Politics

OPINION: Ondo APC Primaries, Indirect Or Direct

By Moyo Odunlami

Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences. This means that when a person is truly convinced of his intentions and knows with all honesty that he is the right man for a job, he is not afraid of honest results and resolutions. This should be the policy and position of every candidate vying for the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial ticket at the party’s primaries.

Four years ago, indirect primaries were used to select the sitting governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN and it divided the party in ways many can still not fathom.

With another election around the corner and the party yet to recover from that bad decision, the fear is again imminent that the party would choose the indirect primaries to select a candidate.

The last chairman of the party in Ondo, Isaacs Kekemeke had insisted that the best way forward was for every member of the party to have a say in determining who the flag bearer of the party is.

On Thursday, July 9, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published on its website that the APC had adopted indirect mode for the governorship primary, 11 of the 12 governorship aspirants reacted and preached against it. They said in a joint statement, “Having interfaced with party members as aspirants, we can confidently inform you that the overwhelming majority of our party members prefer direct primary for the nomination of the party’s candidate for the 2020 governorship election.

“It is our position that adopting indirect primary election in Ondo State, given the prevailing mood and circumstances is hazardous and result in litigation which will not help our party.

“We most humbly insist that direct primary be adopted as was peacefully utilised in Edo, Osun, Lagos, Oyo and Ogun States.”

Even though the 2010 Electoral Act allows for either direct or indirect primaries, the truth remains that it is a fallible process of choosing a candidate, and many times this flaw becomes apparent in governance.

A truly worthy candidate should and cannot be afraid of the results of a direct primary as the choice of indirect primaries makes it easier to manipulate party leaders and delegates.

Indirect primaries in Ondo again is a recipe for disaster and may even be the final nail on the APC Ondo’s coffin.

Already, party members in several quarters are of the position that if direct primary is not used for a popular candidate to emerge in Ondo APC, many would decamp to other parties and cause a fatal blow to the reputation of the chosen candidate and the party itself.

Indirect primary is a relic, a mark of anti-democratic leanings that many are trying to get rid of. If a candidate is truly popular and worthy of a party’s gubernatorial ticket, why should such a candidate be afraid of direct primaries? If anything, it should be a confirmation of the emerging candidate’s esteem.
-Moyo writes from Alagbaka, Akure

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