No embattled governor in APC, Oshiomhole says

By Aanya Igomu, Abuja

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The National Chairman of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole says there is no embattled Governor in the party.

Mr. Oshiomhole said this while briefing journalists on the meeting he held with the Governors elected on the APC platform in Abuja.

Primary elections
The APC is preparing to conduct primary elections for various political offices starting from the state House of Assembly up to the Presidency and for some state governors in the party who are aspiring for a second term, some party members have expressed interest to run against such governors.

Some of these governors have also lost the support of some leaders and members of the party in their various states.

Democratic process
Referring to a similar situation in Lagos State, Mr. Oshiomhole says the fact an aspirant is running against a sitting governor for the gubernatorial office does not make that governor embattled but rather makes the process democratic.

“There is no APC Governor that is embattled and because we are democratic, the best way to measure democracy is the presence of more than one person showing interest in an office. That does not make any other person embattled. But of course the media can create this impression that there is an earthquake in Lagos, there is no earthquake. At every level, I have seen people claiming that in one or two offices there was no opposition. In every other office we have more than one candidate expressing interest, those people who are currently occupying those positions are not by reasons of those new expressions of interests embattled,” the APC National Chairman explained.

“To say that you have never seen Lagos State Governor in our meetings is to the extent that your lens is blurred. My records and minutes of our meetings will show the participation of Lagos State Governor in all the meetings in which he has been invited. But like some other Governors, some meetings have coincided with some other activities. There is no Governor including my humble self when I was a Governor I didn’t manage to achieve 100 percent attendance. Even in parliament, there are minimum requirements so I don’t think it is fair to suggest that you have seen somebody here because of anything. I think our party in Lagos is at peace, there are conversations going on at the ward level across the 8,500 wards or there about across the country. Conversations are going on within the APC family,” Mr Oshiomhole said.

The APC National Chairman added the party was committed to conducting free, fair and credible primary elections.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was the resolution on what format of primary that the party would conduct in the various states.

The Chairman of the APC Governor’s forum and also Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha says the party still maintains its stand for states to select the type of primary that suits them but whatever format whether direct or indirect should be adopted by the majority of the state executives.

Indirect Primary
Governor Okorocha stated that majority of states have adopted the method of indirect primary.

“Everybody will be given equal chance 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. So we have all resolved and assured Nigerians that we are ready for the primaries and the main election as decided by the National Executive Council, NEC. We are sure that come 2019, APC shall have the victory,” Governor Okorocha said.

On states that still have differing voices on the choosing the method of primary to be conducted, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai said that such was expected in a democratic setting.

“There is no way one 100 percent of the party will agree to one thing. There will always be some that will disagree but the decision of NEC is that the majority of the State Executive Committee decided on the mode of primaries. In Kaduna State which I’m the Governor by the grace of God, the majority of the State Executive Committee decided on indirect primaries. If one or two members do not agree, that is not the decision of NEC,” Governor El-Rufai said.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere