The senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, and some other All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants from the state have said they are in support of direct primaries.
In a letter addressed to the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, the aspirants demanded that the direct primary mechanism which the party earlier settled for should apply in Kaduna State.
Addressing journalists after submitting the letter, the senator who earlier took to his Twitter handle to say “indirect primaries is direct corruption” urged party leaders to stand by their decision.
The group said indirect primaries stand as direct antithesis to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption at all levels.
“The party having touted the change mantra must shine the light into those dark places in the electoral system where the corruptive influence of ill-gotten wealth is used to subvert the will of the electorate and perpetrate the vicious circle of corruption, bad governance and weak and dysfunctional institutions and processes.
“We the aspirants and stakeholders of the Kaduna STATE Chapter of our great party the All Progressives Congress (APC) present our best compliments to you and wish by this letter to inform Your Excellency of our collective decision to adopt DIRECT PRIMARIES as the preferred mode of nominating candidates at primary elections into all elective positions in the state.
“We the undersigned are particularly in opposition to indirect primaries because of the weakening effects of its corruptive tendencies. The entire process begins and ends with vote buying. And, as it is always the case where the will of the general electorates are subverted, the best candidates for the tasks at hand never get recruited.
“Our decision to adopt direct primaries in Kaduna State is the panacea to the deep fault lines and obstacles to building a strong virile, people-rooted APC. Direct primaries is the most assured means at throwing up the most popular candidates that will deliver Kaduna State for the APC come 2019,” the group said.
The group said the state will not be helped by indirect parties as “only the few in power will control the outcome”.
Speaking on the current state of the party in Kaduna State, the group said the current party executives are under the control of the governor “frustrating others who are not on the side of the governor.”
“Over the past three years, there had been a significant amount of disquiet In the camp of the APC resulting to a disturbing level as apathy end anomie now pervades the party as a result of the profound sense of marginalisation and, in some cases, outright exclusion which is experienced by many critical stakeholders as well as members of the party.
“The delegate system, otherwise called indirect primaries will rely on the whims and caprices of the few that now control the party after emerging from ward, local government and state congresses that have been widely rejected by party members as a sham.
“Hundreds of party members who bought forms with a view to vying for various wards, local governments and state party executive positions were deliberately excluded from the process and in some Instances even intentionally blocked from submitting their forms. Nor were they even consulted ahead of the so-called processes of affirmation of officials of the party.
“A great many of members of the party executives have been appointed to serve as campaign coordinators of Governor’s preferred candidates at various levels while those deemed to be sympathetic to the cause of the people other than the Governor have been shown the way out preferred candidates at various levels while those deemed to be sympathetic to the cause of the people other than the Governor have been shown the way out,” the group explained.
The letter said many members are in court seeking judgements that would, from all indications, set aside these “sham congresses.”
Noting that insecurity might be named as a reason for indirect primaries, the aspirants said this reason would not favour Governor Nasir El-rufai as it contradicts his (governor) claims that Kaduna State has been secured.
“This argument flies in the face of logic because if security challenges are sufficient grounds not to adopt and conduct direct primaries, then it follows that the 2019 general election ought not to hold at all.
“If anything therefore we use this opportunity to forewarn of the possibility that violence may be formented by the governor and his hatchet men to undermine the conduct of free, fair credible direct primaries in the state.”
The National Executive Committee of the APC had resolved last week to adopt the direct primary option for all elective positions.
“The adopted mode shall now be applied to all categories of the Party’s Primary Elections i.e. State Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives and for the Governorship Elections,” it said.
The party, however, said it could allow indirect primaries based “on the peculiarity and need of a given state.”
“In each case, the State Executive Committee (SEC) shall in consultation with candidates and other critical stakeholders of the Party in a given State identify and forward for the consideration and approval by the National Working Committee (NWC) for the mode of election to be adopted,” the party said.
Prior the meeting, there had been several controversies on which mode of primaries should be adopted.
This controversy deepened after the NEC meeting as some party members and state chairmen, who are against direct primaries met on Sunday. However, they did not release a statement on what the meeting was about.
Direct primaries involves the participation of all party members in the selection of party candidates while indirect primaries involves use of delegates which many believe are largely influenced by state governors.
The Kaduna aspirants’ letter was signed by the following:
Shehu Sani- senator Kaduna central senatorial district
Mohammed Sani- senatorial aspirant Kaduna central senatorial district
Aliyu Silver- senatorial aspirant Kaduna North senatorial district
Shamsuddeen Shehu- senatorial aspirant Kaduna central
Rufai chanchangu- member representing Kaduna South federal constituency
Mohammed Musa-member representing Soba federal constituency
Halal falal- gubernatorial aspirant
Usman Ibrahim- senatorial aspirant Kaduna central district
Hassan Samdi- aspirant Kaduna North federal constituency
Umar Isa- aspirant Kaduna South federal constituency
Aminu Sa’ad – aspirant Kaduna South federal constituency
Yusuf Ali- aspirant Kaduna South federal constituency
Sani Nagari -aspirant Chikun/Kajuru federal constituency
Rufai Surajo- aspirant Kaduna North federal constituency
Sani Abdul -Doka/ Gabasawa constituency.