…Says NEC will decide on ‘Direct Primaries’
The National Vice Chairman North East of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Mustapha Salihu has said that the party will not succumb to regional imperialism from any quarter despite the ruling party’s decision for reconciliation.
The party chieftain also said that the much talked about ‘Direct Primaries’ from some quarters of the party will not go well as it needs a lot of time to prepare and the party does not have that time according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) time tables for the 2019 general election saying a lot of supervision is required to make it work.
Comrade Salihu pointed that the caucus of the party cannot take decisions for the party, not even the National Working Committee (NWC) but the National Executive Committee (NEC) which according to the party constitution is the highest organ of the party which meets on Thursday to decide either the party will use the ‘Direct Primaries’ or not.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Comrade Salihu said; “Before now I don’t have any feelings that there was possibility of conspiracy, but when I see people planting stories, I now begin to suspect, if one region feels that was what is best for them, I think they can canvass that at the regional level and they should give us reason why they need that, I want to believe that in a democracy, the majority have their way and the minority have their say.
So, they have the right to wish and if we decide to make it flexible, definitely what they want will be given to them at their own various states, but one thing I want to assure you is that we will not succumbs to regional imperialism so long that we are acting within the constitution.
“There is a lot of talks and arguments for and against direct and indirect primary, this mode of primary are basically the same the difference is not much in terms of outcome, but where the difference lies is in the processes, and the level of logistics and resources required to undergo this primaries.
“I want to make this assertion, advanced democracy moved from option A4 to direct primaries, then to indirect primaries then to electronic voting. So, the direct primary is not a new mode of primary, it is something that we have been practicing, but with the advancement of Electoral College, we have decided to go indirect.
“If you remember part of the parties that formed the merger was CPC. CPC in 2011 we went through direct primaries and we didn’t find it funny because there were some prerequisites we didn’t meet before we embarked on that primaries, if you go back to memory lane we couldn’t fill candidates in Kastina, Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi states thereby making the processes very porous”.
According to the National vice Chairman, this is not to say that the direct primaries is not possible adding, “it is possible but we need a lot of preparation and a lot of work, it is not something that you just stand up one day and just think about.
it is something that you have to prepare for because of the people involved, in the state most especially.
“It is different when you are conducting an election for ward chairmen and councilors where it is homogenous society and maybe the contestants are related either through marriage or through blood, you will find out that the rancor will be very easy to solve; but difficult in Governorship, Senate or House of Representatives and even Stae Assemblies.
So, a lot of supervision is required, otherwise, even people from another ward can come and create trouble”.
Recall that the Direct Primaries was used in the Osun State Governorship Primaries while Indirect Primaries was used in Ekiti State.
The Direct Primaries used in Osun State sparked crises which led to defection from the ruling party to other parties as the result of the primaries was rejected by some party members.