Posted by James Kwen, Abuja | 11 September 2018 | 9,257 times
There are strong indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC may lose the 2019 general elections on the backdrop of the insistence of the Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee of the party that direct primaries be adopted to nominate candidates, BusinessDay reports.
Recall that APC NEC at its last meeting in Abuja resolved that the party use direct, indirect and consensus primaries as against the usual use of indirect primaries. However, the indirect primaries option was reserved for the presidential nomination.
But barely 24 hours after the NEC meeting, APC NWC in what it termed clarifications on the NEC resolutions announced that direct primaries will be conducted to nominate candidates for all offices including the presidency.
According to its proponents, “direct primaries will among others create a level playing ground for contestants; eliminate corrupt tendencies usually associated with the delegates system and ultimately ensure full participation of party members at all levels”.
According to BusinessDay reports, the insistence of APC NWC on the use of direct primaries as against the traditional use of indirect primaries has thrown the party into unprecedented turn oil with permutations that its top echelons such as governors, Senators, Ministers among others would dump the party if not favoured by this arrangement.
Particularly, governors who want second term or intend to transit to the National Assembly and other party stalwarts who have put in place a structure(delegates) that will do their biddings with ease consider direct primaries suicidal to their ambitions.
Consequently, APC controlled States are said to have adopted indirect primaries in a radical departure from the NWC foisted direct primaries, thereby making the primaries a battlefield before the conduct of the exercise.
BusinessDay reports that almost all the 14 APC controlled states in the North have rejected direct primaries and adopted indirect primaries as they consider the move as ploy by their counterparts in the South West geopolitical Zone except Lagos to satisfy the selfish interest of a particular political icon.
A popular APC Governor from the North who does not want his name in print upon the NWC position said, his colleagues prefer indirect primaries to direct primaries because of security issues in the region and cost implications as well as convenience.
“Most of our states have one form of insecurity or another and trying to hold direct primaries involving all party members will be an invitation to chaos. Besides, our opponents will try to infiltrate our primaries and cause confusion.
“Besides, the governors of Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti have indicated support for indirect primaries while the Governor of Ogun said he does not mind whether the primaries are direct or indirect”, he said.
The governor alleged that, “Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the prime mover of the idea of direct primaries. President Buhari also supports it, at least with respect to presidential primaries.
Also, in furtherance of their opposition to direct primaries, governors allegedly convoked a meeting of state chairmen of APC in Abuja recently and direct primaries mode was loudly rejected.
The APC state Chairmen anonymously said, “we are party members who want the best for our party. We will take this matter ( mode of primaries ) up with the NWC because the decision of the National Executive Committee was what governors Simon Lalong ( Plateau ) and Yahaya Bello ( Kogi ) told journalists”.
Specifically, APC in Kaduna state is sitting on a time bomb as the party leadership under Governor el Rufai has adopted indirect primaries while other party kingpins including aspirants led by the eloquent Senator Shehu Sani are clamouring for direct primaries.
That el Rufai group decision reached irrevocable stage is dangerous for APC because feelers are that what stopped Shehu Sani from defecting with other Senators was the conviction that direct primaries would be conducted, and as such he would be favoured but with indirect primaries using el Rufai controlled delegates his ambition is doomed.
Also worrisome is the situation in Imo state where Governor Rochas Okorocha is also vehement against direct primaries and opted for indirect primaries. Analysts are of the view that Okorocha, who has anointed his son in law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor cannot hand him the party ticket if direct primaries are adopted.
They said, Okorocha himself may risk getting the Senatorial ticket he is rooting for as the scenario that played out in the Congresses where the carpet was pulled off his legs will be repeated if indirect primaries are used. It is feared that should that happened and he leaves APC, it means the party will record total failure in the entire South East Zone.
•Excerpted from a BusinessDay report
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