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By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Senator representing Kaduna Central in the Upper Chamber Shehu Sani has noted that direct primaries remained the best option for the All Progressive Congress, (APC), to ensure popular and credible candidates emerge for the party to be victorious in the 2019 general elections.
Senator Shehu Sani observed that APC cannot change the political landscape of Nigeria by adopting a system of cash and carry, you pay to be elected; saying, “This must be fought if we want to instill discipline, order in our democratic system.
“We must make it possible to men of honour, principles and ideas to trump up into office through a credible and transparent process.
Reacting to the stand of the state APC going for indirect primaries in the state in ensuring the emergence of its candidates in the 2019 general elections, Shehu Sani told newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday, “The position taken by the party today is a request to the National Secretariat of the party. We have also made our position very clear so it is left for the national secretariat to take a position.”
He added, “I am here today as a senator representing Kaduna Central to let out my views as regards the position of the APC Kaduna State chapter. Firstly, I will like to make some clarifications.
“My presence in the APC Secretariat was the first time I was invited by the APC to attend a meeting since 2015. The letter came to me and I humbly decided to attend after seeking clarification of the authenticity of the letter.
“The very fact that this is the first time I was invited by the party is enough to reason that I was virtually out of whatever processes the party has adopted before we reach this very point. I understood that the party has adopted to apply for an indirect primaries.
“Well, that is the position of the party, but I have a moral minority view in the very sense that two days ago, we were at the National Secretariat of the party, with many other aspirants, and we have written formally to the National Chairman of the party informing them of our position which is clear and unambiguous; we stand for direct primaries.
“Our support for direct primaries is based on the following factors: Firstly, the congresses that were organized by the party in the last few months came with lots of problems where many people were marginalized and systematically excluded from participation.
“Secondly, there exist litigation with regards to the legitimacy of the existing party executives and delegates; and thirdly, if we are desirous of having a democratic system that will instill discipline and usher in a new era of politics of principles, ideas and ideals. There is no way we should continue to conform to a system that give credence and value for money politics,” he said.
Also reacting to the position taken by the party in the state, a Senatorial aspirant in the party, Senator Sani Saleh said, “As an aspirant to the office of Senator for Kaduna Central senatorial district, I do not agree to indirect method of conducting the primaries because of obvious reasons.”
He explained that indirect primary was simply about fear of the people. “The safest, fairest and best thing is for us to throw this thing open if you are not afraid of the people that you are aspiring to represent, subject yourself to election by them.
“The party has just concluded the state executive committee meeting at which they read out a resolution that they prefer the indirect method in the forthcoming primary elections. Well, that is the state’s position and not the final say, national headquarters required that every states executive committees must submit a written request signed by state’s executive committee members, critical stakeholders as well as aspirants to various offices in the state.
“So far, out of these three categories of people, the state executive committee has taken its own stand, it is left for critical stakeholders and aspirants to state their own position on this matter.
“One of the reasons is the manner in which the congresses were conducted. It was conducted in such a way that certain individuals were given the opportunity to select the entire executive members from every wards and local government areas in the state. It was not free and fair so I don’t think I will be doing justice to myself, to subject myself to general election under that condition.
“The second aspect is that there is litigation on the conduct of the congresses and if I subject myself to an election under this condition and I am elected by illegal excos then the whole thing will be an exercise in futility because it can be nullified by the court.”