APC factions disagree over mode of primaries in Rivers
• Utomi supports direct option in Delta
A faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State loyal to Magnus Abe has rejected indirect primaries, insisting that direct primaries would give members the opportunity to participate in the election.
The factional party Chairman, Peter Odike, made the position in a communiqué issued yesterday in Port Harcourt, after a meeting with the State Executive Committee (SEC) at its office on Aba Road.
Former Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s faction had at the weekend resolved to adopt indirect primaries for electing candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections in the state. Representative of Rivers East senatorial district, Andrew Uchendu and former Leader of the State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, among other executives of the faction had suggested indirect primaries citing lack of data, logistics challenges and insecurity.
Uchendu and Lloyd spoke at the end of its SEC meeting held at the party secretariat in Port Harcourt. However, the Abe’s faction has commended the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) on their resolve to entrench internal and participatory democracy in the party by approving direct primary election.
A former speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, conducted a voice vote to adopt direct primaries at the meeting, after a motion was moved by legal adviser of Rivers APC, Chinweikpe Chieme and seconded by a former lawmaker in the state, Golden Chioma.
The Guardian learnt that about 28 State House of Assembly forms were sold to aspirants at the Odike faction secretariat along Aba-Port Harcourt Road yesterday. Meanwhile, an APC governorship aspirant in Delta State, Prof. Pat Utomi, has faulted the decision of a section of the party in the state to hold indirect primaries for elective positions.
He restated that it would be more reasonable to follow the NEC’s resolution on direct primaries for all elective offices. Speaking through Leonard Obibi, the governorship aspirant said the purported unanimous decision for indirect primaries “neither reflects the position, nor the views of the party’s stakeholders.”
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