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Monday, July 15, 2024

Why consensus may not work for presidential primary – APC chair


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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, says the consensus method which was used in electing party officers during the March 26, 2022 convention may not be feasible for the party’s presidential primary which begins on Sunday.

The APC chairman said this during a chat with Voice of America Hausa service in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adamu emerged as the APC chairman in March after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), endorsed him and asked other aspirants to step down for him.

However, the APC chairman said a presidential primary was completely different from a chairmanship election.

On plans by the party to force a consensus, he said, “There is no truth in what you said. The reason is that the chairmanship seat is not the same as that of the tussle for the Presidency of the country. You can’t even compare the two of them. That question does not arise.

“However the party has laid down its rules and regulations for the aspirants. We would scrutinise all of them based on our guidelines to be sure we pick the right candidate for the party.”

The APC chairman, however, said the 28 aspirants ought to know that all of them cannot emerge as the candidate of the party.

He added, “You can’t stop a party stalwart from contesting election or aspiring for the Presidency. It is their rights and we are happy for them. There is nothing wrong for anybody aspiring for the exalted seat of the presidency. It is God that decides who gets what.

“Once God makes up his mind and say this is who He wants, that is what we are praying for. We have 28 aspirants for the presidential ticket and everybody knows that all of them cannot get the ticket.

“If it is God’s wish, they all can even be president of the country one after the other. Ours is to ensure justice in the choice of who emerges candidate of the party. That does not mean we are perfect. But we pray we do the right thing.”

Adamu also said there was no evidence that aspirants were lobbying delegates with money.

The APC national chairman stated that he has since discovered that it was the delegates who have been hawking their conscience to the highest bidders.

According to him, there was no known law in the country stopping aspirants running for various political offices from taking their campaign to delegates across the country.

“For now, there is no law against aspirants taking campaign to delegates. I don’t have evidence that aspirants are sharing money to delegates. For me it’s the delegates that are selling their conscience which is not proper.

“Our delegates should know that anybody sharing money to them can’t be the right candidate of the party. He doesn’t mean well for the country. I don’t have solution for the problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, security agents and members of the APC have held meetings ahead of the state governorship primaries of the party scheduled for Thursday (today).

The meetings which held across various states were to map out strategies to prevent violence at the primaries.

In Katsina State, the Commissioner of Police, Idris Dabban, on Wednesday, met with Area Commanders and all the Divisional Police Officers in the state.

It was also learnt that the CP directed operatives to be drafted for the exercise to deal decisively with anybody who might want to foment trouble during the primaries.

On his part, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Samaila Dikko, warned against acts capable of disrupting peaceful coexistence in the state during the primaries.

This was after a meeting with stakeholders aimed at sensitising all political party leaders and their followers in the state on the need to maintain peace in the primaries.

Dikko warned against the use of thugs (‘Yan Daba) and weapons during political activities in the state, as anyone caught will face the full wrath of the law.

Chairman of the APC in Kwara State, Sunday Fagbemi, urged delegates to conduct themselves in a decent and orderly manner, adding that the party would not tolerate any form of indiscipline from candidates or their followers.

He said, “For peaceful conduct of the exercise, all party members participating in the exercise must comply with all laid down procedures warning non-delegates to keep off venues of the election.

“Delegates must conduct themselves in a decent and orderly manner devoid of any rancor or indecent rowdiness.

“The party will not tolerate any form of indiscipline from candidates of their followers. Therefore the use of thugs or “good boys” is prohibited and warned that aspirants shall be held responsible for any breach of peace and misconduct at the venue of the exercise.”

Meanwhile, the Destiny Campaign Organisation, the campaign organisation of APC governorship aspirant in Ebonyi State, Elias Mbam, has accused the state government of trying to scuttle to governorship primary.

In a statement signed by Paul Okorie, Mbam alleged that the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, had procured thugs from other states of the Federation to scuttle the governorship primary election.

He said, “Credible intelligence available to us alleges that agents working for the embattled Speaker has procured thugs from Enugu, Abia, Cross River and Rivers States, some of which are already in the state, in liaison with his local vigilante, with the plan to attack and cause mayhem at the venue of the gubernatorial primary tomorrow to ensure that it does not hold and prevent perceived opponents from attending.”

“We therefore call on the national chairman and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to take note of the antics of the state government and their desperate efforts to destroy our party in Ebonyi which may cause the PDP to have an easy win come 2023.”

He, however, called on security agencies to intervene, saying, “We plead with the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the military to take notice and ensure that the life and safety of Elias Mbam, other aspirants, their supporters, party faithful and delegates are guaranteed and protected.”

In a related development, there is anxiety in the camps of the two leading governorship aspirants of the APC in Oyo State ahead of today’s primary election.

Our correspondent gathered that aspirants were holding meetings and strategising on how to win more delegates to guarantee victory for them in the exercise which will determine the flag bearer of the party in 2023 election.

The lawmaker representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Teslim Folarin, and a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Adebayo Adelabu, are the leading contestants in the race.

However, the Oyo State Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, Oyindamola Okunneye, said the security agency would be fully involved in ensuring peace and order during the exercise.

Okunneye said the agency had deployed his men who would ensure adequate security at the venue

He said, “Our men will be there. Those who would be there have been deployed and our job is to make sure that law and order is maintained. We are not politicians and our involvement will be to ensure security of lives and property.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, could not be reached when contacted to know the level of the police preparedness for the exercise.

Credit: PUNCH.