– President Muhammadu Buhari is in total su[pory of the direct primaries proposed by APC’s national chairman
– Sources said that the Bauchi, Katsina bye-elections were used as pilot test for the direct primaries – According to the sources, the president was disturbed over the role of money as a key player in the Ekiti governorship election Major reasons President Muhammadu Buhari has given his total support to the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on the direct primaries for choosing candidates ahead of the 2019 elections have been revealed. A source close to the president said the party adopted the direct primaries after it was convinced that the process would check money politics and help the party choose a popular candidate for the various elections. Vanguard reports that President Buhari opted for the direct primaries as a direct response to the conduct of APC governorship primaries in Ekiti state where the whole election process was clearly monitised. Sources said President Buhari was upset by complaints that the former leadership of the APC, allegedly allowed aspirants to be exploited.
The source said: “The issue of direct primaries in the APC was welcomed by President Muhammadu Buhari after he heard that delegates in the party, in Ekiti State, collected over N1.5 million each from aspirants during the last governorship primaries.”
“It was learned that the president was very angry with some officials of the party for allowing people to be exploited because of their ambitions and vowed to end money politics in APC. “Therefore, he opted for direct primaries to eliminate money politics in the internal affairs of the party, as regards nomination of candidates, who will fly the flag of the party,” the source said. A source said the president’s adoption of the process is to ensure that money would not play key role in the emergence of candidates during election. It was also gathered that the Bauchi, Katsina Bye-election and the Osun state governorship primaries were used as an experiment of the process of direct primaries.
According to the source, none of the aspirants who lost wrote any petition to the national secretariat a confirmation that the direct primaries was the best for the ruling party. He however noted that some governors who know they may not be favoured by the approach are already kicking against it. “The President was particularly shocked at the comments being made by some governors and National Assembly members, particularly those who defected from the party, regarding how they all came to power. It is generally believed that Buhari’s popularity catapulted majority of the National Assembly members in the North and some of their governors to power in 2015,” a source said.
“Unfortunately, some of them later betrayed the President, claiming that their personalities made them, who they are today and not Buhari. “So the President and some of those in his inner cabinet believe that this is the time to test their popularity. Buhari felt betrayed with the utterances and actions of some of the politicians in his party and he has moved to clean up the party using a man who has seen it all as a former labour leader in Nigeria, two-time governor of Edo State and now National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to push for direct primaries. “Fortunately for Mr. President, Oshiomhole who inherited so much crisis in the party, believed that direct primaries could be one of the strategies needed to return the party back to the people. He believes very strongly that when a popular candidate emerges, it is always easy for the party to win the election.
“He experimented with Bauchi bye-election Katsina bye-elections and the Osun State governorship primaries. In these primaries none of the aspirants, who lost wrote any petition to the National Secretariat because they knew they lost genuinely. Again, as governor of Edo State, Oshiomhole defeated PDP god fathers and he is one person, who would not want to breed another set of god fathers in APC. Therefore, direct primaries were the answer for him, whereby no political structure but the peoples’ might will throw up any candidate,” the source noted. Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a former governor of Kano state, Ibrahim Shekarau, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling APC. Shekarau announced his decision to join the ruling party after a closed-door meeting with Oshiomhole. it was gathered that the closed-door meeting was held on Friday, September 7, in Kano state. Also Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and other top party officials were also at the meeting.