April 3, 2023

Kogi Guber: Stakeholders demands direct primary to select candidate


By Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja

Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Kogi state, have once again called on the national secretariat of the party to adopt the direct mode of primary to select the governorship candidate of the party.

The Stakeholderslder said direct primary is the only means that can guarantee transparency, fairness and all inclusiveness for the party.

The stakeholderslders led by former Commissioner for Information, Dr. Tom Ohikere made this known in an open letter addressed to the national chairman of the party, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.

The open letter partly reads, “Don’t listen to those loyal to the system in the state who may hijack the process citing their usual old trick of insecurity and lack of comprehensive membership register – because this is no longer tenable.

“Mr. Chairman sir, we have been following your political trajectories over the years, and we know that you became the chairman of the party in order to change the narratives at all levels.

“We are also conscious of the fact that the oppositions in Kogi state particularly, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and the new entrant, Africa Democratic Congress, (ADC), are regrouping and becoming stronger, they are just waiting for the APC to make a mistake so that they can take political advantage of the already dicey situation.

“We are aware that the strategy for the primary election to select a candidate for the 2023 general election has become the major issue currently agitating the minds of the stakeholders and threatening the internal peace and cohesion of the party in the state.

“Sequel to this, we are therefore convinced that it is time for the national leadership of the party to intervene and announce the appropriate mode of choosing the party’s gubernatorial candidate.

“This decision should not be seen as being ambitious, because, it is the right thing to do at this juncture in our political growth and development.

“We therefore call on you as the symbol of the leadership of the party, to see to it that the direct primary election is considered and approved in choosing the party’s candidate.

“This we believe, is the only way to avert the obvious threat to the internal cohesion and stability in the party in our dear state. Every loyal party member including the aspirants are expected to be familiar with this mode, because of it’s all inclusive nature.

“All registered members of the party would through this direct mode, have the opportunity of participating in the leadership recruitment process of the party which helps in determining who the candidate or standard bearer of the party should be.

“This is particularly important because, it essentially explicates the archetypical democratic mode. Mr. Chairman, I want to assure you as one who loves the party and cares very much about it’s successes; going forward, that this mode of primaries being suggested remains the best way of making our members, active participants in the entire political and democratic process by putting the power of determining the outcome of the process and the structure of the party and government in their hands.

“The reasoning behind this Gambit, if implemented, the voice that gave expression to it, would resonate well with the common mantra of people power; the populist driving force to decide the fate of leaders who are seeking elective positions or jostling to be the candidate.

“This suggestion, whether it is viewed from the construction of the Latin phrase”Vox Populist Vox Die”(meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God) or from the Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy as “the government of the people, by the people, and for the people” writ large, which overall, diminishes or whittles down whatever arguments by the proponents of the indirect mode of primary in the party in the state led by the state governor for the sake of imposing a known stooge of his im

“The present constitution of the party dictates that any state chapter of the party that wants indirect primaries for their state, would have to write to the National Executive Committee (NEC), conveying the unanimous decision or resolution of that organ in this regard.

“To get or validate the unanimity of the SEC is tantamount to passing through the eye of the needle because of the meddlesomeness of the governor.

“The stringency of this procedure quite easily exposes the ruse that will take place in the party in the state where it is in the public domain already that the acolyte of the state governor will gather in some places to announce albeit illegally, the adoption of the party in the state, of the indirect primary mode to select it’s candidate for the Guber polls.

“The chairman of the party in the state is a well known acolyte and stooge of the governor, and working in cohort with this entrenched interests in the party led by the governor and will as they planned, citing limitations such as security, unavailability of up-to-date register of card carrying and fee- paying members and other peculiarities as the reasons for this adoption.

“The security reason, Mr. Chairman, to be adduced is anything but dubious, the issue of the register is also easily surmountable in the age when technology can be easily deployed to mediate. Besides, the guber primaries will not hold in the moon.”