APC governors under the Umbrella of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) may have finally had their way on the mode of primaries to adopt in picking the candidates of the ruling party.
At the meeting were the party’s National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and Ekiti State governor-elect Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, who did not name the states that opted for the indirect option, said the governors resolved to work for the success of the party before, during and after the primaries and also work to ensure victory for the party during the general election.
He 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 chance to participate in the primaries which will be transparent, free and fair.
“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 to assure Nigerians that we are ready for the primaries and we are ready for the main election as decided by NEC (National Executive Committee) and we are sure that come 2019, APC shall have the victory. We are calling on all our supporters to support the party.
“The 22 governors and the National Working Committee (NWC) are working together and we have resolved to make sure that we get victory for the party come 2019.”
“The NEC has declared that we are going to have direct and indirect primaries and the party at the state level will decide what type of primary to adopt.” Even when this might not go well with some but it’s the decision of the joint APC Governors.
Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir el-Rufai said there was no way every member of the party would agree to one thing, pointing out that the decision on which option to adopt in accordance with NEC decision is to be based on majority decision. He said: “There is no way one hundred 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.
“And the Kaduna State that you mentioned 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 don’t agree, that’s off; that is not the decision of NEC.”
Oshiomhole said the task before the leadership of the party was to ensure the conduct of credible primaries that would be free, fair and transparent.
The APC chair said: “I think my task and the task of the party is clear. We have a tradition as a progressive party to submit ourselves to the dictates of our party and we believe in internal democracy because we are democrats and democracy must begin from within the house before we can do it outside.
“We are committed to transparent primaries and will ensure that everyone who has interest in our party and we are happy at the level of enthusiasm measured by the number of persons who have applied for various positions from House of Assembly up shows a huge number of Nigerians still prefer the APC as the more credible platform of which to contest.
“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.
“Number two, we have spoken to this before, it is not a new decision that our constitution consciously provided for flexibility to reflect the diversity of our great country and also to try to give expression to the entire essence of federalism which allows different states to look at their own situation and advice the NWC as to what works better for them provided that in all cases the process is democratic, the rules are fair, the officiating officials are impartial.
“All of us, governors, NWC and even president, we all agreed that this is the way to go and that is what we are going to do.”
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