APC Chieftain Says 2019 Primaries Worst Ever Conducted

The National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress, Inuwa Abdulkadir, has said that 2019 primary elections were the worst ever conducted in the history of primary elections in the country.

In an exclusive interview with Punch, Abdulkadir, who spoke on the crisis of confidence within the party’s National Working Committee said some people are determined to destroy the party structure.

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“The issue is this: Do we run an institution which the All Progressives Congress has become in an arbitrary manner; in a constitutional democracy? The simple answer is no. We are in the 21st century. So, my worry about what is happening in the party is that some people are bent on using all means to destroy this very new edifice that was used in winning two general elections back to back.

“All those who are keen observers of events in the last one year when the current leadership of our party emerged will know that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way and manner the party is being managed. Beginning from the way conflict is being managed and the way and manner decisions are taken.

“The way things are done now is nowhere near what the framers of our constitution envisaged. In party politics like so many other democratic settings where things are done properly, people, especially those in leadership positions, are expected to accommodate divergent opinions and imbibe a culture of inclusiveness. It is expected as an acceptable minimum that inclusiveness forms the basis of the decision-making process on an aggregate level.

“Except, of course, in matters which the constitution expressly provides for or in procedural matters where you must adhere strictly to the letters and spirit of the constitution. There are other things that are daily occurrences that may require the party taking a decision on matters of urgent attention not necessarily those envisaged by the constitution. Even in such matters, consultations, no matter how small, are required. But in a situation whereby the national chairman, to be specific, has constituted himself into the sole administrator of the party, it will mark the beginning of the escalation of whatever problems the party has or is having.

He noted that the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole has a penchant for arbitrariness.

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“And you saw this play out in the primaries preceding the 2019 elections. The chairman’s penchant for arbitrariness is largely responsible for the crisis which led to our losses in states where the party had no reason to lose.

“There were no proper meetings of the National Working Committee. Where there was even a claim of that during the period, what went out to the public as our resolution was at variance with decisions reached at such meetings.

“This is Nigeria’s 20th year of uninterrupted party democratic rule, how party primaries should be conducted is very clear to all and sundry. It is not that different from other political parties. This is so because the Electoral Act largely provides guidance on how primaries should be conducted.

“It is so clear and you are not to do anything to the contrary if you claim to be running a party in accordance with the constitution of the party and the laws of the country.”

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