All appears not to be well within the All Progressive Congress as a meeting of the enlarged Tripartite Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve disagreements in the party ended in a stalemate on Tuesday.
Stakeholders at the meeting which held at the Banquet Hall of the State House, all failed to agree on the use of direct primaries by parties to select their candidates.
At the meeting presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo the committee made up of the Executive, the Legislature and the APC as a party, could not convince members of the National Assembly on the need to provide alternative for the direct primary option.
The members insisted that direct primary was the way to go as they argued that it had been working for the electorate.
Former governor of Kebbi state and a serving senator, Adamu Aleiro, told State House Correspondents after the meeting that what the National Assembly had done in providing for direct primary for parties is the best for the country.
Speaking against the call by APC governors to dump the provision, he insisted the National Assembly had been cooperating with the Executive saying that “but on this, we cannot not be coerced to change our position.”
However, also speaking after the meeting, Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello said the fear of the Executive is the lack of alternative provided in case the direct primaries fail.
He said the final decision on the matter rests with President Buhari who he noted will decide whether to assent to the Electoral Bill as it is or return it to the National Assembly.
The Governor said if the president decide to return the bill, it will not be the first time, adding that if he assents to the bill, the governors will have no choice but to work for its implementation.
He said: “This is the Tripartite Committee set up by the the President being the executive, the legislature and our great party to ensure that every topical issue that affects the people of this country at various arms of government is well discussed by the party and taken good decision in the best interest of everybody,” he said.
On whether the governors are comfortable with the decision of the lawmakers, Bello said: “I don’t think any governor or anybody whatsoever as far as APC is concerned is afraid or have any reservations as far as our participation is concerned.
“The only concern is the implication of having only one option. In case an option fails what happened?
“If for instance now, INEC set a date for election and you can’t shift, what you do. And if circumstance beyond control arose what do we do?”
On if the decision to insert direct primary in the Electoral Bill can still be changed, he stated: “In their own wisdom nobody’s going to meddle into affairs of the legislature. So, whatever decision they have taken, if it is in the interest of the people so be it.
“If in their own wisdom that is how they want it, so, be it.”
Asked whether the governors will accept the direct primary, he said it is up to the President to decide what becomes of it.
According to him, “Whatever the legislature will pass and is acceptable by the executive, then everybody will have to buy in and make sure it works.
“It is yet to be signed into law. So, we’re waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari, the commander in chief. Once it’s sign into law, then we will make sure it works. If he does not, then it will be returned to the National Assembly or whatever action that can be taken.
“If it is returned to the National Assembly, it will not be the first of such bill to be returned. If it is assented to in the wisdom of the President, so be it, we will all work to ensure that it works.
Source:- Independent Ng