We’ll resist attempts to hijack primaries process – Oshiomhole

Written by on October 5, 2018

National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Oshiomhole said the party would not succumb to intimidation or bow to pressure by interests who seek to hijack its primaries.

He said this while speaking to reporters after a meeting between the APC National Working Committee and APC governors in Abuja on Thursday.

Oshiomhole said, “We met with various leaders; whoever has challenges. This is like a political clinic.

“We are in a situation room and it is normal that when you are carrying out a democratic exercise across the 36 states and the FCT, you will have some challenges.”

He said as the APC national chairman, he had the mandate to put in place measures that would deepen internal democracy and give every member a true sense of belonging because it was the only way to deepen the core values of democracy.

This, he explained, was the reason behind the decision to cancel the governorship primary in Zamfara, Imo states as well as the National Assembly primary in Edo State.

He said, “It is unfortunate that many people opt for violence. But I am happy that the panels refused to compromise and stood their ground even in the face of intimidation.

“We are going to conduct free, fair primary in Zamfara.

“This process has to be done according to the rules and regulations of the APC and that means it will be done by the electoral body and not by the state government or agents of the state government.

“Every member of the party in Zamfara State has a right and that right must be respected by the NWC to vote for any aspirant of their own choice. No amount of blackmail will make us to abandon that. That is the right thing to do.”

On similar scenarios in Imo, Ogun and Adamawa states, Oshiomhole said, it was not the duty of state party chairmen and secretaries or Secretaries to State Governments to announce results of primaries.

He said, “We are trying to clean up our party’s internal democracy and eliminate corruption as much as we can from the process and empower our party members to have a decisive voice on who represents them or who flies the flag of the party.

“My mandate as chairman of the APC is to be faithful to our constitution. I swore to an oath of office to be just to every member of the APC. For me, this oath of office is meant to be obeyed.”

On Imo State, he said, “To me and the NWC, what matters is not who wins, but the integrity of the process. Once the integrity of the process can be guaranteed, whoever win wins.

“I am aware of the tension that has been generated because for too long, Nigerians have been used to a game of power.

“I have not come here to perpetrate a game of power. I have come to superintendent over a process that will allow the weakest members to have a say and to produce aspirants that command respect and trust of the members of the APC.”

On the primary in Ogun State, he said, “Please get a copy of the APC constitution. Primaries are to be conducted not by state governors; they are to be conducted not by Secretary to the State Government, they are to be conducted not by state party chairmen, but by the electoral panel.

“The results of primaries are to be announced by the returning officer who chair the panel sent to conduct such primaries. It is not a game of power, but a game of number and God will give us the grace to achieve that and ensure that it works.”

He also said the National Assembly primary in the Federal Capital Territory would hold on Friday (Today), adding that it would be by direct primary.

He alleged that some individuals were trying to subvert the people’s will in the FCT by insisting on indirect primary.



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