A faction of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has endorsed direct primaries for its candidates ahead of the 2019 general election.
Rising from its stakeholders’ meeting in Akure, the faction explained in an e-communiqué that it adopted direct primaries, as it was openly embraced by the party's national leaders.
Idowu Otetubi, the factional Chairman and Gani Muhammad, its Secretary, jointly signed the communiqué, which was obtained by SaharaReporters.
The latest development is coming a few weeks after Ade Adetimehin, the APC state chairman, convened the state working committee to adopt indirect primaries, during an extended stakeholders’ meeting held in the party's secretariat.
SaharaReporters had reported how Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the State Executive Committee (SEC) attended the meeting, where indirect primaries were unanimously adopted.
Ali Olanusi, a former deputy governor and member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party, who attended the meeting, had it as "an arranged stakeholders’ meeting to adopt indirect primaries in Ondo State".
On Thursday, the faction said it resolved to be "committed" to direct primaries to choose candidates for its own group, ahead of the 2019 general election, because “the option holds the key to the unity of APC”.
The faction added that they are also committed to the progressive disposition of the party led by Adams Oshiomhole at the national level.
"We equally share the view that a democrat must embrace direct primaries as openly embraced by President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of our party. We are poised to replicate same voting system here in Ondo State.
"Pending the time the court will adjudicate on the fraudulent delegate lists that a few persons wrote in the corners of their rooms and purportedly forced on the party will be resolved, direct primaries are the only way available to elect the candidates of the party for the 2019 general election in Ondo State.
"It is less expensive. It is representative enough and possesses the capacity to unite the party.
"APC membership register is with the national secretariat in Abuja. Since it is updated daily, the soft and the hard copies shall be made available to our state and any other states in Nigeria for the purpose of direct primaries. We are convinced its implementation will be smooth and easy.
"Direct primaries [are] unlike indirect that give privilege of selection of candidates to a negligible few privileged individuals that are selected to honour the bidding of those with deep pockets.
"Direct primaries will not only return power and right of choice to party members, it will conquer imposition and tendency of emperorship in leadership that has chosen to stray away from progressive politics and democratic norms.”
The faction said it was committed to ensuring a level-playing field for all aspirants that have obtained and submitted forms as directed.
Speaking on the local government election, the faction said it went to court to stop the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) from accepting lists of candidates from the Ade Adetimehin-led executive members.
"We resolved that the current crop of people that are promoting themselves as party executives in our party are not known to law, hence the court case we instituted to stop them from committing further illegality.
"We are therefore pleased that a valid injunction has been granted by the court to stop the injustice and brazen shenanigans of a few elements that are out to walk down our party to disunity and ultimately, failure in the coming elections.
"We are pleased that the court has granted the order and the submission of names by the Adetimehin-led exco for the local government election has been forthwith put on hold pending the determination of the main suit.
"We believe this will expose antics of some elements who, because of their privilege of government positions, are creating artificial unity when none exists in the party.”
They, however, expressed their support for Oshiomhole, Bola Tinubu, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari on his second term bid.
It maintained that the stakeholders had resolved to begin a state-wide campaign as part of activities for the 2019 elections.