The Kaduna State chapter of the APC has disclosed that indirect primaries would be the process used to select the candidates for the 2019 general elections. The party headquarters had earlier advised that direct primaries be used to pick candidates for all positions but Niger, Kaduna, Imo, Katsina and Rivers state chapters of the ruling party have decided to adopt indirect primaries.
The Kaduna State Executive committee of the APC had a meeting on Wednesday and communicated the decision to the party headquarters in Abuja. The chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the APC, Air Commodre Emmanuel Jekada (RTD) said that “It’s in line with the above that the Kaduna working committee wishes to states that the Kaduna SEC adopted indirect Primary’ as the mode of conduct of the party primary elections in the state,”
Air Commodre Jekada further explained that the direct primaries could not be used in Kaduna state for several reasons. One major reason why direct primaries may fail includes the inability to produce a comprehensive register for all members of the APC in Kaduna state. The direct primaries can easily be hijacked and manipulated by other individuals that are not bonafide members of the APC.
“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.”
“Experience of Direct Primaries from the recently concluded primary elections for councillorship in the state where the party adopted direct primaries to select its candidates was marred by significant disruption and controversy and overstretched the security agencies. Using this mode for the upcoming primary elections would definitely not produce the desired results and its credibility may be called to question.”
“The direct primary method would result in significant logistic challenges for the party; with party membership running into hundreds of thousands in the state, printing of ballots, deployment of election materials, accreditation, voting, collation and declaration of results would be very expensive with financial cost surpassing a billion naira in Kaduna alone. These are costs that the party may not be able to shoulder in view of the fact that it was not envisaged, and no budget provision has been made for it.”
“In order to deepen and broaden the democratic practice, the party looks forward to the adoption of direct primaries in future elections at which time the limitations listed above would have been resolved.”
Earlier this week, a faction of the aspirants in the Kaduna APC wrote a letter to the party headquarters opposing indirect primaries. They cited several reasons for preferring direct primaries.