By Omeiza Ajayi
In an apparent reversal of its earlier position on the mode of elections during its forthcoming primaries, the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has said that direct elections would be adopted for all its primaries.
Briefing journalists at the end of the NEC meeting Thursday in Abuja, Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong had said when the matter came up for discussion, most of the states opted to use indirect primaries. Consequently, it was agreed that any state wishing to adopt the direct method would have to write the national leadership of the party for approval.
“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 NWC that the other states should adopt the indirect mode but there may be situations that this might be difficult in the state looking at their peculiarities. So if there are such difficulties, they can apply, following the process”, Lalong had said.
On Friday morning, the party further reaffirmed the reports from Thursday’s meeting of its National Executive Committee NEC which said direct election would only be adopted for the presidential primaries while states were at liberty to use either of direct or indirect primaries with approval from its national leadership.
However, in an “updated” statement Friday evening, party spokesman, Yekini Nabena said; “The 30th August, 2018 resolution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Executive Committee (NEC) on the mode of Primary Election has been subject to inferences and misleading interpretations.
“As an update to the earlier released statement, we wish to make the following clarifications on NEC’s resolutions on Mode of Primary Election: 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 National Working Committee (NWC), if Indirect Primaries is 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.
“Direct Primaries will 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”.