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Direct primaries: ‘Osinbajo not taking sides with feuding tripartite committee’

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
11 November 2021   |   3:32 am
The Presidency has said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo did not take sides in Tuesday night’s meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Tripartite Committee empanelled ...

[FILES] Osinbajo. Photo/ facebook/professoryemiosinbajo

The Presidency has said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo did not take sides in Tuesday night’s meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Tripartite Committee empanelled to resolve the differences among stakeholders over the National Assembly’s adoption of direct primaries by political parties to elect their candidates for elections. 

Specifically, a meeting, which he presided over at the Banquet Hall of the presidential villa, Abuja, witnessed exchanges between proponents and opponents of the measure now embedded in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly. 

The tripartite committee is made up of the executive, state governors and members of the National Assembly under the platform of the APC.  

A presidency source disclosed yesterday that while the exchanges were on, Osinbajo only played the role of a moderator on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, just as he never sought to impose his views on either side. 

The meeting was divided between APC leaders and state governors on one hand who argued that direct primary would be impracticable, and APC caucus in the National Assembly on the other hand, who accused the governors of high handedness. 

The source said: “Going into the meeting, everyone knew the matter was now in the President’s hand. The Vice President was playing the role of moderator on behalf of the President. So he took no sides but insisted on unity and concord and that party must always engage actively within itself while ensuring internal democracy. 

“The Vice President ended the meeting only when everyone had been given a fair chance to ventilate.” Recall that the stakeholders on Tuesday failed to agree on the use of direct primaries by parties to select their candidates. Party leaders and state governors were unable to convince members of the National Assembly on the need to provide alternative for the direct primary option. 

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