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Sagay To Oshiomhole: APC Can't Afford To Fight Governors Now


Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has advised the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to yield to the demands of state governors of the party to conduct indirect primaries in their states ahead of the 2019 polls.

The governors, who are in favour of voting by delegates, are reportedly spoiling for war with the national leadership of the party through their various state chairmen.

The governors want states to exercise their right to conduct indirect primaries in picking the party’s candidates for the 2019 general elections against the position of the party leadership as stated by the party’s Acting Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena.

The party’s leadership has directed that all candidates be picked through direct primaries.

This contradicted an earlier report that states would determine their own mode of primaries.

There is a deep division in the party between those who favour direct primaries preferred by President Muhammadu Buhari, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s National Chairman, and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party and head of its reconciliation committee, and most of the governors who prefer indirect primaries.

The governors are led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who is the head of the APC Governors’ Forum.

Speaking on the development in a chat with Daily Independent on Tuesday, Sagay – who is currently in the United States – said the party could not afford to go to war with the state governors who are critical stakeholders in the party, with just few weeks to the general elections.

Sagay said the APC leadership could not afford to lose the election to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and advised the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to listen to the governors’ demands by accepting indirect primaries in the selection of candidates.

“I will urge the party to think of the consequences. In this case, I will advise the party to acquiesce to their demands for indirect primaries rather than direct primaries.

We need to be pragmatic on this issue and, also, they have to think of the future. If they do anything now and go against the government or the party, it will not bode well at all. So, we have to be pragmatic about these things.

“If there is such a threat and they are likely to carry it out, I will advise the party to accept indirect primaries rather than direct primaries.

“The election is around the corner. If they don’t listen to the governors’ demands, the consequences are that the party may lose power.

“If we stick to principles and you lose power, you are out of power and all the indiscipline and mis-governance we experienced under the PDP will come and haunt us. So, I believe the party should concede to them,” Sagay said.

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