NIGERIA-VOTE-OPPOSITION

APC NEC Adopts Direct Presidential Primary, Indirect for Governors, Others

The National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has adopted the direct primary method for the selection of its presidential candidate.

It also agreed that states should adopt the mode of primary that best suits their peculiarities from among the methods specified in the party’s constitution.

The party however said states that would adopt the direct primary method should notify the national secretariat in writing before doing so.

This was part of the resolutions reached by the party’s second highest decision-making body after its NEC meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who briefed the media after the meeting, noted that the party’s constitution provides for direct, indirect and consensus as methods through which candidates can emerge.

He said, “The constitution of the party provides for either direct, indirect or consensus but for the presidential election we all agreed that we will adopt direct primaries for the presidential election.

“Also a recommendation was made by the National Working Committee that the other states should adopt the indirect mode but there may be situations that this might be a difficulty in the state looking at their peculiarities. So, if there are such difficulties they can apply following the process.”

While responding to a question on whether the issue of automatic tickets was discussed, he said, “We didn’t discuss the issue of automatic ticket. But we discussed that yes, patriotic and loyal members should be rewarded but not necessarily with automatic ticket.  We are saying some senators, our senators who are patriotic, who are supposed to be taken away were all kept in the party.

“So, all states should look at and then we will find ways of rewarding them. But election is giving option for everybody to contest election.”

He revealed that the decision about the costs of nomination and expression of interest forms was referred to the party’s NWC to decide but that it was generally agreed that it should be reasonable.

Also speaking on the issue of automatic tickets, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, said, “People refer to issue of automatic ticket to governors and legislators.  In our party, we have a reward system.

“You surely will not throw away a loyal party man.  You will not punish a loyal party man.  We will always support and reward those legislators who were supposed to have been taken away in a deceitful manner but stood by Mr President, with this country, those that are patriotic to this party and this country surely will be rewarded in one way or the other.”

He explained that the membership registration would be intensified to provide a reliable data-base for the conduct of the direct primary to select the presidential standard bearer.

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