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Osun APC: The Unusual Battle For Direct Primary

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The All Progressives Congress, APC in Osun State had until now been almost united in accord through the hills and valleys. The unity of the party in the state was not shaken even at the height of the salary crisis in the state that saw the administration not being able to pay salaries of workers for up to one year.

However, the decision of the party to use direct primaries to select the party’s candidate in tomorrow’s scheduled primary election has divided that famed unity of the party.

For the first time, at least in the eyes of the public, the APC in Osun State has descended into war with high profile members of the party openly taking positions against the decision of the party leaders.

Reflectively, 11 of the 16 members of the State Working Committee, SWC who are opposed to the use of the direct primary method on Monday moved against the chairman and secretary of the party by removing them from office.

Even more, majority of the chairmen of the local government chapters of the party are also in cahoots with the rebellion, a fact that inevitably questions the cohesion of the party at the grassroots.

Those in support of the direct primary say it is a more popular method that allows the party’s base to be directly involved in choosing the party’s ticket. They also argue that it is less prone to corruption as it eradicates the phenomenon of bribing delegates.

However, those against it say that as with any general election in Nigeria that the process could be easily manipulated given the fact that there is no acceptable register of party members.

Any election conducted under such a process they say could be easily manipulated to suit particular interests. The propensity for manipulation is even more exacerbated by the fact that the logistics to conduct a state-wide direct primary is doubtful.

Even more, critics are asking why it is that it is at this point in time that the party is now considering direct primaries after using indirect primaries in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and more recently, Ekiti.

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Vanguard Newspaper

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