APC Primaries: Governors, Power Brokers At Loggerheads Over Direct Primaries

Some Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are at loggerheads with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party over moves to ratify the direct primaries method of selecting candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The NWC had recently ratified the measure and it is set to present a memorandum to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party for final approval.

Sources close to the APC said that some of the elected Governors are unhappy with the development, with sources declaring that the Governors have made their anger known to the party hierarchy.

The governors who are said to be angered about the development said that the measure was targeted at satisfying the interests of some godfathers who are believed to have influences on party registers in the states.

A Governor who was particularly touched was said to have threatened to defect from the APC if the measure was ratified.

But party sources insisted that the direct primaries option was included in the APC Constitution, adding that it was a way of returning power to the people.

“The idea of direct primaries has been ratified by the NWC and I am aware a memo is already being drafted to be presented to the NEC which would hold later in the month. Once it is approved, it will become a policy of the APC,” a source stated adding that the party would take time out to explain the policy to party leaders.

It was however confirmed that at least two South West Governors and a number of Northern Governors have kicked against the idea, seen as a clever way to get at them by some power brokers.

A South West Governor, whose election would not be due in 2019 was said to be one of the most vociferous against the idea.

A source said that he believes that some power brokers in the party were trying to hijack the party structure from him through the back door.

Sources at the National Secretariat of the party, however, said that the Direct Primaries idea would easily take power to the people adding that the idea was to erase the ploy by which some forces in the party camp delegates ahead of the primaries.

“The idea of direct primaries has already been ratified at the NWC level. The working committee will soon present it to NEC for ratification. It is a better idea than the delegates system where Governors and power brokers will only camp close to half of the delegates or entice them with money. In this case, all card-carrying member of the party will participate and you cannot possibly buy up all members,” a source said.

The source said that the party would also work out how the direct primaries system would affect the presidential primaries.

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