N’Assembly Members Absent as Niger APC Adopts Direct Primary

  •  Kano’s ruling party endorses direct method

Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and Laleye Dipo in Minna

All the three senators and four out of the nine members of the House of Representatives were absent at a stakeholders’ meeting held on Tuesday night at the secretariat of the Niger State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) where the party adopted the direct primary method to elect candidates for the 2019 general elections.

This is coming as the Kano State chapter of the ruling party has endorsed the adoption of direct primary as a means of selecting candidates that will fly the party’s flag in all elective positions.

The Niger APC’s meeting was called to decide the method to be used for the election of candidates for various elective positions in the state in next years’ election.

THISDAY gathered that all the aspirants for various positions under the platform of the party were invited to the meeting but these federal lawmakers were absent.

The reasons for the absence of the federal lawmakers were not known but there were speculations that they would defect from the ruling party because of the way and manner the executive and the party leadership were running the party and the state.

While the stakeholders’ meeting was ongoing, it was learnt that Senator David Umaru was distributing empowerment tools and scholarships to some youths in his senatorial zone.

Also in the last couple of months, the affected federal lawmakers have not attended the APC expanded caucus committee meeting.

It was also gathered that some of them were even absent at the rally held at the Trade Fair Complex in Minna where Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was endorsed for a second term last February.

Senator David Umaru who appeared to be the spokesman of the federal lawmakers rejected the endorsement describing it as illegal.

It was learnt that at the stormy stakeholders’ meeting which the Governor Bello attended briefly, the issue of adopting direct or indirect primary method dominated the discussion.

According to a source privy to the meeting, those opposed to the indirect primary method lost out.

He added that most of the aspirants, especially the state legislators who spoke at the meeting, supported the direct primary because the executive would not have “ too much influence over the voters”.

The state Chairman of APC, Alhaji Jibrin Imam confirmed yesterday the direct primary method would be used for electing the party’s candidates.

In a related development, the Kano State chapter of the ruling party has endorsed the adoption of direct primary as a means of selecting candidates that will fly the party’s flag in all elective positions.

Rising from a meeting held on Tuesday, the state Executive Committee of the party said the decision would improve the chances of APC in the 2019 elections.

A press statement signed by the state Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas Sanusi said APC would adopt direct primary for selecting candidates for the presidential, governorship, National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly elections.

According to him, the decision was unanimously endorsed by the state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; two Senators -Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and Senator Barau Jibrin;13 members of the House of Representatives led by the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado Doguwa; 33 members of the state House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Hon. Kabiru Al Hassan Rurum; 53 state Executive Committee members of the party; 44 elected chairmen of the party and 44 local government party chairmen, as well as secretaries of the party in the 44 LGAs in the state.