2019: Adamawa APC stakeholders endorse direct primaries, list merits

APC Secretariat
File photo of an APC Secretariat

Some stakeholders and aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State have endorsed direct primaries as the mode of electing party’s candidates for the 2019 general elections.

In a letter addressed to the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the stakeholders including former secretary to the government of the federatiom, Babachir Lawal, hailed the decision of the party to conduct direct primaries.

Other signatories to the letter include the senator representing Adamawa North,  Abubakar  Mo’Allayidi, Abubakar Girei and Bello Tukur. Others are APC gubernatorial aspirants including  Marcus Gundiri, Nuhu Ribadu and Mahmoud Halilu.

The seven signatories said they consider “the decision of the party to go the way of direct primaries as not only progressive but also inclusive and revolutionary.”

The state chapter of the party had in a meeting convoked on Monday announced the adoption of indirect primaries as the mode of election.

But the stakeholders lampooned opposition to the direct primary option, arguing that is is only opposed by those who are afraid of the people.

“As democrats, we found the decision cheering and encouraging and we are therefore shocked that anybody who lays claim to democracy or desire to lead the people would find the decision to let the people decide as a threat or discomforting.”

The letter enumerated five reasons why direct primaries is the best way to select party candidates.

“Direct Primary is an inclusive way of deciding who flies the party flag with all bona fide members of the party having a chance to make their choice. It gives meaning to membership of the party as followers are included in taking vital decision like who represent their party in the general elections.”

Apart from inclusiveness, the stakeholders also argued that direct primaries is more democratic.

“Making contests open and transparent, with everybody having a say, as in direct primaries, is a true expression of democratic values which the APC strives to uphold,” they wrote.

The staleholders also argue that with direct primaries there are minimal cases of rancour and tendency for corruption, positing that indirect primaries is being subjected to abuse.

In a separate letter addressed to the national chairman on Tuesday, a parallel leadership of the APC in the state also expressed support for direct primaries.

The letter signed by the faction’s chairman, Dumas Ezra, and Usman Ibrahim, its publicity secretary, criticised the party faction loyal to Governor Mohammed Jibrilla for using ‘insecurity’ as an excuse to  make case for indirect primaries.

According to the factional leadership, Adamawa is peaceful for both primaries and the general election.

See full text of the stakeholders letter below:

RE: MODE OF PRIMARIES: EXPRESSION OF SUPPORT FOR THE PARTY’S DECISION ON DIRECT PRIMARIES

On behalf of our teeming supporters and, indeed, all progressive members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, we write to express vote of confidence on the national leadership of the party and convey our resounding commendation for the decision of the party in respect of the conduct of primaries at all levels.

As stakeholders/aspirants, we found the decision of the party to go the way of direct primaries as not only progressive but also inclusive and revolutionary. The decision is also in tandem with the principles and ideals of our dear leader His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to always carry the people along and make all Nigerians, nay party members relevant and be given a voice in decision-making process.

As individuals who want to pursue our respective ambitions under this great party, we feel elated by this wise decision. As democrats, we found the decision cheering and encouraging and we are therefore shocked that anybody who lays claim to democracy or desire to lead the people would find the decision to let the people decide as a threat or discomforting.

The merits of direct primaries are too many to recount here but as progressive members of the APC, we vote to support direct primaries for these reasons, among others:

  1. INCLUSIVENESS: Direct Primary is an inclusive way of deciding who flies the party flag with all bona fide members of the party having a chance to make their choice. It gives meaning to membership of the party as followers are included in taking vital decision like who represent their party in the general elections.
  2. DEMOCRACTIC: Democracy differs from feudalism. It is by popular definition a means of governance by the people and for the people. Making contests open and transparent, with everybody having a say, as in direct primaries, is a true expression of democratic values which the APC strives to uphold.
  3. RANCOUR-FREE: Because direct primaries happen at different places at the same time, it enables peace and tranquillity, as well as orderly conduct by all involved in the process.
  4. MINIMAL/NO CORRUPTION: The indirect primaries (delegate system) is long discredited for wanton use of money and sheer correction.
  5. CHOSEN BY MR PRESIDENT: To cap it all, in his wisdom and culture of ethics and uprightness, President Muhammadu Buhari chose to have the presidential primaries in direct form, and wonder why anyone else, with even smaller constituency, would oppose the popular choice of the people and that of our dear president.

We the undersigned stakeholders/aspirants from Adamawa therefore reiterate our unwavering support for direct primaries and want the party to ensure that it is conducted to the latter, as a mark of assurance for open and fair contest and in order to elect popular candidates who can stand the test of general elections.

As you are aware, Your Excellency, fielding weak or unpopular candidates through manipulative primaries is a sure way of losing elections, a misfortune we don’t pray for.

We once again assure you of our total support and loyalty to the leadership of the party and pray that God almighty strengthen you to deliver on your mandate in fairness and justice to all.

Accept our sincere assurances, please.

SIGNED

Senator Abubakar Muhammed Mo’Allayidi ……………………

Engineer Babachir D. Lawal………………………………………..

Engineer Marcus Gundiri…………………………………………..

Dr Mahmoud Halilu………………………………………………….

Senator Abubakar Girei……………………………………………

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu……………………………………………….

Senator Bello Tukur…………………………………………………


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