The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum has rejected the decision of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party that direct primaries should be adopted for elective offices across the country.
The Daily Times recalls that APC at its National Executive Committee (NEC), attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osibanjo approved that in line with the party’s constitution; direct, indirect and consensus primaries could be adopted to nominate candidates for the 2019 general election.
The party’s NWC, however, upturned the decision of NEC and insisted that “primary elections into all elective offices shall be by Direct Primaries”, a development that generated controversies that would have torn apart the party.
But APC Governors Forum at a closed door meeting with the party’s leadership on Wednesday resolved that the decision of NEC should stand, giving room for the adoption of the direct, indirect and consensus primaries as against the insistence of NWC on direct mode only.
Imo State Governor and Chairman, APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, told journalists at the end of the meeting that, “NEC has declared that we are going to have direct and indirect primaries and the party at the state level will decide what type of primary to conduct.
“NEC made it clear that the parties will decide at every state level what they want, either direct or indirect primaries. Normally you would know that our party is even a peaceful party.
It is the most peaceful party in Nigeria right now where there are no schisms and scuffles. If you look at other parties, you would know there is no party at all. So these minor complains here and there is expected because even in a family you have it”, he stated.
The Imo State Governor maintained that, “we have adopted both direct and indirect and most of the states are going for indirect primaries, but for the president, it is going to be direct so,
we have all resolved and to assure Nigerians that we are ready for the primaries and we are ready for the main election as decided by NEC and we are sure that come 2019 APC shall have victory”.
Also speaking, Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, said that there is no way one hundred percent of the party will agree to one thing.
“There will always be some that will disagree but the decision of NEC is that the majority of the state Executive Committee decided on the mode of primaries.
“I’m the Governor of Kaduna State by the grace of God, the majority of the State Executive Committee decided on indirect primaries. If one or two members don’t agree, that’s off the decision of NEC,” he said.
Similarly, Adams Oshiomhole, APC National Chairman, who attended the meeting, agreed that “it is not a new decision that our constitution consciously provided for flexibility, adding that “first to reflect the diversity of our great country and also to try to express the entire essence of federalism
which allows different states to look at their own situation and advice the NWC as to what works better for them provided that in all cases the process is democratic, the rules are fair, the officiating officials are impartial”.