Sequel to speculations making the rounds on social media and some dailies that the National Working Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC) has concluded plans to give automatic ticket to the incumbent Senator representing Kaduna central, Shehu Sani for the 2019 election, the deputy national organizing secretary of the party, Muhammad Sani Ibrahim has debunked the stories.
It would be recalled that the social media had been awash in recent times with the picture of President Muhammadu Buhari, raising Senator Shehu Sani’s hand, which many people saw as the Senator’s endorsement for the Senatorial race.
However, Ibrahim said, issue of automatic ticket does not apply in the party’s constitution, adding that the proposed direct primaries election may not be practicable in the North West because of the volatile nature of the area.
Addressing journalists at the weekend, the deputy national organising secretary emphasised that no senatorial candidate will be given automatic ticket for the race, as whoever is interested in the race has to slug it out at the primaries.
“As a compatriot, I feel deeply disturbed by the recent developments in our great party, especially the unfounded rumours regarding candidates for the various offices, as we approach the 2019 general elections.
“More disturbing is the story of the so-called endorsement or automatic tickets that people have been spreading on social media, especially as it relates to Kaduna central and many parts of the Northwest Senatorial District.
“For the records and in the interest of our great party’s constitution and its public image, I wish to declare that the party’s constitution is supreme and decisions at the national level is not a one-man show as some people wrongly assumed.
“There is a standard channel for the communication of all decisions, including the so-called endorsement or automatic tickets. And this happens after decisions are reached collectively by the National Working Committee in conjunction with the NEC which is vested with such powers.
“It follows logically therefore, that the stories being branded on social media are misleading, in the sense that our party is governed by its constitution and not individual wishes. And that is why we have the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee.
“At first I doubted the rumour making the rounds on social media that our amiable President Muhammadu Buhari had ‘endorsed’ the candidature of Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani for 2019.
“This is infantile and entirely a false story. As a National Officer, I was disappointed by this attempt to mislead innocent Nigerians on social media with spurious claims as it relates to a state where I come from.
“And if, for example, the rumour about Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone was based on the assumption that both our national chairman and the incumbent Senator were activists, it is still incorrect as their personal link is distinct from public interest.
“Let me make it categorically and abundantly clear, that the APC will not and could not have given automatic ticket or endorsed any single candidate without recourse to guideline on nomination as stipulated in our party’s constitution.
“And right now, no such meeting has taken place yet and no publicity to that effect. The Senate of any senatorial district is not the exclusive preserve for any special favour.
“Loyalty to the party is as paramount as disciplinary action against any disobedient and erring member and this must be adhered to without any superficial influence.
“It is also becoming evident, that the clear lack of pro-activeness of the national vice chairman (Northwest) is responsible for the bushfire effect of misinformation and disinformation, mainly in the Northwest.
“As a two-term Member of House of Representatives with many years of active participation, having contested five elections and won election four times, I am aware that it takes pro-active leadership to insulate a political party from such empty rhetoric, speculation of endorsement or wild rumours about automatic ticket in the Northwest.
“I hope the National Vice Chairman of the Northwest will be alive to his responsibility to our great party.
“In the interest of the true tenets of democracy, congress was successfully held and in my opinion, therefore, the direct primaries proposal is misplaced in the Northwest. My reason for the outright rejection of the direct primaries proposed include, but not limited to; violence, inconclusive return of result from the terrains of our rural areas, thuggery, security challenges as it affects Zamfara, Kaduna and few other states in the Northwest. There is also the lack of authentic membership registration, cutting across our larger society.
“As such we are of the opinion that since congresses were held successfully, the indirect primaries will suffice best in this Geo-political Zone and Kaduna State particularly. I had a firsthand experience during my senatorial contest under the CPC platform in Kaduna Central on the 14th January, 2011.
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