As the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) meets on the modalities for the conduct of the party’s governorship primary election in Osun on Thursday July 19, stakeholders in the state have urged the party to select men (and women) of integrity into the state’s convention committee and adopt direct primary method of election.
Speaking separately to the media in Osogbo, on Saturday, the convener of a non-governmental organisation, Osun Progressives Platform (OPP), Comrade Wale Adebisi, urged the NWC to select its candidate for the September 22, 2018 governorship election directly through its registered members in order to bring inclusiveness and real democratic representation.
According to Comrade Adebisi who is also the Director of Ola Oni Centre for Social Research, in Osogbo, “APC needs to deepen democracy and inclusion of all its members in taking such important decisions like the choosing of its candidate in the coming governorship election.
“The era of a few party delegates or even fewer party leaders handpicking and anointing a candidate should be done away with. A candidate that emerged from the popular and direct election in which all card-carrying members vote is the most democratic method. This will make all the party’s members vote massively for such candidate and even work for him or her enthusiastically at the election proper.
At any rate, there are no delegates on ground, elected for the purpose of selecting the party’s candidate for the 2018 governorship election. It will amount to abuse of democracy to just corral some members of the party into primary election delegates”, he warned.
Speaking in the same vein, Comrade Damola Olayinka, the Director of Publicity for Justice Now Foundation, another Non Governmental Organisation in Osogbo, speaking on behalf of the organisation, admonished the leadership of APC to select people of proven integrity to conduct the primary, not those who will come to perpetrate a hidden agenda. He also lent his weight behind direct primary as the method of selecting the governorship candidate of the party.
“It is crucial for the National Working Committee (NWC) to get the composition of the committee and the method of primary election right.
“The last primary election for the selection of the party’s candidate to fill the vacancy created with the death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke in Osun West Senatorial District ended in a fiasco. The committee that came to conduct the primary was partisan and patently biased. This gave a wrong impression to the voters and contributed significantly to the loss of the party to PDP in the Senatorial election.
“It is equally important for the APC to use direct primary method. All card carrying members of the party should be given the opportunity to decide the party’s candidate in the forthcoming election. The method of indirect primary through the conclave of a few is undemocratic and subject to abuse”, he said.
Also, Comrade Amitolu Shittu who is the chairman of De Raufs, a non-governmental social and political grassroots movement in Osun warned the APC National Working Committee (NWC) of the danger of not selecting its governorship candidate through direct primary. He is of the opinion that indirect primary is undemocratic, corrupt and subject to abuse.
“APC should select its governorship candidate through direct primary. This is the method mostly in use in the United States where we learnt democracy and presidential system of government.
“We saw what happened in Ekiti where indirect primary brought chaos and put the party in bad light. It is subject to corruption, extortion and undue influence.
“Whereas, in a direct election by all the card-carrying members of the party, every member will have a sense of belonging by being part of selecting who flies the party’s flag. The NWC should therefore jettison any idea of indirect primary, but should embrace direct primary for a fair and democratic primary”, he stated.