OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) and some notable leaders of the party is currently divided over calls that the party should embrace direct primary to elect its candidates at all levels.
Daily Champion gathered at the APC national secretariat that both the NWC and caucus meetings held on Tuesday were sharply divided over the matter.A senior member of the party confided in our correspondent that apart from the South-west zone, no other region is in support of direct primary system in APC.
The source also said that against the speculations by some South-west lawmakers, the caucus meeting did not approve direct primary.
According to him, “There were allegations that the recent direct primary system used in electing our governorship candidate in Osun was a fraud. Many of our members weren’t allowed to participate. We gathered that a notable leader sat down and wrote results after they gathered so many people who were not members of our party to pretend as one who actually voted.”
Also speaking at a press conference at his Maitama residence yesterday, APC National Vice Chairman North-east, Comrade Mustapha Salihu, accused some leaders of the party from South-west of nursing conspiracy to foster regional imperialism on the party.
Salihu believes that apart from the fact that the system requires a lot of supervision, the electoral body was not prepared for the system.
“Before now I don’t have any feelings that there was possibility of conspiracy, but when I see people planting stories, I now begin to suspect, if one region feels that was what is best for them, I think they can canvass that at the regional level and they now give us reason why they need that, I want to believe that in a democracy, the majority have their way and the minority have their say.
“So, they have the right to wish and if we decide to make it flexible, definately what they want will be given to them at their own various states, but one thing I want to assure you is that we will not succumb to regional imperialism so long that we are acting within the constitution.”
When asked if the NWC is divided on the method to use for the primary, Mustapha said, “I cannot say we are divided, because division is a big word for us to use in family issue, actually there may be divergent views, and all these divergent views will be trashed out at the NEC.
“Caucus is not a decision making body, if you check our constitution caucus is just an organ, it is an advisory body. It is just a transitory organ where memo from National Working Committee pass through, it will now go to National Executive Council, NEC for decision. Any decision you want to get on whether we will have to go for direct or indirect primaries, you have to wait for the outcome of the NEC.
“I am aware that some members of the House of Representatives from certain part of the country are circulating text messages to their colleagues that a decision has been reached as to the nature of the primary to be used by the party.
“NWC deliberated on the matter, the reason why I am doing this is that some people are trying to mislead members of the public claiming that some decision came from the party or an organ of the party. Any decision that will come from the party will be announced officially by the spokesperson of the party,” he stated.
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