Nigeria: Shehu Sani Kicks Against Kaduna APC's Adoption of Indirect Primaries

President Muhammadu Buhari.
6 September 2018

The Senator representing Kaduna Central district, Shehu Sani, has kicked against the adoption of indirect primaries by the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The state executive committee (SEC) of the party Thursday announced it has adopted the indirect primaries for selection of its candidates for the 2019 general elections.

Mr Sani attended the SEC meeting at the party's secretariat on Wednesday where the decision was taken but said he was not given a chance to speak.

Addressing journalists at the Nigerian Union of Journalists' Secretariat in Kaduna shortly after the SEC made the resolution known, Mr Sani said as an aspirant, he did not agree to indirect method of conducting primary elections.

"Well, adopting indirect primary is the state's position and not the final say because our national headquarters requires that every states executive committees must submit a written request signed by state's executive committee members, critical stakeholders as well as aspirants to various offices in the state.

"So far, out of these three categories of people, the state executive committee has taken its own stand, its left for critical stakeholders and aspirants to state their own position on this matter.

"And as an aspirant to the office of senator for Kaduna Central Senatorial District, I do not agree to indirect method of conducting the primaries because of obvious reasons," he said.

Part of his reasons for rejecting indirect primary, the senator said was the manner in which the state congresses were conducted.

"It was conducted in such a way that certain individuals were given the opportunity to select the entire executive members from every ward and LGA in the state.

"It was not free and fair so I don't think I will be doing justice to myself, to subject myself to general election under that condition.

"The second aspect is that there is litigation on the conduct of the congresses and if I subject myself to an election under this condition and I am elected by illegal excos, then the whole thing will be an exercise in futility because it can be nullified by the court.

"The safest, fairest and best thing is for us to throw this thing open if you are not afraid of the people that you are aspiring to represent,;subject yourself to election by them," he said.

Mr Sani added that direct primary will end moneybags politics in Nigeria.

'It will end politics of godfatherism, it will end moneybags politics and will also end corruption in politics," he said.

He added that if President Muhammadu Buhari believes in direct primary, "why should the state go against his interest?"

"APC cannot change the political landscape of Nigeria by adopting a system of cash and carry.

"You pay to be elected, that must be fought if we want to instill discipline and order in our democratic system.

"we must make it possible to men of honour, principles and ideas to trump up into office through a credible and transparent process.

"The position taken by the party today is a request to the National Secretariat of the party. We have also made our position very clear so it is left for the national secretariat to take a position.

"Myself, Senator Sani Saleh and other aspirants are all on the same page. We are for direct primary," he said.

Mr Sani lauded the effort of the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshimhole, for trying to "rescue the party from total mess."

According to the senator, but for Mr Oshimhole, APC would have been in a total mess.

Mr Sani had on Wednesday led some other aspirants from the state to the national headquarters in Abuja to campaign against indirect primaries.

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