Governing party adopts direct primary for presidency

Aanya Igomu, Abuja

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APC adopts indirect primary for senatorial, governorship tickets.

Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC has adopted direct primaries to nominate its Presidential candidate ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong stated this as one of the resolutions reached at the APC’s sixth National Executive Committee, NEC meeting held at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.

He said that the NEC also agreed that states should conduct either direct or indirect primary according to what suits them.

“The issue of mode of election we all decided that for the election, we are going into a direct primaries but for other elections, there are two options. But the general option is that we go in for indirect option but any state that has a problem and will want to deviate is at liberty to write and following the normal process, with a resolution from the state executive to the national Exco” Governor Lalong said.

However, for any state that wishes to conduct direct primaries, the stakeholders in such state would adopt the process by simple majority before righting to the National executives of the party.

An issue that raised conflicting views at the meeting was the cost of Nomination and Expression of interest forms for the president, Governors and other positions.

The Plateau Governor said that the NEC mandated the APC National Working Committee, NWC to look into the cost for the forms.

“The cost of nomination, we debated that and I think we left it again to the NWC taking into view some of the views that were expressed to come out with a reasonable figure. And any figure will be accepted we don’t need to come back to NEC to rectify

“On the issue of sequence of election, it was directed back to the National Working Committee after deliberations to look at the comments that were raised and address in line with the electoral act to bring out the sequence of election.”

Governor Lalong added that the APC would reward loyal legislators who had the opportunity to defect to the opposition but decided to stay in the APC.

“In respect to automatic ticket we didn’t discuss the issue of automatic ticket. But we discussed that yes patriotic and loyal members should be rewarded but not necessarily with automatic ticket. We are saying some senators, our senators who are patriotic, who are supposed to be taken away were all kept in the party. So all states should look at and then we will find ways of rewarding them. But election is giving option to everybody to contest election” Lalong said.

Meanwhile, the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole in his opening speech said that the party has made progress in addressing the grievances of its members, especially the legislators.

“We also had meetings with the APC caucus in the senate and thereafter we had a meeting with the APC caucus in the House of Representatives. At those meetings, we reassured everyone that as a party that is democratic, there will be issues and contentions but that the most important thing is for us to be able to see through the issues.

“I am happy to report that as a result of those engagements, many senators and members of the House of Representatives renewed confidence in our party”

Mr. Oshiomhole also commended the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari for his fight against corruption and efforts to recover loots in foreign accounts.

Mercy Chukwudiebere