The All Progressives Congress (APC) is conducting statewide primaries to choose its governorship candidates in 27 states this Sunday. Today will bring a verdict for hundreds of political gladiators who have been lobbying to get the party’s priced ticket to be candidates in the 2019 governorship election, which is part of the general election scheduled for February.
Due to widespread division amongst aspirants in several states over issues ranging from to zoning to potential imposition of candidates by some so-called godfathers, the party at the national level decided to adopt a flexible mode in conducting its primaries this year.
The adoption of direct and indirect primaries was the immediate solution the party could come up with. Although the party acknowledges its approach may not be perfect, the two options would go a long way in mitigating post-primaries crises that often characterise Nigerian elections.
The APC looked into existing disagreements at each of the 37 state chapters (including Abuja) and recommended either direct or indirect method, depending on which has a better likelihood of keeping members united after primaries.
The direct mode means individuals who have APC membership card would go to the primaries ground and elect who they want to be the party’s candidate. This exercise is seen as more transparent and inclusive because it gives members a say on who should be their party’s choice.
In indirect exercise, some individuals who have attained the position of delegates in party structure would choose the candidate. This method has been widely criticised for being too monetised over the years. Delegates are known to collect huge amount of cash from aspirants, sometimes at convention grounds, to elect a candidate, with the most lavish often emerging victorious.
While direct primaries could be considered cumbersome and time-consuming, the method is less prone to manipulation than indirect primaries, and all members share responsibility in the quality of leadership of whomever gets the party’s ticket.
Eighteen states are conducting indirect primaries today, while the remaining nine opted for the direct method.