The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has agreed to adopt direct primaries to conduct elections that will produce Presidential, Senate, House of Representatives, Governorship and State House of Assembly’s candidates ahead of 2019 general elections, a reliable party source told Daily Trust last night.
The source, who said that there was no dissenting voice among the NWC members, added that the decision was taken to last night’s meeting of the party’s National Caucus to be attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“All members of the NWC agree to adopt direct primaries. That is what is taken to the National Caucus. You know that some governors like that of Ogun and Ondo do agree to it. So, it may have to be subjected to voting. You know that it is not all members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) are members of caucus. However, the caucus will decide what will happen at NEC meeting tomorrow (Thursday). But there is no divided opinion among the NWC members,” the source said.
The Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, did not answer his calls when Daily Trust tried to make an enquiry about the outcome of the meeting.
However, it was gathered last night that those opposing the method were still very strong in their decision.
Sources said the opponents were wondering how the party would coordinate an election mode that would involve millions of party members across the country, considering the logistics involved at a time the party was just registering new members.
What Oshiomhole once said about direct primaries.
The APC National Chairman, while justifying the reason for direct primary for Osun State governorship election, said, “Regardless of who wins the primary, we hope that the rest of them will support the person to ensure that we do our best to retain the governance of Osun State. We have decided that in order to ensure popular participation, and to deepen democracy in Osun State, in line with the provision of our party constitution which allows for either direct or indirect primary, we have resolved that the governorship election primary in Osun state will be conducted on the basis of direct primary.
“What that means is that every card-carrying member of our party will participate in the process of nominating the flag bearer of the party. This for us, is the most democratic way to conduct election and is in line with what our critical stakeholders from that part of the country want and we are quite happy to oblige.
“The whole idea is that the more we allow our party members to participate in the process of nominating candidates, we will remove the issue of corruption or monetizing the processes of nominating aging candidates, in addition to the fact that party members will have a sense of ownership of the outcome of the exercise.
“I think our slogan is change, but we have not changed from bad to worse. We have only changed from a situation where only few delegates who fly the flag of the party to one in which all party members have a say and can participate actively. Our democracy has to grow and our constitution allows for this process and I am proud that the people of Osun state are ready to go through the whole hog of allowing party members rather than allowing party caucus to determine who flies our flag. I think that is more democratic.
“We see in America how party leaders go from one leader to another as voting goes on even before they come back to the proper election and I think the beauty in that is those members have a sense of ownership of that person and therefore we have a duty to mobilize for that person so that he wins. We are not detained by a particular approach but we are doing this in line with the wishes of the real stakeholders in Osun State as we know then.”