The All Progressives Congress on Tuesday explained the condition that should be met by state chapters of the party before adopting the consensus option for primaries.
The APC, in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the consensus option could only be adopted if there were no other aspirants for a position.
It said that the state chapters should not deny aspirants who had obtained nomination forms the right to contest in the primaries
The statement read, “The attention of the All Progressives Congress has been drawn to announcements of consensus candidates for elective positions in some states.
“It is, therefore, pertinent to make some clarifications to enlighten party faithful on the procedure for nominating candidates.
“While consensus is provided for by the party’s constitution, the option is conditional.
“Consensus does not foreclose direct or indirect primaries for all elective positions as contained in the resolution of the 6th meeting of the Party’s National Executive Committee.
“Again, consensus will apply when no other aspirant signifies interest (i.e. through the purchase of nomination forms) for the position in question.”
State chapters of the party that have been reported to have adopted the consensus option include Ogun, Zamfara, Yobe and Anambra
The Ogun State chapter of the APC has picked a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Adekunle Akinlade, as the consensus governorship candidate.
Akinlade was said to have been chosen by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, from the Ogun West District.
In Zamfara State, Governor AbdulazizYari has endorsed his Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Sheu Idris, as his successor.
The governor is also contesting senatorial seat currently occupied by Senator Ahmed Yerima, who preferred the state Deputy Governor, Ibrahim Wakkala, as the next governor.
The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, is supporting the APC National Secretary, Maimala Buni, to succeed him, but aspirants, including Alhaji Aji Kolomi, have kicked against the decision.
A governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Otunba Jimi Lawal, described the APC National Working Committee’s statement as a welcome development.
Lawal, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media & Strategy), Mr Wale Adedayo, said that it was a proof that the APC wanted internal democracy to prevail.
Another APC governorship aspirant in the state, Dapo Abiodun, said he was going ahead with his ambition.
He said that he would defeat the consensus candidate of the state governor at the direct primaries.
Abiodun, who spoke at Iperu-Remo while hosting party leaders and stakeholders from the 236 wards and 20 local government areas of the state, said, “We are going to have a direct primary as instructed by the National Working Committee of our great party and we shall win.”
Also, two governorship aspirants of the party in the state, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, and the immediate past Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, backed the NWC.
Kaka, who was a former deputy governor in the state, argued that some of the aspirants were not consulted before the party agreed on zoning arrangement, and not all aspirants were carried along before the party picked the consensus governorship candidate.
He added that consensus would only work where all the aspirants came together and chose one of them as a consensus governorship candidate.
Ashiru, who resigned his appointment as the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, on Monday, also agreed with Kaka.
He said he was not opposed to consensus candidates emerging but this could only hold where there was no other contestants/aspirants for such elective positions.
Reacting to this, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chief Wole Elegbede, said wherever the consensus failed, a direct primary would suffice.
He said, “For any elective position in which other aspirants had bought nomination forms, there will a direct primary for such position.”
In Imo, the state chapter of the APC said it had informed the NWC of the party that it had adopted indirect primary.
But a faction of the party in the state consisting of senators Benjamin Uwajumogu and Hope Uzodinma, and impeached Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, insisted on direct primary.
Addressing stakeholders of the party on Tuesday in Owerri, APC Chairman in the state, Daniel Nwafor, said the NWC had been informed about the mode of primaries agreed on in the state.
He said that those who were opposed to the indirect mode of primaries adopted during a SEC meeting of the party, were not members of the APC in Imo State.
Nwafor said, “We have communicated to the National Executive Council of the APC, on the decision of the SEC, adopting indirect primaries for the party. It is a decision of the APC in Imo State. The decision was taken by the highest decision making of the party in Imo State. The only activity that overrides that SEC is that of the state APC convention.
“Let me also tell you that it is only Uche Nwosu we are aware that has picked the governorship form under the APC, from Imo State.”