Barely 24 hours after the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) announced the method for the selection of its candidates for the the 2019 general elections, the party has adjusted its earlier position on the use of indirect primaries in states.
While the party had earlier stated, during its National Executive Committee (NEC) on Thursday, that indirect primaries would be adopted for all categories of offices except that of the presidential primary, it now says that direct elections are to be adopted for all primaries for elective positions.
It, however, added a caveat that the NEC actually resolved to use direct elections for all primary elections, while states wishing to use indirect primary should hold a stakeholders’ meeting, agree on it and thereafter obtain an approval from the National Working Committee of the party.
The Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, who briefed journalists after NEC meeting on Thursday, had said , “The constitution of the party provides for either direct or indirect or consensus, but for the presidential election primaries, we will adopt direct, but there was a recommendation by a committee that the states should adopt the indirect mode of election which could vary in some states.
“We all agreed that for the presidential election, we are adopting direct primaries but for other elections, there are two options; however, the general option is that we go for indirect options. However any state that has problems and would want to deviate from that is at liberty to write, following the normal process, with the resolution from their state executive to the national executive for a deviation from the direct process.”
But in yesterday’s statement by the party, the APC acting national publicity secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, clarified the mode of primary elections in order put to rest inferences and misleading interpretations of the August 30, 2018 resolutions of the APC NEC.
He said: “Primary elections into all elective offices shall be by direct primaries. NEC resolved to adopt direct primaries for the nomination of the presidential candidate and all other primaries.
“The party’s constitution though provides for indirect election and consensus, however, the use of Indirect Primaries is conditional and dependent on logistic impediments, peculiarities and need of a given state that makes it unable to use direct primaries.
“The State Executive Committee (SEC) shall in consultation with aspirants and other critical stakeholders of the party in a given state forward for the consideration and approval by the NWC if Indirect primaries are to be adopted.
“The adopted mode shall now be applied to all categories of the party’s primary elections i.e. State Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives and for the governorship elections.
“The request for indirect primaries must be signed by majority of the State Executive Committee and critical stakeholders in attendance at the meeting where such resolution is reached.
According to him, the party decided on direct primaries because it would, among others, ensure fairness, create a level playing ground for contestants, eliminate corrupt tendencies usually associated with the delegates system and ultimately ensure full participation of party members at all levels.