The Adamawa state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) is headed for crisis as stakeholders and governorship aspirants on the Platform of the party have rejected indirect primary as agreed by the Governor, Jibrilla Bindow.
This is as Ibrahim Bilal, state Chairman APC had announced the resolution of the party to adopt Bindow as thebcandidate for the 2019 governorship election.
Bilal described all others aspiring to challenge the Governor’s seat, as mere jesters.
The Chairman dropped the bombshell Saturday afternoon at the party’s secretariat barely five days after he assured Buhari’s In-law, Mahmood Halilu Ahmed, better known as Modi, of a level playing field.
However, the stakeholders led by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal have warned that any attempt to foist the indirect primary option on the party in the state may cause it the 2019 governorship election.
The stakeholders including Dr. Mahmud Halilu, believed to be brother to the Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari and former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu told a news conference in Abuja at the weekend that only primaries conducted through direct option will be acceptable to the generality of members of the party in the state.
The former SGF who spoke on behalf of the stakeholders said that as a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, there is no way a proper stakeholders meeting can be held in the state without being invited, adding that the meeting which endorsed indirect primary for the state was secretly called and held inside the government house.
He reminded leaders of the party at all level of a pending appeal against the conduct of the congresses that brought the current leaders to office in the state, adding that any primary conducted by such a group will be null and void.
Lawal said: “Further to our press conference of 27th April 2018 on APC elective congresses, we are constrained to once again express our total rejection to the Indirect Primaries being concocted by Adamawa State Government and their cohorts.
“You will recall that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party APC has adopted the Direct Primaries for the nomination of candidates for the 2019 general elections. We hereby commend our dear National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomole and members of the NEC of our Party for the progressive landmark decision which is also in accordance with the yearnings and aspirations of the members and the general public and the need to strengthen our internal democracy.
“For a long time especially in the days building up to the current political activities, otherwise key and respectable stakeholders in the Party have been increasingly marginalized and party activities and processes carried out more and more shrouded in secrecy to exclude legitimate interests.
“This policy of exclusion came to a head with the purported meeting of the State Executive Committee convened at the Government House on Monday, September 3, 2018, where Indirect Primary was allegedly adopted as mode of electing party flag bearers.
“That meeting was convened secretly and thus, we the undersigned aspirants, statutory delegates and critical stakeholders were kept in the dark and were not invited. It was therefore a meeting of like minds, persons who are prepared to perpetuate illegality to satisfy the whims of a single individual who has totally lost out in popularity and integrity.
“We, as aspirants, statutory delegates and stakeholders want to unequivocally dissociate ourselves from the purported resolution which was done in bad faith and is bound to affect the image and chances of our great Paty in the forthcoming elections.
“The larger majority of the APC family in Adamawa received the news of the adoption of Direct Primaries by NEC of the Party with pleasure and enthusiasm. Our members are pleased that they are going to help the Party in nominating credible, acceptable and marketable candidates to fly the Party’s flag. We, therefore, cannot allow unpopular persons who are afraid of voters to change the rule of the game.
“It is equally necessary to remind all the parties concerned of the pendency of an appeal filed in respect of the outcome of the ward, local government and state congresses in Adamawa state in May, 2018. Step taken to over reach or disregard the legal processes may result in the nullification of whatever the outcome sooner than later.
“The focus of our APC government on integrity exemplified by transparency, accountability and total eradication of corrupt practices should have no room for Indirect Primaries.
“It is in his commitment to the culture of probity and accountability that President Muhammadu Buhari opted for Direct Primaries. As we stated in our letter to our dear National Chairman NEC, we affirm support for Direct Primaries based on our firm belief that encapsulates the following among other merit.
“Direct Primaries is an inclusive way of deciding who flies the party flag with all bona fide members of the party having a chance to make their choice. It gives meaning to membership of the party as followers are included in taking vital decisions like who represents their party in the general elections.
“Democracy differs from feudalism. It is by popular definition a means of governance by the people and for the people. Making contests open and transparent, with everybody having a say, as in Direct Primaries, is a true expression of democratic values which the APC strives to uphold.
“Because Direct Primaries happen at different places at the same time, it enables peace and tranquility, as well as orderly conduct by all involved in the process.
“The Indirect Primary (delegate system) is long discredited for wanton use of money and sheer corruption. With a notice of pending appeal already served on the Party and seven others, Indirect Primaries is not an option at all.
“To cap it all, in his wisdom and culture of ethics and uprightness, President Muhammadu Buhari chose to have the Presidential Primaries in direct form, and wonder why anyone else, with even smaller constituency would oppose the popular choice of the people and that of our dear President.
“We also want to assure the Chairman, and by extension the National Secretariat, that Adamawa State is fit and ready for Direct Primaries. There is the needed tranquility and peace to guarantee peaceful election all over the state.
“It amuses us, and all those who care to ponder, that the same persons who claimed to have conducted congresses in all wards of the state will now change overnight to make a case against Direct Primaries because of alleged insecurity.
“The exclusion of well-meaning members of our party like us did not start today, or with the purported stakeholders meeting of September 3. Long before now, the Party and its affairs are skewed to exclude persons considered as threats to the ambition of some individuals.
“We and our supporters were completely shut out of the congresses at all levels in the state in May this year. Forms were hoarded by State Party officials and our supporters only managed to purchase forms after we protested to the National Headquarters and an extension was granted to accommodate us. Yet, the process was still hijacked and committees sent to conduct those congresses were either bought over or hijacked to do the bidding of the state government.
“Some of us have written letters to draw attention to this plight and reject outcome of the so called congresses, but were shockingly ignored by the party, thus the concerned parties decided to go to court to protest the clear fraud perpetrated in the name of congresses.
“We therefore feel there is no legitimacy for a set of people whose purported election is still being challenged before the courts to be allowed to conduct or participate in the primaries. Rather, the process should be opened up and thrown at all Party members to take decisions in who they want to fly the party’s flag.
“We once again assure our great Party of our total support and loyalty to its progressive leadership while firmly hoping that the right thing will be done.”
Those who attended the briefing include Engineer Babachir D. Lawal, Senator Ahmed Abubakar Mo’Allayid, Senator Abubakar Halilu Girei mni, Senator Bello Tukur, Engineer Marcus Gundiri mni, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu mni, Sadiq Muhammed (Walin Ganye), Dr. Mahmoud Halilu.