By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja – Governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have promised to support the party’s leadership to ensure free and transparent primary elections to elect the party’s candidates for the 2019 general elections.
Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, made the promise while speaking with newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting of the governors held in Abuja.
The meeting discussed the mode of primaries to be adopted to pick the party’s candidates for all elective offices for the 2019 general elections.
Okorocha, however, said that most of the APC-controlled states had resolved to adopt indirect primaries to pick the party’s candidates,assuring that all aspirants would be given equal opportunity.
“We have adopted both direct and indirect primaries, and most of the states are going for indirect primaries, but for the President, it is going to be direct primaries.
“We just held a meeting with the party’s National Chairman and we have resolved that in support of the party, we are going to have free and fair primaries.
“Everybody will be given equal chance to participate in the primaries which will be transparent, free and fair,” he said.
Okorocha assured that both the Progressive Governors Forum and the APC National Working Committee(NEC) were working to ensure victory for the party in the 2019 general elections.
Also speaking, Gov. Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State, explained that it was not possible for all the party members to agree on a particular mode of primaries.
He said there would always be some that would disagree, but that the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) was that if majority of the State Executive Committee members decided on any mode of primaries, they should go head; it would not matter if one or two members disagreed.
“And in Kaduna State where I am the Governor by the grace of God, the majority of the State Executive Committee members decided on indirect primaries. If one or two members don’t agree, that’s off, that is not the decision of NEC,”he said.
Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, stressed that the task before the party ahead of 2019 general elections was clear.
“We have a tradition as a progressive party to submit ourselves to the dictates of our party and we believe in internal democracy because we are democrats and democracy must begin from within the house before we can do it outside.
“All of us, Governors, National Working Committee and even the President, agreed that this is the way to go and that is what we are going to do,” Oshiomhole said.
Speaking on the alleged crises in the APC, Lagos State chapter, Gov. Ambode and the party’s National leader,Bola Tinubu, Oshiomhole said the state was at peace.
“I think our party in Lagos is at peace, there are conversations going on at the ward level across the 8,500 wards or there about and across the country.
“Conversations are going on within the APC family,conversations are going on in each of the 774 Local Governments and across the country.
“Our party members are negotiating, they are persuading, they are doing compromises, and they are competing, because we are progressing,”he said.
He maintained that across the 36 states of the federation and at the federal level,activities in the APC were at their peak.