Oshiomhole concedes to governors’ demand to choose mode of primaries

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has conceded to the insistence of state chapters of the party to decide the mode of primary for the selection of candidates for the 2019 elections.

The decision was reached after an over three hours meeting between the APC National Chairman and the party’s 22 governors at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, on Wednesday night.

The party had after its last National Executive Council meeting announced the direct method of primary for choosing its candidates.

It said States wishing to use the indirect method must agree with stakeholders in the states and write the National Secretariat. The letter is expected to be signed by a majority of members of the state executive committee.

Some stakeholders especially members of the National Assembly had insisted on the direct mode arguing that the indirect method was easily manipulated by governors who could manipulate delegates.

Governors, however, insisted on the indirect method after Oshiomhole had on several occasions announced the party’s preference for the direct primary. The presidential primary will, however, be by the direct method.

After Wednesday’s meeting, Oshiomhole told reporters “My task and the task of the party is clear. We have a tradition as a progressive party to submit ourselves to the dictates of our party and we believe in internal democracy because we are democrats and democracy must begin from within the house before we can do it outside.

“Our task is very simple, obey the rules of the party, obey the rules of fairness, obey the rules of natural justice and that is what we mean when we talk about free and fair primaries.

“Number two, we have spoken on this before, it is not a new decision that our constitution consciously provided for flexibility.

“First to reflect the diversity of our great country and also to try to give expression to the entire essence of federalism which allows different states to look at their own situation and advice the NWC as to what works better for them provided that in all cases the process is democratic, the rules are fair, the officiating officials are impartial.

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