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Govs Kick Against Stipulations For Consensus Candidature

Some governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  have threatened to cut off funding for the party in retaliation for its determination to use the direct primaries method in the selection of candidates for the forthcoming general elections. The governors’ threat came as the party, Tuesday formally gave conditions for the use of consensus option in the adoption of candidates. While noting that consensus arrangements do not bar it from forging ahead with direct or indirect primaries, the party said it could only hold in situations where only one person purchased the nomination form. 

 

Meanwhile, National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, cited the seeming threat of the governors to cut off funding as reasons for the high cost of the nomination forms. He said so when he received a delegation of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, who came to present a cheque of N56.8 million to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign. The face-off between the governors and the national leadership followed the strong pressure by Oshiomhole for adoption of the direct primaries method for the emergence of the party’s candidates. 

 

Oshiomhole had claimed that it was tidier and would minimise the corruption that was prevalent in the indirect or delegate system. Many of the governors have, however, rejected the pleas of the national leadership as most of them have settled for the indirect method. However, since the APC constitution allows for a consensus, aside from direct and indirect primaries, some of the governors were said to have gone shopping for pliable “consensus” candidates. Party sources said the move by a few of the governors, especially in the North-West and North-East, was another tricky method of imposing candidates.

 

“When they say consensus, we know what they mean. We have been in the system for long, and it was very easy for us to see through them. What some of them are calling consensus is intimidation by another name. They intimidate others out of the race in order to pave the way for their preferred candidates, and then they label it a consensus. What manner of consensus do you do with less than half of the aspirants and other stakeholders in attendance? The new APC leadership will not accept such imposition through the back door,” a top party source told Vanguard.

 

As a way of halting imposition of candidates, the national leadership of the party has outlined conditions to be met by its state chapters before adopting consensus as an option in its forthcoming congresses and primary elections. The party in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said though consensus remained a constitutional option, it could only be a last resort where only one person has purchased the nomination and expression of interest forms.

 

The statement read: “The attention of the All Progressives Congress, APC, 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, NEC. Again, consensus will apply when no other aspirant signifies interest (i.e., through the purchase of nomination forms) for the position in question.”

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