31 August 2018

Nigeria: APC Adopts Direct Primary For Presidential Ticket

Photo: The Guardian
President Muhammadu Buhari.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has chosen the modus operandus for the emergence of its presidential candidate following its adoption of direct election for the presidential primary poll. The party, which arrived at this decision during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting yesterday in Abuja, however, opted to give a free hand to the states to choose their own method for the conduct of primaries in their respective domains.

The Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, who briefed journalists in the company of his Kogi State counterpart, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and other party chieftains, also disclosed that NEC had resolved to let the National Working Committee (NWC) fix the cost of nomination forms. Governor Lalong said: “The constitution of the party provides for either direct or indirect or consensus, but for the presidential election primaries, we will adopt direct, but there was a recommendation by a committee that the states should adopt the indirect mode of election which could vary in some states. “On the issue of the month of election, we all agree too that for the presidential election, we are adopting direct primaries but for other elections, there are two options; however, the general option is that we go for indirect options, however any state that has problems and would want to deviate from that is at liberty to write, following the normal process with the resolution from their state executive to the national executive for a deviation from the direct process.

“On the issue of sequence of election, it was referred back to the NWC after deliberations to look at the comments raised and take decision in line with the Electoral Act to bring out the sequence of elections. “We also set up standing committee to look at proper funding generally got the party.” On the price of nomination forms, he said the matter was yet to be resolved. “The vote of the nomination forms was actually discussed and debated but we left it for the NWC to resolve, taking into considerations some of the views canvassed. We told the NWC to come up with a reasonable figure and any amount they agree will be accepted without referring to NEC for rectification.”On the subject of automatic tickets, he said: “We did not discuss the issue but we discussed that, yes, patriotic and loyal members of the party should be rewarded though, not necessarily with automatic ticket.“Some of our senators that are patriotic and who are supposed to be lured away to other parties should be given special consideration.

All the states must look into it and find a way of rewarding them but they should bear in mind that democracy gives opportunity to everybody to contest election. “Let me add that we have a reward system in our party. We will not surely throw away a loyal party member.” The meeting started at 11:20am when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived and ended at 3:30pm. Governor Lalong said: “The constitution of the party provides for either direct or indirect or consensus, but for the presidential election primaries, we will adopt direct, but there was a recommendation by a committee that the states should adopt the indirect mode of election which could vary in some states. “On the issue of the month of election, we all agree too that for the presidential election, we are adopting direct primaries but for other elections, there are two options; however, the general option is that we go for indirect options, however any state that has problems and would want to deviate from that is at liberty to write, following the normal process with the resolution from their state executive to the national executive for a deviation from the direct process. “On the issue of sequence of election, it was referred back to the NWC after deliberations to look at the comments raised and take decision in line with the Electoral Act to bring out the sequence of elections. “We also set up standing committee to look at proper funding generally got the party.” On the price of nomination forms, he said the matter was yet to be resolved. “The vote of the nomination forms was actually discussed and debated but we left it for the NWC to resolve, taking into considerations some of the views canvassed. We told the NWC to come up with a reasonable figure and any amount they agree will be accepted without referring to NEC for rectification.”On the subject of automatic tickets, he said: “We did not discuss the issue but we discussed that, yes, patriotic and loyal members of the party should be rewarded though, not necessarily with automatic ticket.“Some of our senators that are patriotic and who are supposed to be lured away to other parties should be given special consideration.

All the states must look into it and find a way of rewarding them but they should bear in mind that democracy gives opportunity to everybody to contest election. “Let me add that we have a reward system in our party. We will not surely throw away a loyal party member.” The meeting started at 11:20am when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived and ended at 3:30pm. … Defections caused little ‘dent’ on APC ‘superstructure’ – PMB Meanwhile, in his first major reaction to the defections that rocked the ruling APC, President Muhammdu Buhari yesterday described the defections as causing little impact on the party’s “super structure” even as he stated that the APC remained in control of the National Assembly.

The gale of defections had seen prominent leaders of the party like Senate President Bukola Saraki, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governors Samuel Ortom, Aminu Tambuwal, Abdulfatah Ahmed and a host of others moving to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The president further stated that despite reconciliatory efforts of the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC, which had just assumed office, some party faithful who were bent on upsetting the status quo could not “muster the figures they had envisaged to cause an upset” Speaking at the NEC meeting of the party at the national secretariat, President Buhari admonished the party to play by the rules as party primaries approach, adding that his government will continue to deliver on the promises he made to Nigerians. He said: “Despite reconciliatory attempts to keep the house together, some members were hell-bent on pulling down the roof.

They left, threatening to go along with scores of people, thus upsetting the party. But due to the work of the new party leadership, the exit barely made a dent on our super structure as they could not muster the figure they had envisaged to cause an upset, particularly in the two chambers of the National Assembly. “APC remains in control and is increasing by the day with quality people joining the party. “Our primaries must be in complete compliance with the provisions of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the electoral act and above all, the constitution of the party. This is the time we must work for unity, harmony and togetherness.”

On his part, APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, criticised those who left the party, describing them as migrant politicians. “I said they do not have a political address because if you have a history of moving every season from one party to the other with only one constant thing in mind – to contest, now what is your political address? So, for people like that who are migrant politicians, I am not able to identify their political addresses,” he said.Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, was conspicuously missing from the meeting. The national chairman, however, read out an apology from him and that of the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun.

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