Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Contrary to its earlier stand on procedure for primaries, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it would now apply direct mode of primary for all the elective offices in the 2019 general election.
The new position by the party contradicts what was announced on Thursday by the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello shortly after its NEC meeting in Abuja.
The governors had said the presidential primary would direct, while the primaries of all other positions could be conducted either through direct or indirect method.
In what the party said was an updated version of the saturday’s decision reached at NEC meeting, the party said “primary elections into all elective offices shall be by direct primaries”.
In a statement issued friday by the National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabene, APC said resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) on the mode of Primary Election had been subject to inferences and misleading interpretations.
The statement said: “As an update to the earlier released statement, we wish to make the following clarifications on NEC’s resolutions on Mode of Primary Election:
“Primary elections into all elective offices shall be by Direct Primaries.
“NEC resolved to adopt direct primaries for the nomination of the Presidential candidate and all other primaries.”
It further explained that though the party’s constitution provides for indirect election and consensus, however, “the use of indirect primaries is conditional and dependent on logistic impediments; peculiarities and need of a given state that makes it unable to use direct primaries”.
As part of the conditions to be met in the case indirect primary, the statement said that State Executive Committee (SEC) would in consultation with aspirants and other critical stakeholders of the party in a given state forward for the consideration and approval by the National Working Committee (NWC), if indirect primary was to be adopted.
It further said that the adopted mode shall now be applied to all categories of the party’s primary elections such as the State Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives and for the Governorship Elections.
According to APC, the request for indirect primaries must be signed by majority of the State Executive Committee and critical stakeholders in attendance at the meeting where such resolution is reached.
“Direct primaries will among others ensure fairness; create a level playing ground for contestants; eliminate corrupt tendencies usually associated with the delegates system and ultimately ensure full participation of party members at all levels,” said the party.