Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna-central, has disagreed with the adoption of indirect primary by the Kaduna state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Indirect primary election is when delegates choose the party’s candidate while direct primary is a process where interested members of the party vote for a candidate.
The national executive committee (NEC) of the party had on Friday announced the adoption of indirect primary for all elective positions except that of the president but it later rescinded its decision, clamouring for direct primary for all positions.
This created rancour among members of the ruling party across the country.
In a resolution issued Thursday in Kaduna, Emmanuel Jekada, state chairman of the party, said without a “comprehensive membership register, any direct primaries may be disrupted by non-members, including individuals from other parties who may come up with fake membership cards to cause confusion in the process.”
However, addressing journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre, Kaduna, shortly after the SEC meeting, Sani said while he respects the view of the Kaduna chapter, direct primary will uproot “money politics and godfatherism from the system”.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to override the position of the party’s NEC, saying direct primary will “cast light in the grey areas of transparency”.
“My presence at the Kaduna APC secretariat today is because this is the first time I was invited by the party to attend a meeting since 2015,” Sani said.
“Two days ago, we were at the national secretariat of the party, informing them of our position which is clear and unambiguous that we stand for direct primaries.
“Our support for direct primaries is based on the following factors. First of all the congresses that was organised by the party in the last few months came with a lot of problems where many people were excluded, marginalized and systematically excluded from participation.
“Secondly, there exist litigations with regards to party executives and delegates. Thirdly, we are desirous of having a democratic system that will instil discipline and usher in a new era of politics of principles, ideas and ideals.
“We should not continue to conform to a system that gives credence and value to money politics.
“My view is based on the fact that we should have a system that is credible; that will give each and every Nigerian the opportunity to elect people into office without being subjected to those that have loads of cash.
“But the National Executive Committee has made it very clear. The position of the state chapter is a request and the National Secretariat can decide to grant the request or refuse to grant the request.
“But I respect the position of the state chapter of the party. But I have to give my own views and on that and I hope and believe that the national headquarters of the party will do justice to that.
“If President Buhari can say it openly, succinctly and unambiguously that he stands for direct primaries and many of our members said they are disciples of Buhari, then they should go along with what he prescribed.”