Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
There is now an end in sight to the mode of primaries to be adopted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2019 general elections, as the party’s National Working Committee (NEC) has finally bowed to the pressures from state governors to conduct indirect primaries.
Addressing newsmen after several hours of meeting between national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and APC governors, in Abuja, both announced that they have settled for indirect primaries in the states, promising to ensure a free, fair and credible primaries.
Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha said, “We met with the chairman and we have resolved that in support of the party that we are going to have free and fair primaries.
“Everybody will be given equal chance to participate in the primaries which will be transparent, free and fair.
“We have adopted both direct and indirect and most of the states are going for indirect primaries, but for the president it is going to be direct primaries.
“So, we have all resolved to assure Nigerians that we are ready for the primaries and we are ready for the main election as decided by NEC and we are sure that come 2019, APC shall carry the day.
“We are calling on all our supporters to support the party. The 22 governors and the NEC are working together and we have resolved to make sure that we get victory for the party come 2019,” Governor Okorocha said.
On the acrimonies in many states like Kaduna, Zamfara, over direct and indirect primaries, the Imo State governor said, “Like the NEC made it clear that the parties will decide at every state level whether they want, either direct or indirect primaries. Normally you would know that our party is even a peaceful party.
“It is the most peaceful party in Nigeria right now where there are no skirmishes and scuffles.
“If you are looking at other parties, you would know there is no peace at all. So, these minor complaints here and there are expected because even in a family you have it.
“The NEC have declared that we are going to have direct and indirect primaries and the party at the state level will decide what type of primary to adopt,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said, “There is no way 100 per cent of the party will agree to one thing.
“There will always be some that will disagree but the decision of NEC is that the majority of the state Executive Committee decide on the mode of primaries.
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“Like Kaduna state which I am the Governor by the grace of God, the majority of the State Executive Committee decided on indirect primaries. If one or two members don’t agree, that is off and it is not the decision of NEC.”
Speaking, Oshiomhole said, “I think my task and the task of the party is clear. We have a tradition as a progressive party to submit ourselves to the dictates of our party and we believe in internal democracy because we are democrats and democracy must begin from within the house before we can do it outside.
“That is why like Governor Okorocha said, we are committed to transparent primaries and will ensure that everyone who has interest in our party and we are happy at the level of enthusiasm measured by the number of persons who have applied for various positions.
“From House of Assembly up, it shows a huge number of Nigerians still prefer the APC as the more credible platform of which to contest.
“Our task is very simple, obey the rules of the party, obey the rules of fairness, obey the rules of natural justice and that is what we mean when we talk about free and fair primaries,” Oshimohole said.