Delegates who emerged through the congresses of the All Progressives Congress at the ward and local governments levels earlier this year have joined their state party executives and governors to reject the direct primary option proposed by the National Working Committee of the party.
Investigations revealed that delegates, who bought forms and contested elections before they emerged as party officials at all levels, had vowed to work against the interest of the governors if they embraced the direct primary option.
A leader of the APC in one of the South-West states, who is also a delegate, told one of our correspondents that it would be unfair to deny ward and local government officers of the party the opportunity to “reap from their investments” during the general elections.
He said, “There are lots of advantages in being a delegate. At least, you are assured that you will make enough money to defray the expenses you incurred in the course of your election.
“Where do they expect this to happen now with the direct primary option? The aspirant will expect you as ward leader to share the money given to you among all your members. That does not make sense at all.”
A source, who was a delegate in the last governorship election primary in Ondo State last year, alleged that two leading aspirants of the APC gave out N200,000 each to every delegate while three others spent N150,000 each to settle each of the delegates.
He said, “The implication of this is that a very smart delegate could pocket about N700,000 without much stress. It would be impossible to make such money in a direct primary arrangement.”
Another delegate in the last Ekiti governorship election also confirmed to one of our correspondents that each leading aspirant, who contested the APC primary, also spent between N150,000 and N200,000 to bribe each of the delegates.
He said, “That is why we are on the same page with the governors to fight the senators who are pushing for direct primary in order to secure automatic tickets from President Muhammadu Buhari and our National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.”