Primaries: APC proposes N55 million and N22 million for Presidential and Guber forms
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has proposed N55 million for the nomination and expression of interest forms for its presidential ticket. Also, the national leadership of the ruling party proposed N22.5 million for its governorship ticket. However, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party has rejected the proposals, as the NWC was asked to go and review the proposition downward. In the proposal, the nomination form for the presidency costs N50 million, while the expression of interest form goes for N5 million. For the governorship ticket of the party, the nomination fee costs N20 million, while the expression of interest form cost N2.5 million. Also, other nomination and expression of interest forms for elective offices were reviewed upward.
For the Senate, the party proposed N7.5 million for nomination form and N1 million for expression of interest form whereas the nomination form was bought for N3 million and expression of interest form for N300,000 in 2014. In the proposal, the party’s NWC recommended N3.5 million for the nomination form and N350,000 for expression of interest form for the House of Representatives. In 2014, aspirants purchased same for N2 million and N200,000 respectively. For House of Assembly, the NWC proposed N1 million for nomination form and N100,000 for expression of interest form unlike in 2014 when the forms were bought for N500,000 and N50,000 respectively. In 2014, the nomination and expression of interest forms for the presidential ticket was N27.5 million, while that of governorship was N5.5 million. Speaking with journalists after the 6th NEC meeting in Abuja yesterday, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau said that the NWC was asked to go and review the fee downward. Lalong also said the APC has adopted direct primary for the selection of its presidential candidate for the 2019 election. The party also opted for a flexible method for the conduct of its primaries for the states for the selection of its governorship, senatorial and other elective positions.
These were the positions of the party after NEC. President Muhammadu Buhari, so far, is the only aspirant that has signified interest in the party’s presidential ticket. The direct primary is likely to be a mere formality for President Muhammadu Buhari on September 19. Briefing journalists after the meeting, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, said that the NEC resolved that the National Working Committee (NWC) should fix the cost of the nomination forms. The meeting, that started by 11:20a.m. when President Muhammdu Buhari arrived, ended at 3:30p.m. The President left midway into the meeting, leaving the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo behind.
The governor stated that the N21 million proposed by the NWC for the nomination forms was not agreed to by all NEC members, as the NWC members were asked to go back and review the opinion of NEC on the matter. Lalong said: “About two or three things were discussed. First, the document on the guidelines for the election; the mode of elections and, of course, the mode of funding and the necessity for unity within the party after the gale of defections. “On the issue of defection, the party unanimously agreed that it was not affected us much, but has tightened the party more. “On the mode of election, we all agreed that for presidential election, we are going for direct primaries, but for other elections, there are two options. But the general option is that we go for indirect primary
. “But any state that has a problem and wants to deviate from that is at liberty to write following the normal process with a resolution from their state executive seeking approval for a deviation from the agreed process. “In the sequence of election, it was directed back to the NWC to look at the comments that were made and within those comments, address them in line with the Electoral Act and bring out a timetable for the sequence of election. The NEC has been given that power.” Lalong added: “On the issue of funding, a standing Committee was set to look at the proper funding for party generally.
The constitution of the party provides for either direct or indirect primaries or consensus. But for the presidential election, we all agreed to adopt the direct option. “Also, a recommendation was made by NWC which was accepted that all the states should adopt the indirect mode of election. But there may be circumstances where it may be difficult in some of the states, looking at their peculiarities. “If there are such difficulties, the state will now apply following due process after their stakeholders’ agreement, signed and adopted by simple majority of the party and the state executive, which will now be sent to the NWC for approval.”
On automatic ticket for governors and legislators, he said: “We didn’t discuss the issue of automatic ticket. But we discussed that patriotic and loyal members should be rewarded, but not necessarily with automatic tickets. “Some of our senators who are patriotic who were supposed to be taken away were all kept. We asked all the states to look at it and we find a way to reward them. But for the election, the option is given to everybody to face election. So, there was nothing like automatic ticket for anybody. “We debated the cost of nomination and left it to the NWC to take into consideration some of the views expressed and come out with a reasonable figure. Any figure they bring out will be acceptable and we don’t need to come back to NEC to ratify it.” In attendance at the meeting were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, state governors, National Assembly members, NWC and NEC members.