More state chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have adopted the mode of picking candidates for the 2019 elections.
President Muhammadu Bihari’s home state Katina, Kaduna, Rivers and Imo states have chosen the indirect primary option. Ebony State opted for consensus arrangement but with an indirect system back up in places where they fail to reach a consensus.
But Kaduna central Senator Shehu Sani rejected the decision of the state executive and stakeholders. The senator said direct primary ought to have been chosen.
The Katsina meeting endorsed the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Aminu Masari to run for second term.
The meeting in Imo was presided over by state chairman Daniel Nwafor.
The motion for the adoption of the indirect primaries was moved by the APC Chairman in Nwangele Local Government Area Jude Mbamara and seconded and seconded by Obinna Egu, member representing Ngor-Okpala Council Area in the House of Assembly.
At the APC stakeholders meeting in Rivers, members voted to pick their prefered option.
Indirect primary recorded 106 votes, Consensus got three votes and Direct primary got just one vote.
The meeting was presided over by Rivers State Chairman Ojukaye Flag-Amachree. It was attended by other members of the State Working Committee (SWC), Senator Andrew Uchendu (Rivers East); and the Deputy National Secretary of APC, Chief Victor Giadom.
Flag-Amachree said:”I want to announce that members of the Rivers State APC, having sat down and considered all the various options, agreed to go for indirect primaries, based on reasons including insecurity, lack of data base and logistic challenge.”
Senator Uchendu said: “I am a foundation member of PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) and APC. I must praise the Rivers State Chairman of APC (Flag-Amachree) for organising this type of platform for us to air our views.
“We will definitely not have a safe venue, at which we will call all our teeming supporters together for direct primaries. We know that the government of Nyesom Wike does not want APC to exist in Rivers State.
“If we gather at a place for direct primaries, we will be in trouble. We know what Wike and his supporters are capable of doing and what they had done over the years. Opting for direct primaries in Rivers State will be putting the lives of APC faithful at risks.
Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari who announced the decision, said: “indirect primary is the most ideal for us as it is rancour free, less expensive, and addresses logistics and security challenges. Although opponents of the indirect primaries argue that it encourages corruption which I quiet admit, but it still remains the best option within the time limit available to us’’
State Chairman Shitu Shitu said the “states were given three options—direct voting, indirect (delegate) system and consensus voting.
”It is based on that we in Katsina have decided to come together as critical stakeholders to endorse the option we have chosen today and it is unanimously agreed”.
Senator Sani for the first time since his suspension by the party in 2016, was in attendance at the party’s SEC meeting and was sighted exchanging banters with Deputy Governor. Barnabas Bala Bantex.
State chairman Emmanuel K. Jekada said, “The ‘Direct Primary method’ is not applicable in the State due to the following reasons: Absence of a comprehensive register of party members; the APC Kaduna party leadership has made spirited attempts to acquire a comprehensive database of party members from the party’s National Headquarters but to no avail. Without a comprehensive membership register, any direct primaries may be disrupted by non-members including individuals from other parties who may come up with fake membership cards to cause confusion in the process.
“The Direct primary method would result in significant logistic challenges for the party; with party membership running into hundreds of thousands in the state, printing of ballots, deployment of election materials, accreditation, voting, collation and declaration of results would be very expensive with financial cost surpassing a billion naira in Kaduna alone. These are costs that the party may not be able to shoulder in view of the fact that it was not envisaged, and no budget provision has been made for it.
Senator Sani and his predecesor Senator Mohammed Sani Saleh rejected the sdecision.
Sani said: “ ‘So far out of these three categories of people, the state executive committee has taken its own stand, it is left for critical stakeholders and aspirants to state their own position on this matter. And as an aspirant to the office of senator for Kaduna central senatorial district, I do not agree to indirect method of conducting the primaries because of obvious reasons.
In Ebonyi, the resolution was agreed upon at the meeting attended by APC leaders including past members of the national and state assemblies, led by Chairman Chief Eze Nwachukwu.
The chairman said explained that the security challenges in the state and alleged sponsored attacks on party faithful by rival political thugs would not allow the party to go for direct primaries.
He added that the party would not be able to grapple with the challenges posed by direct primaries, even though it gives equal opportunity to all registered and card carrying party members to participate in selecting flag bearers.
Members at the meeting, in a unanimous decision, voted in favour of consensus method as first option for the selection of party’s flag bearers for all elective positions in the 2019 general elections.
They also voted to adopt indirect primaries where consensus arrangement failed to produce consensus candidate.
– By The Nation