Minister expresses misgivings over direct primaries

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The Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, has expressed misgivings over direct primaries endorsed by the National Assembly, saying that it was not convenient for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Amaechi expressed the party’s  feelings at the venue of the just concluded Rivers state congress held in the state capital, Port-Harcourt on Saturday.

While fielding questions from journalists at at Polo Field, venue if the cobgress, the minister said the direct primaries option for the elections is expensive to the disadvantage of political not- rich candidate interested to contest for offices from the states to local government levels.

He said the ruling APC would not challenge the approval of the direct primaries as it is prepared to abide by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s [INEC] guidelines for the contest for all elective offices.

He emphasized that the state congress was held to unify aggrieved APC members in Rivers state and to elect their leaders from the state down to their local government areas towards the 2023 general elections without rancour.

Though the congress was held successfully without violence but was boy-cutted by the faction led by  former Senator Magnus Abbey, an indication that APC in the state is still a house divided against itself.

However, in his reaction, the immediate past Ambassador to the Netherlands, Ambassador Oji Ngofa, said the boycott of the splinter group would not be a threat to the general elections come 2023.

According to him, the party in the state has not foreclosed further peaceful dispute resolution mechanism to bring other members of the splinter group into one family in the interest of the state.

On whether APC is musing to zone its presidential candidate, Ambassador Ngofa said the party is conscious of it adding that it would make its position known to Nigerians before its National convention.

He stressed that the party’s immediate need was to re-enforce its unity where there would be no parallel groups but majority must have its way even as conflicts abound.`

The peaceful congress which started from 10am to about 7:15pm ended with an election of a new APC chairman, Rivers state in the person of chief Emeka Beke from Emoha Local Government Area while one Madam Beatrice Amobi emerged as women leader among other elected officials.