APC: Dispute over Primaries Deepens, Party Warns against Illegal Meeting

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The looming crisis of confidence in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the mode of primary election to adopt for the 2019 elections has taken a new dimension as some aggrieved members have scheduled a meeting Sunday in Abuja to decide on the way forward.

But the party’s national leadership has raised the alarm over the meeting which it said is an attempt to alter the decision of the party on the mode of primary election.

A statement issued early Sunday morning by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabene, said APC has cautioned members against going ahead with what it described as the illegal meeting or be ready to be sanctioned.

Signs that there were unresolved issues on the mode of primaries for the APC came to light when the party issued a statement contradicting what two governors told journalists on the outcome of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

THISDAY gathered that some governors and other stakeholders were not comfortable with the decision of the party to make direct mode of primary election almost compulsory, and have planned to meet at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels Sunday afternoon.

The aim of the meeting is to raise issues against the adoption of direct primaries and also to seek ways of stopping the National Working Committee (NWC) led by its National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole from enforcing it.

However, the leadership of APC got wind of the planned meeting and warned the conveners to desist from such or “they will be dealt with in line with the party’s constitution at the appropriate time”.

The APC’s statement reads: “The attention of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC has been drawn to an illegal meeting scheduled to hold on Sunday at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja by some members of our party organs, with a view to fault the decisions made by the NWC followed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) as regards the mode of the party’s primary elections.

“We want to state clearly that the meeting which has been fixed for 2pm is illegal and an attempt to puncture the sincere efforts being made by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC to reposition our party ahead of the 2019 general election and to ensure unity, equity and justice in the party”.

The statement said the outcome of such meeting, which is already known, will be a nullity, adding that members should disregard such meetings in the interest of the party.

It also said that it has identified those behind the meeting and would have them sanctioned unless they retrace their steps.

“It is illegal to call such meetings outside the purview of the constituted authority.

“The identities of those plotting such meetings have been identified and unless they desist from such they will be dealt with in line with the party’s constitution at the appropriate time.

“The NWC will resist any attempt to disrupt the current peace and harmony prevailing in our great party after the exit of some members of our party.

‘We urge any member who is not satisfied with the decisions of the party to utilize channels provided by the party’s constitution to air their views.

“We remain focused in delivering good governance to Nigerians and above all ensuring the victory for our party come 2019 and we will not be intimidated by the antics of a few in ensuring success for our party,” it said.