Daily Trust

Direct primaries: Shehu Sani leads Kaduna APC aspirants to party headquarters

The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani, on Tuesday led other aspirants for various offices from Kaduna State, including a governorship aspirant to present a petition to the national leadership of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to lobby for the use of direct primary.

Senator Sani, who said the use of direct primary was the only way to show support for the President’s fight against corruption, added that the proponents of indirect primary for the nomination of candidates for the various offices ahead of the general elections were pursuing an agenda that was at variance to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to fight graft.

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The lawmaker faulted the argument about security concern as purportedly adduced by the governor of Kaduna State in his opposition to direct primary, warning that violence might be orchestrated during the primary to justify opposition to such mode of election.

Sani said indirect primaries that produced the current ward, local government and state executive of the party was still being challenged in court.

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The petition reads: “We the aspirants and stakeholders of the Kaduna state Chapter of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) present our best compliments to you and wish by this letter to inform Your Excellency of our collective decision to adopt DIRECT PRIMARIES as the preferred mode of nominating candidates at primary elections into all elective positions in the state.

“Your Excellency, as all keen observers of the politics of Kaduna State know, there have, over the past three or so years, been a significant amount of disquiet in the camp of the APC. A disturbing level of apathy and anomie now pervades the party as a result of the profound sense of marginalisation and, in some cases, outright exclusion which is experienced by many critical stakeholders as well as members of the party.

“The Delegate System, otherwise called Indirect Primaries will rely on the whims and caprices of the few that now control the party after emerging from ward, local government and state congresses that have been widely rejected by party members as a sham.

“Hundreds of party members who bought forms with a view to vying for various wards, local governments and state party executive positions were deliberately excluded from the process and in some instances even intentionally blocked from submitting their forms nor were they even consulted ahead of the so-called processes of affirmation of officials of the party.

“Instead, the names of all party executives were single handedly written by the Governor. That alienated many of our party members and caused mass exodus from the party.

“These selected party executives under the tyrannical hold of the Governor have been complying only with his (the Governor’s) biddings, limiting access, communication and association to only those candidates in the favoured book of the Governor.

“A great number of members of the party executives have been appointed to serve as campaign coordinators of the Governor’s preferred candidates at various levels, while those deemed to be sympathetic to the cause of the people other than the Governor have been shown the way out.

“Majority of the members of our party, armed with facts that are stark and incontrovertible, are now in court seeking judgements that would, from all indications, set aside these sham congresses.

“And since it is a trite legal dictum that you cannot build something on an illegality, it means that for Kaduna State at least, the indirect primaries system relying as it would on these bogus congresses is Dead on Arrival (DoA).

“It would have come to your notice Your Excellency that the proponents of Indirect Primaries in the state, particularly the Governor and his cohort, rely on the excuse that the current security situation in the state makes direct primaries impracticable and risky.

“This argument is not nearly as clever as it should be considering that it outrightly contradicts claims by the same Governor that Kaduna State has been made secured.

“Besides, the argument flies in the face of logic because if security challenges are sufficient ground not to adopt and conduct Direct Primaries, then it follows that the 2019 general election ought not to hold at all.

“If anything therefore, we use this opportunity to forewarn of the possibility that violence may be fermented by the governor and his hatchet men to undermine the conduct of free, fair credible direct primaries in the state.

“Your Excellency, we the undersigned are particularly in opposition to Indirect Primaries because of the weakening effects of its corruptive tendencies. The entire process begins and ends with vote buying.

“And, as it is always the case where the will of the general electorates are subverted, the best candidates for the tasks at hand never get recruited. it is our humble opinion that the forthcoming 2019 general election is too crucial for the APC, and Kaduna State too strategic, for us to confront the array of near formidable candidates of the opposition with anything less than our very best candidates.

“Indirect Primaries stand as direct antithesis to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption at all levels. Our party, having touted the change mantra must shine the light into those dark places in our electoral system where the corruptive influence of ill-gotten wealth is used to subvert the will of the electorate and perpetrate the vicious circle of corruption, bad governance and weak and dysfunctional institutions and processes.

“In all, Your Excellency, we see our decision to adopt Direct Primaries in Kaduna State as the panacea to the current deep fault lines and obstacles to building a strong virile, people-rooted APC. Direct Primaries is the most assured means of throwing up the most popular candidates that will deliver Kaduna State for the APC come 2019,

“As we respectfully look forward to your kind support for our decision we ask, You Excellency, that you please accept the assurance of our highest regards.”

Signatories to the petition include Senator Shehu Sani, Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Mohammed Sani Saleh, Senatorial Aspirant Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Alhaji Aliyu Silver, Senatorial Aspirant Kaduna North Senatorial District, Hon. Shamsuddeen Shehu Giwa Senatorial Aspirant Kaduna Central Senatorial District and Hon. Rufai Chanchangi Member Representing Kaduna South Federal Constituency.

Others are Bar. Mohammed Musa Soba Member Representing Soba Federal Constituency, Sir Jalal Falal, a governorship Gubernatorial Aspirant, Hon. Usman Ibrahim (Sardaunan Badarawa) Senatorial Aspirant Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Hon. Hassan Samdi Aspirant Kaduna North Federal Constituency, Hon. Umar Isa Aspirant Kaduna South Federal Constituency, Hon. Aminu Sa’ad Aminchi Aspirant Kaduna South Federal Constituency, Hon. Yusuf Ali (Raba Gardama) Aspirant Kaduna South Federal Constituency, CP. Sani Magaji Aspirant Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency, Hon. Rufai Surajo, Aspirant Kaduna North Federal Constituency and Hon. Sani Abdul Doka/Gabasawa Constituency.