Some governorship aspirants seeking to fly the flag of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State have threatened to dump the party unless the National Working Committee (NWC) reverses its decision on the mode of governorship primary election.
The Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC had on July 5 adopted the indirect primary method for the selection of the party’s flagbearer for the election.
The approval was given after a meeting of the NWC where a formal request from the Kogi State executive and stakeholders in preference for the indirect primary was considered and deliberated on.
The APC constitution which was reemphasised by a decision of National Executive Committee (NEC) provides for three modes of primary elections to elect party candidates – indirect, direct primaries and consensus – depending on the peculiarities of the state and preferences of the stakeholders in respective elections.
However, some aggrieved party leaders and aspirants have been calling on the NWC to reverse its stance on indirect primary, alleging that a factional state chairman of the party, Haddy Ametuo, tricked the national leadership into embracing indirect primaries for the selection of the governorship candidate.
While calling for direct primaries where all the party members in the state will be involved in the selection of the governorship candidate, they also alleged that the indirect primaries method may give undue advantage to Governor Yahaya Bello who is seeking reelection on APC platform.
However, Yahaya Bello on his part said he is ready for any mode of primaries adopted by the party as he is popular among the party members in the state.
Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday, one of the aspirants who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he and others may find solace in opposition parties if the APC NWC fails to listen to the voice of reason on the knotty issue.
“We are already talking to one another and we believe the APC will listen to the voice of reason and reverse its stance on indirect primaries if they don’t want us to end up like Zamfara.
“I can categorically tell you that the feeling of many of us is that we may seek alternative platforms if the APC had chosen to stylishly award the ticket to Governor Bello who is unpopular among the people of the state”, he said.
Also speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday, a member of the NWC of the party said the party may not reverse its position on indirect primaries because the aspirants who are rooting for direct primaries are in the minority.
“I don’t think the party will reverse the decision because those who are against it are in the minority. Thirty-seven governorship aspirants are supporting the indirect primary method while 21 are against it. You can google and check what I have said online. This is democracy and the majority will always have their way while minority will have their say”, he said.
In a related development, our correspondent also gathered that Mohammed Audu, a frontline governorship aspirant will be picking up his nomination and expression of interest forms today at the APC national secretariat, Abuja.
Mohammed is the eldest son of the late Prince Abubakar Audu, a former governor of the state who died shortly before the announcement of the 2015 governorship election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Credit: Daily Independent