Major stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abia State, on Wednesday, adopted direct primaries for all its aspirants jostling for elective positions in the upcoming 2019 general election.
After series of consultations during the meeting that was chaired by the APC chairman in the state, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa, the state secretary of the party, Barrister Perfect Okorie, called for a motion for adoption of method for the selection of candidates.
Chief Friday Nwosu, a governorship aspirant from Obingwa local government area of the state moved a motion for adoption of direct primaries, while a former speaker of the Abia House of Assembly and a governorship aspirant, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike from Isiala Ngwa north local government area seconded the motion with all stakeholders lauding.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the enlarged meeting of critical stakeholders of APC, Nwankpa disclosed that the party stakeholders adopted direct primaries to enable members freely choose who to fly APC flags ahead of the 2019 poll.
He said, “For the purpose of aligning with the grassroots, the members of the party will choose those who will fly their flag. We have refused to allow few persons to take the responsibility of determining who will fly the flag of the party.
“We took the decision to also assess the strength of the party in our various localities and wards. We also adopt direct primaries as a test run of seeing how prepare we are, to take over government of Abia state come 2019.
“APC Abia, we have no preferred candidates. There are no anointed aspirants. So for that, we want the people to decide. And one of the reasons a lot of people left other parties to join APC Abia in particular. If you watch, Abia APC is the fastest growing branch of any party, be it PDP, APGA in this state”.
The former Abia lawmaker added that, “if you look at part of the reasons, people were angered by impunity. People were angered by imposition. People were angered in PDP because they were taken for granted. And We don’t want anybody to be taken for granted”.
“If you watch here, we allowed the aspirants to do most of the discussion here. They did most of the debates. They moved the motions and seconded the motions”.
Nwankpa said there was no disagreement among the stakeholders of APC in the state over the direct primaries in electing its flagbearers for the upcoming elections.
He said, “There was nothing like disagreement with the national leadership of our party. The NEC position was clear.
“The NEC was of the opinion that APC primaries can be done through three processes. Direct primaries, indirect primaries and consensus. And states were allowed to take cognizance of the peculiar environment and circumstances.
“So for that, there wasn’t any ambiguity in what happened,” the APC chairman added.dp