The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress has picked the direct primary method for the Edo State governorship primaries scheduled for June 22, 2020.
It also granted a waiver to one of the aspirants, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who is believed to be the preferred candidate of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
This, our correspondent gathered, was the outcome of the APC NWC meeting, held at the party’s National Secretariat, in Abuja, on Thursday.
The direct primary involves all registered card carrying members of the party in each local government of the state.
They would vote for an aspirant of their choice while the indirect primary is one in which delegates decide who gets the party’s ticket. There is also an option for consensus.
If an aspirant is adopted by consensus, delegates of the party are expected to vote “Yes” or “No” and a simple majority “Yes” vote guarantees the candidate’s place.
A source, who attended the meeting but asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said, “Yes, we agreed on the direct primary as the method of primary for the Edo State governorship election.”
On the issue of waiver, he said, “One of the aspirants applied for a waiver to enable him to contest in the primaries and it was granted.”
When asked if these decisions were taken at the NWC meeting, the National Vice-Chairman (South South), Hilliard Eta, said, “Yes.”
Asked if a decision was taken on the issue raised in the letter written by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuiabu, was discussed, he said, “It is a non-issue.”
The Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, who was conspicuously absent from the meeting, said he did not attend because the contents of his letter were clear.
He simply said, “I cannot be a part of illegality.”
The former federal lawmaker had taken issue with the method adopted in choosing the party’s acting National Secretary.
According to him, the method was unknown to the APC constitution.
He further pointed out that the “APC constitution provides that party officials at the national level can only be elected at a convention and not by appointment.”
He further argued that since substantive occupants of positions in the NWC, such persons could act in such a capacity in the absence of their principals until such a time an election was held to fill the position.
Recall that The PUNCH had on Monday reported that the party was in quandary over which method of primary to adopt.
The Edo State APC Chairman told our correspondent that based on a 2018 decision of the party’s National Executive Committee, the states decide which method best suited their situation and they would after agreeing send their decision to the NWC for implementation.
Thursday’s NWC meeting which was chaired by Oshiomhole, had in attendance, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the National Secretary, Waziri Bulama, National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibidiro and National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala.
Others include the National Vice-Chairman (North-West), Inuwa Abdulkadir and his counterpart from the South-South, Hilliard Eta.