By Kayode Fasua
Kogi State chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Abdullahi Bello, has told those agitating for direct primary election ahead of November’s governorship election to perish the thought, declaring that the primary poll would be by indirect method.
Bello, in an exclusive chat with THISDAY, lambasted a Lagos-based APC pressure group, the Change Agent Foundation International (CAFI) l, which is mounting pressure on the party leadership to adopt a direct primary election.
The CAFI, led by Mr. Dipo Okeyomi, in demanding for a direct primary poll, is rooting for the rejection of Governor Yahaya Bello as the party’s flagbearer.
But sneering at the group, Bello said the party’s national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had made a pronouncement that the Kogi APC primary election would be by the delegate system and that no group, however called, could change the order.
“I wonder if people in this so-called group called CAFI ever went to school; this is because the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had made it expressly clear that the coming primary (poll) is going to be indirect.
“So when the party at the national level had taken a decision, I wonder how a group, however called, would come up to say it wants to overthrow the decision,” Bello countered.
Besides, he noted that in the 2015 Kogi governorship primary election won by former Governor Abubakar Audu, during which now Governor Bello came second, an indirect poll was conducted.
But Audu died in the course of the governorship election proper, prompting the party to field Bello as its governorship candidate.
“Apart from that, the National Leader of the party, who is President Muhammadu Buahri, convened a stakeholders’ meeting before the 2019 general election and there, the party took a decision that each State Executive Council (SEC) should meet and decide whether to make their primary election direct or indirect.
“And in Kogi State, we resolved on the indirect method or what is also known as the delegate system, and it was ratified by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
“So, I wonder how a group tucked somewhere will now come and change what the party at both the national and state level had endorsed,” he stressed.
Bello added that to corroborate his stance, an indirect primary election was adopted for the last national and state Assemblies’ elections in the state and there was no rancour whatsoever.
He noted that this reflected in the good showing of the APC in the poll, especially as the party won all the 25 seats for the state’s House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, the party chairman informed that Governor Bello had picked his nomination form to run for another term but assured that the party would not create a barrier against any other qualified party member wishing to obtain the same form.
Bello said the APC in Kogi looked good to win the November governorship election, considering that the party had delivered on its electoral promises in the last four years.