2019: States take position on mode of picking APC candidates

Governors

The process to pick All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearers for the 2019 general elections has started. Three options – direct, indirect and consensus – are open to the local chapters of the ruling party. DUKU JOEL, JUSTINA ASISHANA, DONATUS NADI, ADAMU SULEIMAN and ERNEST NWOKOLO report the method adopted in some states.

AHEAD of its primaries scheduled for September 20, 25, 27, 29 and October 2, All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled states, have been taking positions on which mode to apply in picking candidates for the forthcoming general elections.

At its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting last Thursday, the ruling party adopted direct primaries to pick its presidential candidate.

It gave the local chapters of the party the liberty to adopt either direct, indirect or consensus methods as suitable for the peculiarity of each state to pick their flagbearers.

It cautioned that any model that will be adopted in any state must be jointly agreed to by the governor, state executive committee and critical stakeholders to have seamless primaries across board.

In the guidelines for the primaries as released by the party’s Abuja headquarters on Tuesday, the presidential primary will hold on September 20; governorship (September 25); Senatorial (September 27); House of Representatives (September (29) and House of Assembly (October 2).

The local chapters of the party yesterday swung into action to come up with suitable model agreeable to members to forestall post-primary crisis.

The Lagos, Kano and Niger chapters of the party have settled for direct primary option to select flagbearers. Kebbi and Ogun State chose to adopt consensus method but promised to switch if the option failed. The direct option will be the alternative for Kebbi and the indirect for Ogun.

The party in Plateau, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Borno, Yobe and Zamfara states settled for indirect primaries.

Kano

The Kano State chapter of the party said it has endorsed direct primaries to select candidates for the 2019 elections.

Its decision was contained in a statement signed by the state Chairman, Abdullahi Abbas.

“Rising from a meeting on Tuesday, the state executive committee of the party said the decision stands to improve the stock of the APC in the coming 2019 election as well as other elections.” Abbas said in the statement.

According to him, the APC in the state will adopt direct primaries in selecting its candidates for the presidency, governor, National and state assemblies.

He said: “The decision was unanimously endorsed by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, the two senators (Kabiru Gaya and Barau Jibrin), 13 members of the House of Representatives led by Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa.

“Others are 33 members of the House of Assembly led by Speaker Kabiru Al Hassan Rurum, 53 state Executive Committee members of the party, 44 elected local councils’ chairmen and 44 local government chairmen and secretaries of the party.”

According to him, the adoption of direct primary for selection of candidates would imbue greater confidence among members, guarantee openness and ensure free and fair election.

Besides, he said the system would ensure more transparency in the political process and avoid the secrecy that hitherto shrouded the selection of candidates.

Niger

The party settled for direct primaries for all elective offices, including the governorship position.

It took the decision during its State Executive Council meeting and stakeholders meeting both held at the party’s secretariat in Minna.

Party Secretary Mohammed Liman confirmed the decision to reporters while briefing them on the outcome of the meeting.

He explained that the idea of direct primaries was for every member of the party to have a say on who will fly the party’s flag at different levels, adding that it was in line with the NEC directive that states should make their choice for the conduct of their primaries.

Liman said that the party was ready for all the primaries as it had ensured an accurate and up-to-date membership record.

Zamfara

The Zamfara chapter of the party has adopted indirect primaries, its chairman Lawal M-Liman disclosed after a meeting of stakeholders at the Government House in Gusau yesterday.

M-Liman said: “We met today with all stakeholders of our great party in this state on the mode of primaries to be adopted ahead of the upcoming party primary elections. We unanimously resolved to adopt the indirect primaries.

“The NEC of our party, asked us to come back and contact our people on which mode of primaries to adopt. In the interest of our members and stakeholders in the state, we are going to adopt indirect primaries or consensus where necessary.”

He urged members of the party to be more united to achieve victory in the next general elections and retain power.

According to a report by the The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), four of the governorship aspirants in the state on Tuesday met with some stakeholders to ensure that the party remained united and indivisible.

Among the stakeholders are: Deputy Governor Malam Ibrahim Wakkala, House of Assembly Speaker Sanusi Rikiji and Commissioner for Education Muttaka Rini and House of Representatives member Aminu Sani-Jaji (Kaura-Namoda/Birnin-Magaji) Federal Constituency.

Sokoto

In Sokoto, the state chapter of the party unanimously opted for the indirect primary and endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as the sole candidate for the presidency.

The party also passed a vote of confidence on the Chairman of Northern Senators Forum Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, affirming him as its only leader in the state.

The decisions were part of the resolutions reached at the end of the party’s routine stakeholders’ meeting in Sokoto on Tuesday. In attendance were party executives at the state and local government levels as well as other key stakeholders.

The meeting, which held behind closed doors, was chaired by the Deputy Governor Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, who described Senator Wamakko as an “iconic leader of the party in the state”.

Sokoto told reporters “The meeting also expressed happiness with the exemplary and unparalleled way and manner Senator Wamakko is manning the affairs of the great party.

“Accordingly, we endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s sole presidential candidate for the forthcoming polls. We have unanimously adopted indirect primary election and consensus as the process to select candidates for all positions in the state.”

He said members of the party meet periodically in the state to brainstorm on the way forward, as well as to appraise the party’s strength and areas of weakness.

In attendance were: seven House of Representatives members; 12 House of Assembly members; former deputy governor Chiso Dattijo Abdullahi, former Culture Minister Bello Jibril Gada, party chieftains Abubakar Shehu Tambuwal, Ambassador Abubakar Shehu Wurno and Farouk Malami Yabo.

Others were former House of Assembly speakers Lawalli Labbo Marghai and Shehu Goronyo and 14 out of the 23 immediate past local government council chairmen, among others.

Nasarawa

The Nasarawa chapter of the party adopted indirect primaries. It took the decision during a stakeholders’ meeting at the Government House in Lafia.

At the meeting were members of the state executive, those occupying elective positions on APC tickets, governorship, senatorial aspirants and House of Representative aspirants.

Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura lauded the stakeholders for their sense of followership and loyalty to the party and appreciated the peace prevailing peace within the party.

The commended the stakeholders for unanimously opting for indirect primaries to select the flag bearers for the 2019 elections.

He admonished the governorship aspirants not to have doubt in the indirect mode of the primaries, saying as believers in the spirit of oneness, justice and fairness, there would be a level playing ground for all and sundry.

He, however, warned members against listening to speculations concerning their aspirations.

One of the governorship aspirants, Aliyu Ahmed Wadada, told reporters that the adoption of indirect primaries was the best option for the state, saying that it was okay by him.

Two other aspirants Dauda Kigbu and Zakari Idde threw their weight behind the decision.

Borno

The Borno State chapter of the APC also opted for the indirect primaries to pick its candidates for the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The decison was taken yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting at the party’ state Secretariat in Maiduguri, the state capital. Governor Kashim Shettima and members of state executive of the party attended the meeting.

State Chairman Ali Bukar Dalori announced the adoption of indirect primaries in line of the window of opportunities given to state chapters to decide on which selection systems will suit the.

Dalori noted that Borno APC opted for indirect primary as the best option to ensure fairness and peaceful coexistence among members.

He said: “Borno APC would not allow a situation where some individual (s) in Borno who were based in Abuja and claimed to be working for President Muhammad Buhari, would come into our fold and dictate politics for us.

“We have unanimously adopted the indirect primaries in Borno, and nobody should come to tell us that we are for direct primaries.”

Speaking for the governor, Deputy Governor Mamman Durkwa thanked all the stakeholders for attending the important meeting.

He said: “I want to thank you on behalf of our governor and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, Kashim Shettima, who is unavoidably absent.

“We want to say that all the decisions unanimously taken for endorsement of indirect primaries is a good omen to our democracy.

“We assure all and sundry that the present administration will join teaming supporters of APC to ensure unprecedented victory in free and fair elections come 2019.”

At the meeting were: the three senators Abubakar Kyari Borno (North); Baba Kaka Garbai (Central) and Mohammed Ndume (South).

Also there were: House of Representatives members Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Kadiri Rahis, Aliyu Betara, Asabe Vilita Bashir and state lawmakers.

The three senators and House of Assembly Speaker Abdulkareem Lawal spoke for their colleagues. They  said that after due consultations, they have all endorsed and agreed to go for “indirect primaries” for all elective positions on the platform of the ruling APC in the state.

Senator Kyari said that all governorship aspirants agreed to endorse indirect primaries.

State Secretary of the party Bello Ayuba called on the members to raise a motion for adoption of the endorsement document.

Senator Ndume moved a motion and he was seconded by Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir, representing Damboa/Chibok/Gwoza Federal Constituency.

Plateau

In Plateau State, the party settled for indirect primaries. It unanimously adopted the option yesterday at an expanded stakeholders’ parley in Jos.

Former House of Assembly Speaker Johnclerk Dabwan moved the motion for the adoption of the indirect primaries. The motion was seconded by the local chairman of the party in Jos East Local Government Area Azi Pate.

Making a case for indirect primaries, Dabwan cited security challenge in the state as his major reason.

He said: “Having gone through the provisions of our party’s constitution and the resolution of its NEC where it suggested direct, indirect or consensus method in conducting our primaries, I want to move that Plateau should adopt indirect primaries.

“The security challenges currently bedeviling us will make direct primaries very difficult and cumbersome.”

Stakeholders at the meeting, through a voice vote, adopted the motion after state party chairman Latep Dabang put the question to vote.

Among senior party members at the meeting were: Deputy Governor Prof. Sonni Tyoden, his immediate predecessor Ignatius Longjan, serving and former lawmakers in the state.

Kebbi

According to Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah, the Kebbi State chapter of the APC has unanimously adopted consensus selection of candidates for the 2019 elections.

Na’Allah made this known after an emergency stakeholders’ meeting of the party in Birnin Kebbi.

He said: “Sequel to the directive by the national secretariat of the APC that we should go back to our state and hold a state Executive Committee meeting to decide on the fate of our party primaries on either consensus or primaries, we have decided to do consensus.

“Where the consensus fails, we will do indirect primary election. But the seat of the President and state governor, we unanimously endorse President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Atiku Bagudu; that is our decision.”

Chairman of the party Bala Kangiwa described APC members in the state as one big family living in peace and unity.

“We are committed to safeguarding the peace and unity in our family,” he said.

Party spokesman Sani Dododo said rice farmers nationwide have resolved to purchase APC nomination form for Buhari “while the people of Kebbi will procure nomination form for governor Bagudu.”

Those in attendance were: Governor Bagudu; Senator Adamu Aliero; former state governor Sa’idu Dakingari; Deputy Governor Sama’ila Yombe; former deputy governors Ibrahim Aliyu and Sulaiman Argungu; senators Na’Allah and Yahaya Abdullahi, as well as members of the House of Representatives and State Assembly, among others.

Ogun

The party in Ogun State yesterday adopted consensus method as its mode of primary for selecting candidates for the 2019 elections.

The party said it has resolved to go by consensus method in recognition of the decision of the party’s NEC.

The decision was reached at stakeholders’ meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, which was attended by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, party chair Derin Adebiyi, State Executive Committee members, Senator Gbenga Kaka, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, House of Assembly and House of Representatives members, former legislators, former deputy governors as well as party and council chairmen of the party in the 20 local governments areas and the 37 Local council development areas.

Amosun, who hitherto, had kept political opponents in a protracted game of guessing his next move using subterfuges, used the occasion to declare ambition to run for the Ogun Central Senatorial seat in 2019.

Amosun, who served as a senator between 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), announced his intention to run again at the expiration of his tenure as Governor on May 2019.

He said would soon pick the party’s Senate form and then “test” his popularity in 2019 on the field again with others eyeing the Ogun Central seat.

Amosun reiterated that the party had zoned the governorship ticket to Ogun West, saying the candidate would be unveiled within 24 hours.

He promised to meet stakeholders from the zone and urged them to present a consensus candidate from the pool of aspirants from Ogun West.

Assured that there would be level playing field for everybody, the governor said that the party will shift to direct primary if the consensus method failed in determining the flagbearers.

He also warned aspirants for the governorship slot other positions against rushing to obtain nomination forms, saying there would be no refunds as it happened in 2015.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the party’s publicity secretary Wole Elegbede said: “The APC in Ogun State shall have a consensus primary for all elective positions in the 2019 elections. That where consensus fails, a direct primary will be used to choose a candidate for such a position.”

Yobe

The Yobe State chapter adopted indirect primaries to select the party’s candidates for the forthcoming elections.

The decision was contained in a statement in Damaturu. It was signed by Chairman Adamu Chilariye and the Secretary Abubakar Bakabe.

The party said it adopted the indirect option following the party’s State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting on Tuesday in Damaturu, which deliberated extensively on the needs and peculiarities of the state.

It said: “The SEC also consulted widely with critical stakeholders of the party to adopt a unified position among options provided by the constitution of our great party.”

The party attributed lack of updated membership register, owing to security challenges in the state, as an impediment to the adoption of direct elections for the party’s primaries.

The party also claimed that it lacked resources and time to conduct direct elections to meet the dateline provided by the national secretariat of the party.

“Therefore, in view of the aforementioned factors, the SEC and the stakeholders have unanimously resolved to adopt the indirect election option for the primary.

“The SEC and stakeholders, therefore, resolved to forward these resolutions to the National Working Committee for approval.” (The Nation )

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