September 9, 2018

Why our Govs are Scared of Direct Primaries — APC Senators

Shehu Sani, EFCC

Shehu Sani

By  Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA: The Direct Primary option adopted by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, would present the masses the opportunity of executing judgment on their state governors even before the actual 2019 general elections, two APC senators have said.

Kabir Marafa and Shehu Sani both of Zamfara and Kaduna Central, respectively, said the governors, especially of Zamfara and Kaduna states, have opted for indirect primaries in order to easily get back to office using the “discredited delegate system”.

Sani, who is seeking a return to the Senate, spoke on Saturday after he picked his expression of interest and nomination forms in Abuja.

He said; “If you belong to the APC and not the PDP that they condemned and criticized over the years and you still subscribe to the dirty politics of endorsement, exclusion and threats, such kind of person is in the wrong place. APC came into existence as a result of the vices, negatives and the destruction that had attended our political experience.

“Direct primaries is not simply about logistics. It is about honour and integrity as well as changing the political order of the country. Those who subscribe to direct primaries have offered themselves for trial and judgment by the people who elected them into offices and they are saying that there is honour, principle and ideal in politics.

“As far as we are concerned, we stand for direct primaries. The state chapter has submitted its application for indirect primaries and we the stakeholders and aspirants have submitted our application for direct primaries. It is left for the national leadership of the party to decide.

On his part, Marafa, a governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, said he was not bothered by the purported decision of his state governor, Abdul’aziz Yari, to embark on indirect elections for the forthcoming governorship primaries in the state.

According to him,  his group would conduct its own direct primaries and then wait for the courts to decide who the authentic flagbearer of the party would be.

Speaking yesterday when he visited the national secretariat of the party to pick his nomination and expression of interest forms, he said; “Let me first of all say this, I don’t think there is any doubt, I have once said it after the conclusion of the congresses that time, I made a very clear call that I see the activities of fifth columnists in the APC that know they cannot defeat President in the general election. So, the common fear is the fear of second term of President Muhammadu Buhari. Then, if you cannot beat directly, how do you beat him indirectly? So, that was why the congresses were done, deliberately in such a way that they cannot withstand legal scrutiny.

“In more than 21 states, there were parallel congresses and like I said that time, I don’t need to be a lawyer, I don’t need to be a retired judge to know that what held in most of the states was nothing but rubbish.

“The guidelines said that the party constitution provides for consensus, but in the absence of consensus, there should be election. In most of these states, people made payments into APC account, obtained their tellers but the governors feel they were demi-gods that feel they must be worshiped, and that they are the ones that can determine the attitude of every human being in Nigeria and we said that look, you cannot do that.  There are some of us that are radically inclined, you can’t threaten us, that is exactly what happened. Now, glory be to God, under the present leadership of the APC today, they swore that these people don’t mean well for this party, so, let us insulate ourselves and our president, that is why the APC said, Presidential election is by direct primaries.

“If APC says go for indirect, I will do my direct with my own set of executives, they will do their indirect with their own set of executives. So, when the time comes for the courts to rule, if they say Marafa is right, it means they are going home and would retire from politics”.