A former national vice chairman (North-west) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has challenged the authority of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to determine the mode of primary election, as seen in the case of Edo State.

The APC had recently adopted a direct mode of primary election for nominating its candidate in the upcoming September 21, 2024 Edo governorship polls. Lukman, however, contended that the NWC’s decision encroached upon the powers of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and deemed it illegal.

In a statement issued, Lukman argued that the NWC’s choice to organize a direct primary contradicted Article 13.4(iv) of the APC Constitution. According to him, this Article only authorizes the NWC to “propose electoral guidelines and regulations governing the conduct of elections to party offices at all levels and procedure for selecting party candidates for elective offices …to the National Executive Committee.”

Lukman expressed concern that the NWC’s decision may be driven by a desire to manipulate the process, citing media reports alleging that APC stakeholders in Edo State intend to limit the number of aspirants for the primary. He criticized these actions as illegitimate and warned against weak commitment to winning the support of the electorate, suggesting that such attitudes may lead to rigging and manipulation of electoral results.

Furthermore, Lukman emphasized the importance of the founding vision of APC, which advocates for all party members to participate in the candidate selection process through a transparent method with a verifiable membership register. He raised concerns about the absence of a publicly displayed, verifiable membership register, stressing the need for transparency and inclusivity in the party’s primary process.

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