A Kaduna group under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Stakeholders and Aspirants’ forum, have demanded for direct primaries as against the position of the state executives committee who have adopted the indirect mode of primaries. the aspirants who are aspiring for governorship, Senate and House of Representatives on the platform of the APC, while addressing a press conference yesterday at the NUJ, Kaduna council secretariat said, adoption of indirect primaries is totally against the position of President Muhammad Buhari who stands for justice, fairness, transparency and equity. This is just as the group challenged the incumbent governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to go for direct primaries if he and his cohorts are confident of themselves, stressing that, the fear of being rejected by the people is the reason they have opted for the indirect primaries. One of the governorship aspirants, Sir Jalal Falal, who spoke on behalf of the other aspirants, stated categorically that, “it would be a suicidal mistake for APC to pick governor el-Rufai as its governorship candidate because it will lead to the failure of the party at the polls. “Distinguished members of the press, on behalf of the APC Kaduna State Stakeholders and Aspirants’ Forum, I come before you today to reiterate our collective decision in favour of the adoption of direct primaries as the most ideal mode of nominating the 2019 general election candidates of our great party in Kaduna State.
“We adopted this position after a very careful analysis of the geopolitical situation of Kaduna State in particular and that of Nigeria in general. The role of the APC as the ruling party is, to say the least, very crucial in moving forward the political economy of our great country.
“We hold the view that the APC, as a governing party, must walk the talk. Our party, the APC, came to power on the mantra of righting corruption and the enthronement of the ideals of participatory democracy. “This process in itself begins with recruiting for elections, the most capable, popular and trusted candidates through processes that are credible and widely accepted by members of the party. “We object to indirect primaries precisely because, relying as it does on the delegate system, it is by its very nature prone to the manipulative influence of the few and the corruptive practice of vote buying. It is an open secret that the APC in Kaduna State has been under the total control of the governor and his anointed godsons and daughters.
“The bulk of the members of the party including critical stakeholders, who have given their all to enthrone APC in Kaduna State, have been marginalised and excluded from the mainstream of the affairs of the party. Perceived enemies of the governor are hunted and persecuted to no end. Jobs are lost, homes and businesses, demolished with careless abandon and extreme premeditated malice.
“The recent ward, local government and state congresses could rightly be said to be the icing on the cake. Officials of the party were singlehandedly picked by the governor and his aides; this is reason behind the mass exodus from the party in Kaduna State. “As we speak, the outcome of the so-called congresses is still being contested in the courts of the land. Given these deep rifts in the party, our forum fails to see how indirect primaries can produce candidates with mass based support. “If the APC is to retain Kaduna State, it must throw up for election of strong candidates for her gubernatorial and legislative elections, candidates who can take on and win against the possibly strong candidates of the other parties. With Indirect Primaries however, this critical issue is unlikely to be the principal concern of delegates.
“With consciences bought by the highest bidders, and loyalties to the governor and his cronies, the delegates would rather be head bent on endorsing only money bags and the anointed candidates of the governor.
“Already, our incorruptible president, Muhammadu Buhari, and the national leadership of the party have, in their wisdom, committed to direct primaries. We urge the Kaduna State governor and the party in the state to be on the same page with them, to have the moral courage not only to do what is right but by taking the path of honour, and shunning such corruptive tendencies of indirect primaries in our body polity, but equally important too that they have the audacity to test their popularity through direct primaries.”
He further said that popular candidates should not fear direct engagements with party members and or the general electorate.
Other aspirants who were present at the briefing include, Architect Shamsuddin Shehu Giwa, who is aspiring for Senate (Kaduna Central) and Hassan Sandi, aspiring for Federal House of Representatives (Kaduna North) among others.