By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Reasons have emerged for the increasing opposition by vested stakeholders to the drive by the new national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to institute the direct primary method of selecting party candidates for elections.
The opposition mounted by governors and some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, to the direct primary has, however, yet to find traction from President Muhammadu Buhari, who, Vanguard gathered yesterday, was himself supportive of Oshiomhole.
The party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, is set to meet next week at a date yet to be fixed to decide on the issue.
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has given all political parties in the country till September 15 to submit their proposals on how they will select candidates for the general election.
Article 20 Section 3 of the APC constitution stipulating the guideline for the nomination of candidates for political offices, states that nomination of candidates for “local government council/Area Council Chairman, state House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate, Governor and President shall be through direct or indirect primary election to be conducted at the appropriate level.”
The party had until the advent of the Oshiomhole leadership, used the indirect method in which party executives and office holders cum former office holders are used to select delegates.
However, the direct primary allows all party members to choose the party’s candidate for any position.
Noting the opposition by vested stakeholders, a party source said yesterday: “The fact is that the opposition is being fuelled by some of our governors who had cut deals with the members of the NWC on the issue.
‘’Both the governors and the NWC members are opposed to it because of what they stand to gain.
“These are the two set of people kicking against the method because they feel that it would not favour them.’’
The use of indirect primaries through delegates, allows the governors to ensure that they have direct control over the nomination process as many of the delegates are people that they have influence over.
Besides, the use of indirect primary, it is claimed, allows the use of money to influence selected delegates to vote for the aspirant with the highest offer.
According to the source, “even the President is in support of it and it is part of the national chairman’s process to democratise the party.
‘’You can see how it worked in Osun and also in Bauchi South senatorial zone. So, we believe that that is the way to go.
“This will make the party more popular because by the time people participate in selecting the candidate, they would also come out to vote in the main election,” a source privy to the development said, yesterday.