Romanus Ugwu, Abuja, Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri and Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State has adopted indirect system for the conduct of its forthcoming party primaries, arguing that the system best suits the state’s peculiarities.
This was the submission of critical stakeholders of the party during a meeting in Maiduguri, yesterday, with party leaders, present and past members of the National and State Assemblies, past deputy governors and chieftains of the party in attendance.
Chairman of APC in the state, Bukar Dalori, while addressing the stakeholders, said the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) had given the state chapters the latitude to choose either direct or indirect primaries.
“These are the critical stakeholders of our party in Borno State and the position of the state working committee is the use of indirect primaries,” Dalori said.
Leader of the House of Representatives, Borno caucus, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, said the caucus was in “full concurrence with the decision of the stakeholders,” adding that the NWC was in line with the thinking of Borno APC.
Abubar Kyari, who represents Borno North in the Senate, said the peculiarities of Borno, especially the insecurity, could make direct primaries a big challenge.
“We don’t even have authentic lists of party members now, because of the displacement of many of our people. So, it will be difficult for anybody to use direct primaries. The indirect system is cheaper and less difficult for us,” he said.
Senator Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South in the Senate, moved motion for the adoption of the stakeholders’ decision, which was supported by Asabe Villita, a House of Representatives member. The motion was endorsed through a “yes” vote.
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani, yesterday, led a delegation of all aspirants and stakeholders of APC in Kaduna State to the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, urging the national leadership to adopt direct system of primaries for 2019 general elections.
Speaking after submitting a strongly worded petition to the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, described indirect primaries as incubator of corruption.
He warned that if the ruling party truly wants to prove to Nigerians that it is serious about fighting corruption, it should adopt the direct primaries to screen out corrupt aspirants from the primaries.
“We are here to affirm our support for direct primaries as the only credible, transparent and honest pact to having fair primaries under the APC.
“It is in the best interest of the party to adopt a system that gives every member a sense of belonging and togetherness. We should move away from the politics of exclusion and money. Indirect primaries has become a breeding ground for corruption and a labour room for producing corrupt people in the society.
“We cannot subscribe to indirect primaries when we clearly know that what obtains in that is simply the use of public resources to bribe delegates in favour of a particular aspirant.
“If the APC is desirous of changing the political landscape in the country, and live true to its commitment as democratic and progressive party, it must use this opportunity to reform the political system and dynamics of Nigeria, by adopting an all inclusive process, where politics of principles and ideas will take precedence over self service and buying of votes.
“Indirect primaries has been the source of the destruction of Nigeria’s political structure and dynamics. Indirect primaries is simply a factory for producing stooges loyal to a certain godfather. It is a system where money is used, where people are auctioned as slaves in favour of a particular candidate.
“The APC must have the courage to do what is seemingly impossible by ensuring that it adopts a direct primaries system, where it will demonstrate that it is truly a party for the people, standing with the people and always defined by that very principle.
“We cannot accept indirect primaries, where selected persons will be closed in a room and paid to elect a candidate. If the party is determined to create a new pact for Nigeria, then, it will start from here.
“Our fight against corruption will simply be a mockery, a comedy, if we have a political system that serve as an incubator for corrupt elects in our society.
“The party must demonstrate that it is prepared to cleanse, disinfect and fumigate the Nigeria political space of corrupt elements and parasites and people who cannot represent their people with honour without buying votes,” he said.
The excerpts of the petition submitted to the national chairman as it concerns Kaduna chapter of the party, read: “The delegate system, otherwise called indirect primaries, will rely on the whims and caprices of the few who now control the party after emerging from ward, local government and state congresses that have been widely rejected by party members as a sham.
Meanwhile, Sen. Abubakar Girei has condemned, in strong terms, the recent position of the Adamawa State Committee of APC, which advocated indirect primaries in the state for the 2019 general elections.