An aspirant for the House of Representatives in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the platform of APC has said that the leadership of the party in the territory must obey the resolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) to hold direct primaries.
Prof Al-Mustapha Usiju Medaner said in Abuja on Thursday that anything short of direct primaries in the FCT would amount to a clear disrespect to the party leadership.
He said in a statement by the spokesman of his campaign organization, Umar Mahmud, that thousands of APC members had turned out en mass to vote in the Senate primary on Thursday, but that the process was scuttled by some vested interest who were insisting on indirect primary.
“Our attention has been drawn to frantic efforts by some stakeholders of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to change the decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) of September 29, 2018 to the effect that primaries into all elective offices in the territory are to hold through the direct method, by allowing all card carrying members of the party to partake in the exercise.
“However, to our greatest surprise, after the committee constituted by the NWC to conduct the primaries for both the Senate and the House of Representatives arrived at the party’s secretariat in the territory for a meeting with all the relevant stakeholders and aspirants, some stakeholders made frantic efforts to change the method of the primaries already approved by the NWC through a resolution.
“Our understanding of the meeting was that it was an avenue for the electoral committee to inform the state party officials, stakeholders and aspirants of their arrival and readiness for the conduct of the primaries.
“It is also on record that Mr President and Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the governor of the FCT by virtue of the constitution, moved for the direct primaries in the FCT.
“We want to make it clear that nobody has any power to change the mode of primaries as approved by the NWC in its resolution, except the same NWC sits down to reverse its earlier resolution.
“Again, we understand that some people are already citing the issue of insecurity as their reason for suggesting indirect primaries. But we want to make it abundantly and evidently clear that there is no issue of insecurity whatsoever in the territory. Elections had been held successfully in the past within the FCT, and there was no time any issue of insecurity was reported.
“Besides, today, being October 4, the day set aside by the NWC for senatorial primaries in the FCT, thousands of APC members came out en mass to exercise their franchise through the direct primaries, only for some people to kick against the commencement of the process. We view this as a flagrant disobedience to the president, the APC NWC and an undemocratic move.
“We want to call the attention of the NWC to the event that took place in Kogi Central during the 2015 general elections where the court quashed an election won by the APC due to non-adherence to an approved mode of primaries. Consequently, our great party, the APC, was denied the right to participate in a rerun elections due to the anomaly, which led to our party losing the seat to the opposition.
“We fear that a similar fate may befall our party after the conduct of the elections as members of the opposition are watching keenly to see where we would err so they can capitalise on that,” the statement said.