- Gives states options on guber candidate
By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has resolved to select it’s presidential candidate for the 2019 election through direct primary election, rather than the usual delegates system or by consensus.
The ruling party also said after its sixth National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which held in Abuja on Thursday, that states that wish to use the direct primary option for the conduct of their party primaries could apply to the national leadership of the party with a resolution signed by party stakeholders agreeing to the process.
These were disclosed by the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong who addressed journalists after the meeting in Company of his Kogi state counterpart, Yahaya Bello.
Lalong said the meeting agreed to use the direct primary option for the selection of its Presidential candidate, while the indirect option is to be applied in other primaries.
Lalong also said the meeting failed to agree on the sequence of election for its primaries referring the issue of sequence of the primary to the National Working Committee to work out the issue, putting into considerations the various opinion canvassed at the meeting.
He said “About two or three things were discussed. First, the document on the guidelines for the election, the mode of elections and of course, the mode of funding and the necessity for unity within the party after the gale of defections.”
On the issue of defection, the party unanimously agreed that it has not affected us much, but has tightened the party more.
“On the mode of election, we all agreed that for Presidential election, we are going for direct primary, but for other elections, there are two options. But the general option is that we go for indirect primary.
“But any state that has a problem and wants to deviate from that is at liberty to write following the normal process with a resolution from their state executive seeking approval for a deviation from the agreed process.
“In the sequence of election, it was directed back to the NWC to look at the comments that were made and within those comment, address them in line the electoral act and bring out a time table for the sequence of election. The National Executive Committee has been given that power.
“On the issue of funding, a standing Committee was set to look at the proper funding for party generally.
“The constitution of the party provide for either direct or indirect primaries or com census. But for the presidential election, we all agreed to adopt the direct option.
“Also, a recommendation was made by the National Working Committee which was accepted that all the states should adopt the indirect mode of election. But there may be circumstances where it may be difficult in some of the states, looking at their peculiarities.
“If there are such difficulties, the state will now apply following due process after their stakeholders agreement, signed and adopted by simple majority of the party and the state executive which will now be sent to the NWC for approval.”
With respect to automatic ticket for governors and legislators, he said “We didn’t discuss the issue of automatic ticket. But we discuss that patriotic and loyal members should be rewarded. But not necessarily with automatic ticket.
“Some of our senators who are patriotic who were supposed to be taken away were all kept. We asked all the states to look at it and we find a way to reward them. But for the election, the option is given to everybody to face election. So, there was nothing like automatic for anybody.
“We debated the cost of nomination and left it to the National Working Committee to take into consideration some of the views expressed and come out with a reasonable figure and any figure they bring out will be acceptable and we don’t need to come back to NEC to ratify it.”
The Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello for his part said “People refer to the issue of automatic ticket to governors and legislators. In our party, we have reward system. You will surely not throw away a loyal party man and will not punish a loyal party man.
“We will always support and reward those legislators who were supposed to have been taken away in a deceitful manner but stood by Mr. President and this country. Those that are patriotic to this party and this country will surely be rewarded in one way or the other. That is not automatic ticket because there is internal democracy and we are doing everything to promote our constitution and internal democracy.”
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and his deputy, Yusuf Lasun were conspicuously absent at the meeting, but National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole explained that the party received correspondences from the two principal officers of the House of Representatives that they won’t be able to attend the meeting.
Oshiomhole said “we have apologies from the Speaker in a letter dated 27th of August, 2018 that he had a previous engagement and would not be able to attend the NEC meeting as he is currently out of the country. We also have correspondence from the Deputy Speaker that he has an appointment with his doctors and won’t be able to attend the meeting”.
Governors present include Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Tanko AlMakura (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), Atiku Badugu (Kebbi), Sani Bello (Niger), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Jibrilla Bindo (Adamawa), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina)
Governors Godwin Obaseki (Edo) Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) were represented by their deputies.
Former governor Godswil Akpabio who recently joined the party joined his colleagues from the Senate at the NEC meeting alongside former Nasarawa state Governor, Abdullahi Adamu, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, Senator Godwin Abe, Senator Andy Ubah, Senator Binta Masi Garba, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Senator Ben Uwajumogu among others.
The Secretary to the government of the federation and the Special Adviser on Political matters to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojodu were also present.