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Reprieve For Ambode As APC NEC Relaxes Direct Primary Rule


Reprieve came last night for the Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode over the decision of the state’s All Progressive Congress to adopt the direct primary mode to determine who picks the party’s ticket for  the gubernatorial and other elections due to hold in the state next year.
There have been apprehension among loyalists of the governor that the adoption of the direct primary mode was targeted at downplaying the chances of the incumbent governor from picking the ticket to seek a second term in office.
  Succour came  for the  governor and other aspirants so affected yesterday however, when the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress retained the direct primary method only for the selection of its presidential candidate.
The sitting however agreed that states should adopt the indirect primary system for their governorship and other elections,even as it was also agreed  that any state that prefers the direct primary mode can do so or adopt any mode of primary that best suits their peculiarities from among the methods specified in the party’s constitution provided it is approved by the national secretariat.
The party  maintained  that states that would adopt the direct primary method should notify the national secretariat in writing before doing so.
This was part of the resolutions reached by the party’s second highest decision-making body after its NEC meeting in Abuja yesterday.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who briefed the media after the meeting, noted that the party’s constitution provides for direct, indirect and consensus as methods through which candidates can emerge.
He said, “The constitution of the party provides for either direct, indirect or consensus but for the presidential election we all agreed that we will adopt direct primaries.
“Also a recommendation was made by the National Working Committee that the other states should adopt the indirect mode but there may be situations that this might be a difficulty in the state looking at their peculiarities. So, if there are such difficulties they can apply following the process.”
While responding to a question on whether the issue of automatic tickets was discussed, he said, “We didn’t discuss the issue of automatic ticket. But we discussed that yes, patriotic and loyal members should be rewarded but not necessarily with automatic ticket.  We are saying some senators, our senators who are patriotic, who are supposed to be taken away were all kept in the party.
“So, all states should look at and then we will find ways of rewarding them. But election is giving option for everybody to contest elections”
-Femi Adepoju.

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