Ondo: Bello Asks 11 Aspirants To Obey Party’s Choice On Indirect Primary
The Chairman, Ondo State All Progressives Congress Governorship Primary Committee, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, has urged 11 opposing aspirants to obey the party’s choice on indirect primary mode.
Bello said the party acted within its constitutionally guaranteed rights to settle for the indirect mode of primary slated for Monday.
He said this while responding to questions from journalists after the inauguration of the election committee by the Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, in Abuja, on Friday.
The governor said, “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 choose 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 APC and ratified by the National Executive Committee of our great party in the last meeting. So we are going for an indirect primary.
“The responsibility before me now is to go and conduct a free, fair and credible primary election for whoever is going to be the candidate of our party and I shall restrict myself to that, which means I will be guided by the constitution of our party, the guidelines and all the laws that support the primary election.”
Bello said no aspirant had the right to dictate the mode of primary to be adopted by the party.
He said, “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 the rules of engagement. We follow laid-down rules and regulations of the party.
“As a member, we should abide by the rules and regulations of 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.”
Earlier, while inaugurating the committee, the APC National Caretaker Chairman, Buni, said the party was being repositioned.
He said on assumption of office three weeks ago, “We have painstakingly taken some deliberate measures of true reconciliation and consultations to foster unity and strengthen the party.
“The party is also carefully avoiding issues with the tendency of creating disaffection, animosity and division to reignite a fresh crisis within its fold.
“As a party with great respect for internal democracy, we must appreciate and honour the popular choice for us to have a marketable candidate to be presented to the electorate during the election.
“There is no doubt; we are committed to renewing the mandate from the good people of Ondo State. I wish to caution our aspirants to respect the rules governing the party primary.”
The mode of the primary has been a controversial issue.
Eleven of the 12 aspirants rejected the indirect mode announced on the website of the Independent National Electoral Commission a week ago.