Members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno and Adamawa states on Tuesday at separate events resolved to adopt indirect primaries to select candidates for next year’s elections.
The two states are governed by the APC.
The decisions were reached at their respective “critical stakeholders’ meetings” hosted by the APC.
In Borno State, the stakeholders led by the party chairman, Ali Dalori, met at the multipurpose hall of government house, Maiduguri.
The Borno meeting was largely attended by elected and key appointees of the ruling party .
Top members of the APC in Borno State such as Ali Modu-Sheriff, Babagana Kingibe, Kashim Imam, Abba Aji, Maina Lawan, and most of the gubernatorial aspirants were not at the meeting.
Those at the meeting include the three senators, all members of the House of Representatives from the state, all members of the Borno State House of Assembly alongside other appointees and cabinet members of the state government.
The gathering came barely 48 hours after the party in Borno became enmeshed in controversy involving the supporters of Governor Kashim Shettima and those of his immediate predecessor, Mr Modu-Sheriff, over alleged move by the latter to manipulate the primaries using the direct delegate system during the coming party primaries.
Tuesday’s meeting which was slated for 2 p.m. commenced immediately after security personnel detailed at the gate carefully screened all those invited to the meeting. They used a copy of the invitees’ list handed to them by the APC secretariat.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, who was the highest office holder at the meeting, said he was there in his capacity as an observer.
The chairman of the party opened the session with a brief speech during which he emphasised the importance of the stakeholders’ meeting ahead of the coming APC primaries.
He said the meeting was a follow up to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the APC during which, he said, states were given three options on how they could conduct primary elections.
“We were given three options which include direct voting, indirect (delegate) system and consensus voting. And it is based on that that we in Borno have decided to come together as critical stakeholders to endorse the option we have chosen.”
Shortly after that, various speakers spoke on the need to adopt the indirect delegate pattern of primaries.
A senator, Abubakar Kyari from Borno North, spoke on behalf of the other senators at the meeting; while Muhammed Monguno, a House of Representatives member, spoke on behalf of his nine colleagues at the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
The Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly spoke on behalf of the 27 members of the state legislature.
All of them cited insecurity and lack of up-to-date APC membership register as reason for supporting the indirect delegate system of voting.
To seal the decision taken at the meeting, another senator, Ali Ndume from Borno South, moved the motion for the stakeholders to adopt indirect primaries.
His motion was seconded by a female member of the House of Representatives, Asabe Bashir.
In Adamawa, stakeholders of the state chapter of the APC, led by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, met in Yola on Monday to adopt the indirect party primaries option for all elected positions.
The APC NEC had last week adopted direct primaries to select the party’s presidential candidate.
For other positions, the Adamawa APC said, indirect primaries guarantee free and credible primaries for the party in the state.
The APC scribe in Adamawa, Wafarniyi Theman, said in a communique issued at the end of the meeting that “the SEC of APC resolved to adopt the indirect primaries, for Governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly primaries.”
That “the meeting was convened, in line with the section 12.8 of the party constitution, and not stakeholders meeting of party.”
Speaking earlier, Mr Mustapha assured the persons at the meeting that stakeholders “would not allow provocation to propel crisis in the party.”
“We would not allow any provocation, to propel us into crisis in the ruling APC in the state.
“There is no opposition yet in APC in Adamawa State, as we are covered by the oath of allegiance of the party.”
The APC had at the end of its NEC meeting in Abuja adopted direct primaries for all its positions but said states could request to use indirect primaries if so adopted at state meetings.