Thursday, 6 September 2018

APC Govs Changes Gear, Opts For Indirect Primaries As Saraki, APC Others Trade Word Over Presidential Aspiration

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The Decision to allow for direct primaries that were adopted as it’s methodical approach for the up-coming Twenty nineteen (2019) general elections by the governing All Progressive Congress Party (APC) has seen some of its governor's changes gear, jettison the decision of its apex echelon over its resolution allowing for direct primaries, where many had adopted indirect primaries instead!

In Ogun for instance, checks reveal that the governor and other stakeholders of the party had adopted a consensus candidate as the incumbent governor had also declared to contest for Ogun central senatorial district seat.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting of the APC at Mitros Hall, Abeokuta, the governor said “All of us are going to meet and take the decision. By tomorrow (Thursday Today) everybody will know our consensus candidate for the governorship race By the benevolence of the Lord, I am running for the Senate, so, don’t speculate any more. If you want to run, you are free to come out and run with me.”

Ondo state also, through some APC leaders and stakeholders, yesterday, unanimously adopted indirect primaries for the selection of its candidates for the 2019 general election. Briefing newsmen after the meeting held at the party secretariat, Senator representing Ondo Central, Tayo Alasoadura and Works Commissioner, Taofiq Abdulsalam, said the party hinged the decision to adopt indirect primaries, which was at variance with the NEC’s position on lack of “comprehensive membership register,” which they said makes conducting credible direct primaries a mirage. The decision was taken at a three-hour stakeholders’ meeting attended by the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, members of the state executive,  a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, Alhaji Ali Olanusi and state party executive led by the chairman Ade Adetimehin in Akure among others.

Borno state was also not left out. Leading the stakeholders of the party in their conclusions,Senator representing Borno central and former majority leader at the upper chamber, senator Ali Ndume has said he moved a motion for endorsement of indirect primaries for all elective positions on the platform of the ruling party during critical stakeholders meeting in Maiduguri on Tuesday because the conditions needed to conduct direct primaries were absent in the state.

Giving an insight into why the option of indirect primaries is more suitable, the Plateau State APC chairman, Latep Dabang, in a statement said: “Indirect primary is more cost-effective than direct election.
"The direct primaries involve a large movement of people from various polling units to the ward centre, to enable them to participate effectively, and that is going to cost a lot of money".
“Our main concern in Plateau is the issue of security".
We have been battling with a lot of security challenges here, and we believe that the indirect primaries will give us a smaller number of people to manage, and you will be able to get them to a location that security operatives will easily police.
“If you are having an election going on in 207 wards in the state, there will be security threats and you cannot guarantee when the party primaries will begin and end, coupled with the attacks going on in quite a number of local government areas. We don’t want to put people’s lives at risk.”
 Abia State chapter, on its own, opted for direct primaries.  in a statement, it said “We have refused to allow few persons to determine those who will fly APC flags in the coming elections and also want to use this to assess the strength of the party in our various localities and wards,” the chairman, Donatus Nwankpa, said, in a statement; following a meeting at the party’s headquarters in Umuahia.
“Based on the veritable facts available to us, we have decided to make things open through direct primaries in Abia, for the purpose of allowing the grassroots and members of the party choose those who will fly their flags,” he added.
But Senator Shehu Sani and some aspirants in Kaduna State had on their own decision, petitioned the party, urging it to reject indirect primaries, also describing the idea as a breeding ground for corruption.
According to the senator, who has been having a running battle with Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the mode of primaries is a ploy to use public funds in bribing delegates to toe a pre-determined course of action.
Indirect primaries, he said, is “a factory for producing stooges and a labour room for corrupt practices.”
Recall that the governing Party of All Progressive Party’s NEC, last week, had declared: it wishes to make the following clarifications on resolutions on a mode of primary election, saying primary elections into all elective offices shall be by direct primaries.NEC also resolved to adopt direct primaries for the nomination of the presidential candidate and all other primaries.
This was as the spokesman of the party, Yekini Nabena, insisted the decision of the NEC still subsists.
Meanwhile, the All progressive party has welcome the senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki into the 2019 presidential race  on the platform of People’s Democratic Party PDP, but with a caveat that  Nigerians have become tired of his brand of politics
 The statement read in part “That Nigerians have had enough of Bukola Saraki’s retrogressive and disruptive style of politics and deserve no more,” the party declared.
 But Saraki in a swift reaction took a swipe at the leadership of APC, saying the party and its leaders were already scared of him emerging as the presidential candidate of PDP and vowed not to be distracted.

 In a statement, yesterday, by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, APC also raised ethical issues regarding Saraki’s bid for the nation’s top job. It said:  “At last, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has declared his intention to run for the Presidency of Nigeria.

 While the All Progressives Congress, APC, welcomes him to the race as it is his right to do so as a Nigerian citizen, there are, however, many issues that border on his integrity, antecedents, competence and capability to preside over the affairs of the country.
” Reacting further, said he had no credibility problem except the one that might be concocted by the leaders of APC and the government.

Saraki in a statement, yesterday, by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyanu, said:  “Senate President will not be distracted by the antics of an upstart, who lives in Abuja but waits to sign press statements composed for him from Lagos. When his masters show their face, we will debate all the issues they have raised and the ones they may wish to even concoct.

 “Dr. Saraki does not have any credibility issues except the ones concocted by these putative demagogues to whom the Senate President has become a nightmare. “One should ask, what is APC’s business with an aspirant of another party? The truth is, APC is scared stiff of the possibility of a Saraki candidacy. Fortunately, they have no role in deciding that.”

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