APC governors, legislators in crucial meeting over 2015
by Dapo Falade - Abuja
GOVERNORS on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as members of the party in the National Assembly on Friday held a crucial meeting at the Lagos Lodge, Abuja.
Though details of the meeting, which was still on as at press time, were not known, a party source told Saturday Tribune that it was to deliberate on mattes connected with preparations for the party’s national convention.
It was also gathered that the meeting would set modalities for the party’s national executive meeting, where members are expected to reach a conclusion on the mode of primary to adopt in picking the candidates for the 2015 general election, especially the presidential election.
As at press time, the party’s leadership was awaiting the arrival of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, who, as the APC Deputy National Chairman, was expected to chair the meeting, as well as Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and some other caucus leaders.
The newly-registered political party, comprising the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), is said to be battling with a fresh crisis over the choice of candidates for the various elective offices in the forthcoming election.
The leadership of the party is said to be confronted with either adopting the party primary method of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or opting for equal representation of delegates across the states.
A party source disclosed that adopting the PDP style of primary could lead to a situation whereby the APC-controlled states would have more delegates than in states where it is not in control.
This mode of primary, according to the source, will result in all members of state executives, state legislators and preferably special advisers to governors, becoming special delegates to the national convention of the party.
States not under the control of the party will invariably have as delegates only members of the executives of the party, which means that the affected states will have fewer delegates than the APC-controlled states.
It was further gathered that this mode of party primary, if adopted, would favour the members of former ACN who control the South-West, as well as loyalists of national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, thereby giving them an undue advantage at the national convention of the party.
The second option available to the party, according to the source, is for its leadership to adopt equal representation of delegates in all the states so as not to put at disadvantage any state in the selection of the party’s candidate.
The sources hinted that the second option may favour the camp of former presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari; and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Malam Nasir el-Rufai, who is APC Interim National Secretary.
A report has it that Buhari has threatened to pull out of the merger arrangement if it is discovered that the choice of candidates for the elective offices in the forthcoming general election is skewed in favour of a particular caucus in the party.