By Ayo Kehinde
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has admitted to receiving petitions from some stakeholders in Kogi State in reaction to Indirect Primaries adopted for the election of the Party’s candidate for the forthcoming Governorship election in the state.
The NWC, said it will look at the merit of the petitions in line with the Party’s constitution and come out with a position in due course.
According to Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, National Publicity Secretary, “the NWC, therefore, thank the aggrieved APC stakeholders in Kogi State for the peaceful manner in which they have conducted themselves so far and their trust in the NWC to do the right thing.
He stated that the APC Constitution which was re-emphasized by a decision of National Executive Committee (NEC) provides for three modes of primaries to elect Party candidates – Indirect, Direct Primaries and consensus – depending on the peculiarities of the state and preferences of the stakeholders in respective elections.
“We assure all concerned parties that the NWC would be guided only by our rules,” he concluded.
Kogi APC Protesters Against Gov Yahaya Bello at APC National Secretariat, Abuja, recently
Only two days ago, twenty Kogi governorship aspirants on the platform of the APC rejected the indirect primaries adopted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Mr Muhammed Ali, who led the aspirants to the Abuja office of the party said at a news conference in on Monday, said the decision taken by NWC was done without adequate consultation with critical stakeholders in the state.
“We categorically reject the indirect primary adopted by our party for Kogi election.
“We urge the national leadership of the party to set up an Independent Caretaker Management Committee without delay with the sole mandate of providing a level playing ground for a popular direct primary involving all card-carry members in the state,” he said.
Continuing, he said; “At an emergency meeting of all the governorship aspirants in the State held on Sunday, July 7, 2019, we reviewed the decision of the National Working Committee of the party.
“We resolved that the adoption of indirect party primaries is inherent with serious negative consequences for the fortune of the party in the State.
“We regret to observe that such decision was taken without adequate consultation with critical stakeholders of the party in the state.
“In particular, the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party and other contending groups in the polarized structure of the party in the state,” he said.
According to Ali, the decision to adopt indirect primaries by the NWC is fraught with severe implications.
“First, contrary to the information given to the NWC, there is a suit pending in an Abuja court seeking to determine the authentic executive of the party in the state.
“We observed that as a party committed to the enthronement of popular democracy, the resort to an indirect primary in the state amounts to a muzzling of the wish of the generality of our party members.
“As loyal party men, we would not fold our arms and allow our party to suffer huge political loss,” he said.
It would be recalled that aggrieved members, mainly youths from the three Senatorial Districts in the state had besieged the Abuja headquarters of the party brandishing banners and placards inscribed with their protests against indirect primaries. They alleged that the incumbent governor Yayaha Bello would manipulate the election if that mode of election was adopted in the primaries.
Those in support of the controversial mode had stated that it made for less rancour, particularly in the uncertainty posed to the party’s chances in the November governorship polls because of the governors’ acceptability due to his low performance and widespread hostility from workers whom the government has pauperised through months of unpaid salaries.