- The APC has kicked against the alleged plot by some governor to go against President Muhammadu Buhari’s advice on the adoption of direct primaries
- The APC said that the governors, five in number, are from the northcentral, northeast, south and northwest respectively
- The move by the governors was rejected by the ruling party as an act of disrespect to the president
Not less than five governors have been accused of being in an alleged plot to go against President Muhammadu Buhari’s advice to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to adopt direct primary in choosing candidates for the 2019 polls.
Based on reports about the APC in Osun and Bauchi states, the president is firmly in support of direct primary at a recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
The Nation gathered that the governors took advantage of the president’s trip to China just after the said meeting, to reject his advice. However, APC senators and members of the House of Representatives are insisting on direct primaries in a bid to checkmate the governors.
Adams Oshiomhole, the APC's national chairman alongside members of the National Working Committee (NWC), were on Monday, September 3, in a closed-door meeting on the mode of primary, which has triggered mixed reactions in the party.
With respect to the proceeding of the meeting wherein the president gave his advice for direct primary, a source said: “At the NEC meeting last Thursday, the President was vehement on direct primary and he took time to explain the advantages of the direct mode to our leaders. He recommended direct primary across board.
“The President was supported by Oshiomhole and some of our leaders. Most of the governors did not speak up on their preference for indirect primary.
“Unfortunately, some of these governors were only waiting for the President to leave for China before causing the crisis in the party.
“The five arrowheads of the protest over the mode of primary are two governors from Northcentral, one from Northeast, one from the South and another from the Northwest.
“They are mostly governors seeking second term tickets, but who do not want direct primary because APC members in their states will vote against them.
“They also mobilized their colleagues to support indirect primary to choose their stooges for Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly.
“They took advantage of the President’s trip. And about two of them, who are on the trip with Buhari have been pulling the strings to overrule him.”
Also, a member of the NWC said: “What some of the governors and state chairmen have done is disrespectful of the President whose advice ought to count.”
The NWC member said that the governors are accused one of the leaders of the party as the brain behind direct primary.
The unnamed member stated: “The party allows direct, indirect and consensus. But to ensure that most APC members have a say on who represents them, we opted for direct primary. Indirect primary are fraught with vote buying. It is a cash and carry system.”
Many APC senators and members of the House of Representatives have also resolved to resist the plot by the governors to impose indirect primary on them.
One top member of the House who pleaded anonymity said: “These governors are backing indirect primary to enable them handpick those who will go to the National and State Assemblies.
“Some of these governors, who are also completing second term in office, do not want direct primary because they will be defeated. Some governors have grudges against their senators and House members and they believe it is time to take their pound of flesh.”
Another lawmaker said: “With the decision of the governors to support indirect primary, they are laying landmines for Buhari because if some of these senators and Representatives lose out to the governors, they might pitch their tents with the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) when plenary resumes on September 25.
“The aftereffects of indirect primary might leave the President vulnerable. This is why we are going to make a representation to the President and APC leadership to allow direct primaries. “Most APC Senators and Representatives are for direct primaries. We will resist the governors too.
“The party may still stand by direct primaries at all levels but with tough conditions under which a state chapter might opt for indirect primaries. To adopt indirect primaries in any state, all aspirants and critical stakeholders must agree with it in writing.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the APC had said its direct primaries system remains the best democratic process for the adoption of its flag-bearer in preparation for the coming general elections.
The ruling party added that Peoples democratic Party (PDP)'s camp was jealous and unsettled by the move.
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