The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress is under pressure from the Presidency to reverse the indirect primary already ordered for the August 29 governorship primary in Kogi State.
It was learnt that the party’s top hierarchy were already reviewing the decision in the overall best interest of the party.
Our correspondent gathered that the issue was already generating interest among members of the National Working Committee who met on Wednesday in Abuja.
The meeting, which took place at the national secretariat of the party, was presided over by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The meeting started a few hours after the Kogi State Governor, Yahya Bello, came to pick his Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms.
The party had adopted an indirect mode of primary for Kogi State but kept mute on the Bayelsa State governorship primary fixed for the same day.
About 20 governorship aspirants of the party had on Monday protested against the decision, saying it would affect the fortunes of the party in the state.
They demanded direct primary instead and for a caretaker committee to be raised due to litigation over the State Working Committee.
A member of the NWC told our correspondent last night that the complaints of the aggrieved aspirants had become major concerns.
“We are wary of the development because we don’t want a repeat of the Zamfara State experience where the party lost all its elective offices to the Peoples Democratic Party due to a judgment of the Supreme Court that invalidated our primary.
“The decision is undergoing a review and we may come out with an option that will accommodate all interest groups within the party. The direct primary may be the way out but no decision has been taken yet.”
Another member who attended the meeting said the letter written by the aggrieved APC aspirants to the NWC could not be wished away.
“These are men who have paid their dues in the public sphere and politics, so we can’t just ignore their complaints.
“We felt it was important we look at the issues they raised on their merit. We are going to seek a legal review on the case said to be in court as to how it could affect the party.”
When contacted, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the party was not under any pressure from the Presidency to reverse the decision.
“This is a party structure that works independently of the Presidency or any external bodies. We are not under any pressure from anywhere.”
When asked if it was true the party wanted to reverse the indirect primary already picked for Kogi, the NPS said there was nothing on the ground suggesting that for now.
“The decision on the indirect primary was due to a choice made by the state executives in a correspondence to the national secretariat. We only acted on that,” he said.
Recall that some governorship aspirants under the Kogi State APC Governorship Aspirants Forum staged a protest at the secretariat on Monday.
They expressed their displeasure at the indirect primary adopted by the National Working Committee of the QPC for the November 2 governorship election in Kogi State.
But the NWC of the APC has acknowledged receipt of petitions from some stakeholders in Kogi State in reaction to indirect primaries adopted for the election of the party’s candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Issa-Onilu said it would look at the merit of the petitions in line with the party’s constitution and come out with a position in due course.
“We assure all concerned parties that the NWC would be guided only by our rules,” he said.
Culled from Punch