Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved the use of direct primary to pick its presidential candidate for the 2019 election.
The decision was taken Thursday at the National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja which commenced at about 11.30 am when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived.
In the resolution reached at the end of the NEC meeting, the party said that candidates for all other elective offices at the federal and state levels would emerge through indirect primary method.
However, the party said that states wishing to apply direct primary were free to do so provided it is acceptable to majority of the stakeholders.
Also, the NEC meeting mandated the National Working Committee to review the cost of nomination forms for elective offices downwards.
Addressing journalists on the resolutions reached at the end of NEC meeting held on Thursday in Abuja, the Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, said the party decided to go with the provisions of the constitution by approving the use of direct method for the presidential primary.
Lalong said: “The constitution of the party provides for either direct, indirect or consensus but for the presidential election we all agreed that we will adopt direct primaries for the presidential election.
“Also, a recommendation was made by the NWC that the other states should adopt the indirect mode but there may be situations that this might be difficult in the state looking at their peculiarities.
So if there are such difficulties they can apply the direct process,” he said.
According to the governor, indirect primary was adopted as a general option for the governorship and other elections in the states, adding that “any state that has a problem and will want to deviate is at liberty to write and follow the normal process, with a resolution from the state executive to the national executive,’ he said.
When asked if the issue of automatic ticket was discussed, Lalong who was flanked by Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, said it was not explicitly discussed but that the party agreed to do something to reward loyal lawmakers.
“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.”