries, it would be too difficult to control the crowd for security reasons. The process could even be infiltrated by members of the opposition."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators threatened to leave the ruling party if it failed to adopt direct primaries for the 2019 elections.
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.
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