APC Kicks Against Direct Primary, Reveals Next Action
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that APC Kicks Against Direct Primary, Reveals Next Action
The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is awaiting the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the deadlock reached by the Tripartite Committee set up by the party on direct primary adopted by the National Assembly for selection of parties’ candidates.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, who made this known to newsmen yesterday after a meeting of the enlarged Tripartite Committee on the party’s position on direct primary at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, said the fear of the executive was the lack of an alternative provided in case the direct primaries failed.
According to him, the final decision on the matter rested with President Buhari, whom he noted would decide whether to assent to the Electoral Bill as it was or return it to the National Assembly.
Bello said if the President failed to assent to the bill, it would not be the first time, adding that, if he assented to the bill, the governors would have no choice but to work for its implementation.
“This is the Tripartite Committee set up by the the President being the executive, the legislature and our great party to ensure that every topical issue that affects the people of this country at various arms of government is well discussed by the party and taking good decision in the best interest of everybody,” he said.
On whether the governors were comfortable with the decision of the lawmakers, Bello said,“I don’t think any governor or anybody whatsoever as far as APC is concerned is afraid or have any reservations as far as our participation is concerned.
“The only concern is the implication of having only one option. In case an option fails, what happened? If for instance, now, INEC set a date for election and you can’t shift, what you do. And if circumstance beyond control arose what do we do?”
Speaking on if the decision to insert direct primary in the Electoral Bill could still be changed, the Kogi Governor stated, “In their own wisdom, nobody is going to meddle into affairs of the legislature. So, whatever decision they have taken, if it is in the interest of the people, so be it. If in their own wisdom that is how they want it, so, be it.”
Asked whether the governors would accept the direct primary, he said it was up to the President to decide what becomes of it, adding, “Whatever the legislature will pass and is acceptable by the executive, then, everybody will have to buy in and make sure it works.
“It is yet to be signed into law. So, we’re waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari, the commander-in-chief. Once it’s sign into law, then, we will make sure it works. If he does not, then it will be returned to the National Assembly or whatever action that can be taken.
“If it is returned to the National Assembly, it will not be the first of such bill to be returned. If it is assented to in the wisdom of the President, so be it. We will all work to ensure that it works.”
Tuesday’s meeting was however deadlocked as the parties failed to agree on the use of direct primaries to select candidates.
The meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with the committee made up of the Executive, the Legislature and the APC as a party, could not convince members of the National Assembly on the need to provide alternative for the direct primary option.
The members insisted that direct primary was the way to go, arguing that it had been working for the electorate.
Former governor of Kebbi State and a serving Senator, Adamu Aleiro, also told newsmen after the meeting that what the National Assembly had done in providing for direct primary for parties was the best for the country.
He insisted the National Assembly had been cooperating with the Executive, saying, “But on this, we cannot not be coerced to change our position.”