Head of All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary Election Committee for Ondo State, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, says the party will conduct indirect primaries in the state on Monday.
Bello said this on Friday at a news conference shorty after the inauguration of his committee at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.
He recalled that the immediate past APC National Working Committee (NWC) had few months ago adopted the indirect mode of primaries for governorship poll in Ondo State.
The governor added that the NWC decision was ratified by the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC)
“On the issue of the mode of primary, this has been settled by the previous NWC and ratified by NEC, which gives the opportunity to the state executive committee to chose the mode of primary that they would want.
“This has been settled. The Ondo Primary election would be conducted via indirect mode.
“This was the option chosen by the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ratified by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party in the last meeting.
“So, we are going for indirect primary,” the governor said.
According to him, the task ahead of us is to go and conduct free and fair primary that all aspirants will be happy with and then join hands together for us to be victorious at the end of the day.
He said that Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger State was mediating among the aspirants to ensure peaceful coexistence and agreement on this mode of primary.
“But let me put it this way, from what I know about party politics, especially in APC, I was once a contestant and I had opponents and from what I have come to realise, it is not within the purview of contestants to choose rules of engagement.
“We follow laid down rules and regulations of the party. As a member, we should abide by the rules and regulations, our party Constitution, the guidelines for the elections, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Electoral Act and every other rule that guides elections.
“So, it is like going into the general elections now and then APC will be dictating to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that this is the rule we want.
“I do not think it sounds very nicely, but I know at the end of the day that every contestant in this election shall be treated fairly and credibly.
“And we shall have a candidate that is going to be acceptable to all the contestants and the people of Ondo State and we shall come out victorious in the general elections,” Gov. Bello said.
Earlier, the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, urged the committee to be fair and just to all aspirants and tasked the contestants to accept the outcome of the primary in good faith.
“The party is once again assuring you that it will remain fair and just to all and, as loyal party members, we expect you to accept the outcome of the primary in good faith.
“You should have control over your supporters against any act that is detrimental to the success of the exercise and, of breach to peace.
“We should strive to build and maintain a united front to once again win the confidence of the people of Ondo State through a transparent process,” Gov Buni said.