The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ondo State has berated Ajayi Boroffice, the Senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, for his comment that the party has adopted direct primaries for candidates jostling for the APC ticket.
Senator Boroffice had said the APC already adopted the direct primary option as the only means of electing party candidates in Ondo State and other APC-led states for the 2019 elections.
Boroffice, who spoke through his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, noted that the national leadership of the APC supported the adoption of the direct primary.
He said: "As the preparations for primary elections are close, it is necessary to reassure members of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State that the national leadership of our party, ably led by Comrade Adams Oshiomole, has adopted direct primary as the only means of electing party candidates in Ondo State.
"The position of APC on direct primary is clear. It states that direct primary will hold in APC-governed states, while indirect primary/delegate primary will hold in states where the state governments are not governed by APC. Therefore, the adoption of direct primary is a settled matter. It is unambiguous. It is uncontroversial. It is clear.
"Instructively, it should be noted that the national leadership of APC, with the exclusive responsibility to conduct primary elections across all states in Nigeria, has adopted the direct primary.
"The national leadership has empowered all party members in Ondo State with voting powers for the purpose of nominating flagbearers of the APC in the 2019 general elections. No individual or group can snatch or hijack such voting powers from members of APC in Ondo State."
However, in a statement issued in Akure, Alex Kalejaye, Publicity Secretary of APC in the state, said the party was yet to decide on a method to adopt for selecting candidates, noting that Boroffice had no right to speak on behalf of the party, since there is a leadership in place in the state.
He said: "Firstly, it takes a party man that has consistently demonstrated concern and commitment to the party and its affairs, and remains connected to the state secretariat to appreciate the plans and activities of the party.
"It is inappropriate for Senator Ajayi Boroffice to speak on behalf of the state chapter, especially where there is a vibrant Working Committee, led by Engr. Ade Adetimehin, in place.
"It is the responsibility of the leadership of the APC to brainstorm, as it has been done elsewhere, and come up with a position that would be announced through the right channels. Ondo APC would consider all the available and legal options, and go for a popular one that does not hurt the interest of the stakeholders.
"The party appeals to aspirants at all levels to be guided by civilised rules in their quest for positions, and avoid creating the impression that there are divisions in the state.
"The State APC had assured, in a recent statement, that it would ensure transparent and credible primaries, devoid of sharp practices. That position is hereby reaffirmed. It is pertinent to remind ourselves that the three options, including delegates, consensus, and direct, are all lawful for us in the APC.”