APC overrules Govs on indirect primaries

Ahead of the Saturday, September 29, 2018 presidential and governorship primaries, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has overruled some state governors on the adoption of indirect primaries to pick their candidates for the 2019 elections.
On Tuesday, the APC released the list of its approved mode of process to be adopted in the conduct of its primaries for the governorship primary elections scheduled to hold across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with a shocker to some of the party’s governors.
Last week, APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, met with the APC governors at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, where the Progressive Governors’ Forum, led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State compelled on the NWC to give them a free hand to pick any mode of primary that would suit them.
Governor Okorocha, who briefed journalists at the end of the governors’ meeting with Oshiomhole, said: “We just held a meeting with the chairman and we’ve resolved that in support of the party that we are going to have free and fair primaries. Everybody will be given equal chances to participate in the primaries which will be transparent, free and fair.
“And 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.
” The 22 governors and the NWC are working together and we have resolved to make sure that we get victory for the party come 2019,” he said.
Oshiomhole, however, maintained at the meeting that the party would be committed to adopting a process that would be seen to make its primary credible.
“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,” he said.
But, in what looks like a shocker to the governors, the APC NWC on Tuesday met to adopt its preferred mode of primaries for states.
The AUTHORITY gathered that the NWC settled for the mode as it concerned some state because of its fear of an impending legal action, which could question the legality and eligibility of emerging candidates.
It would be recalled that the various state chapters of APC already operates parallel executive committees, while several others are in court challenging the conduct and outcome of its last state congresses.
The APC leadership in its decision overruled the positions of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, his Zamfara State counterpart, Abdul Aziz Yari, as well as Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who have adopted the indirect primaries.
The party therefore ordered that these states would adopt direct primaries to elect their candidates for the 2019 elections
Others who lost out in the APC decision are Senator Godwin Abe of Rivers State, Communication Minister, Adebayo Shittu (Oyo State), the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama. Their factions of the APC in Rivers, Oyo and Enugu States adopted direct primaries.
Another governor, who may have lost in the calculation is Governor Muhammded Jubrilla Bindow of Adamawa State, following the NWC’s decision to ban the Adamawa State Working Committee from participating either as delegates or superintendents over the governorship primaries in the state.
The APC said that it took the decision due to the fact that the Adamawa State Working Committee was prejudiced in favour of a governorship aspirant.
The committee had in a statement endorsed the governor as its consensus candidate, against the position of other aspirants such as Nuhu Ribadu and Buhari’s brother in-law, Mohammed Modi.
Oshiomhole had approved the sharing of the Imo State structure of the APC between Okorocha and Senator Hope Uzodimma, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the APC.
The APC chairman, who met with the Imo State governorship aspirants and stakeholders in a peace meeting last Thursday at his private office in Abuja, appealed to the Okorocha-led faction to take 55 per cent of the party structure in the state, while the Uzodinma group takes 45 per cent so as to achieve peace in the Imo chapter.
APC said yesterday that it had adopted the direct primaries’ mode in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Bauchi and Cross River, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Taraba, Kano, Zamfara and the FCT.
Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Yobe and Sokoto States are to adopt indirect primaries
It maintained that indirect primaries must be conducted in Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Gombe States.
*Sen Abe kicks
In a swift reaction, Senator Abe faulted the NWC’s decision on indirect primaries in Rivers.
Abe, a governorship aspirant in Rivers State condemned the decision of the NWC to support indirect governorship primaries. He spoke in Port Harcourt when he reacted to the NWC’s approval of indirect primaries in Rivers.
The aspirant, who represents Rivers South-East in the Senate, said that the NWC’s decision on the matter could not override the decision of the party’s NEC which endorsed direct primaries.
The senator said that NEC decided to adopt direct primaries in Rivers because of many legal issues facing the party in the state.

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