Following the adoption of the direct primary method by the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2019 general elections, some stakeholders who are against the position of the national leadership of the party have reportedly held a meeting on how to go against the method at state chapters.
According to report, on Sunday, some party stakeholders including state chairmen and some members of the NWC met at the Barcelona Hotel in Abuja to figure out a way of going against the method imposed on them by the national leadership.
State party chairmen with the support of their governors are against the direct primary method and would prefer going with the usual indirect primary which federal lawmakers (Senators and House members) are against.
Federal Lawmakers had earlier threatened the APC leadership that they would massively dump the party if it does not adopt the direct method.
The National Working Committee of the party had in a statement before the meeting said that the National Leadership was aware of an illegal meeting being organized by some stakeholders. The APC noted that anyone with grievances over the decision by the party should use the appropriate party organs to make complain.
“We want to state clearly that the meeting which has been fixed for 2 pm (on Sunday) is illegal and an attempt to puncture the sincere efforts being made by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC to reposition our party ahead of the 2019 general elections and to ensure unity, equity and justice in the party.
“The outcome of such meeting which is already known will be a nullity and we admonish our members to disregard such meetings in the interest of the party. It is illegal to call such meeting outside the purview of the constituted authority.
“The identities of those plotting such meetings have been identified and unless they desist from such they will be dealt with in line with the APC constitution at the appropriate time.
“The APC will resist any attempt to disrupt the current peace and harmony prevailing in our great party after the exit of some members of our party,” the APC spokesman, Yekini Nabena, said.
After the statement by the APC national leadership, the aggrieved group went ahead to cancel the earlier venue (Transcorp Hilton Hotel) and regrouped at the Barcelona Hotel following the leak to the top leadership.
Earlier report was that the APC only agreed to use direct primary option for presidential ticket and then allow states to select which method best suits them.
According to Mala Buni, the party’s National Secretary, on Saturday, during an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, he noted that the direct primary was only for presidential aspirants.
Buni said that; “both direct and indirect primaries are contained in our party constitution. In the presidential primary, we are going to start the direct method at the various ward levels, then we’ll conclude everything at the national convention.
“Other primaries such as that of the National Assembly, governors and members of the state Houses of Assembly depend on what the states want.
“The party executive at the state level would sit down and decide and then forward to us the method they want for approval.”
Mustapha Salihu, the National Vice-Chairman North-East of the APC, noted that each geopolitical zone had its peculiarities, adding that the direct primary method was an idea being pushed by the South-West zone of the APC.
“If one geopolitical zone feels that (direct primary) was what is best for them, I think they can canvass that at the regional level and they now give us reason why they need that. I want to believe that in a democracy, the majority will have their way and the minority will also 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 succumb to regional imperialism so long that we are acting within the constitution,” Mustapha said.