There are strong indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) could grant automatic tickets to its National Assembly members during the primaries billed for October 2.
The national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who dropped the hint while addressing members of the party’s screening committee, noted that the move was to reward the lawmakers “who kept faith with the party in the face of all manner of harassment, intimidation and inducement to join opposition political parties.”
The former Edo governor vowed that that the ruling party would not field those he termed “opportunists bent on using the platform of the party to achieve their selfish interests.”
Alluding to the defection of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oshiomhole noted that APC had learnt from the mistake of the past where people, he described as “bread and butter politicians” were granted tickets.
Admitting that the party had been battling to resolve conflicts arising from the conduct of its congresses, the erstwhile NLC president maintained that all observed lapses would be remedied ahead of 2019 general elections.
His words: “As we speak, I am proud that we have 57 senators who have refused to be induced or misled or otherwise manipulated into moving to other parties or reward for juicy positions. They have decided to remain in our party even with all the intimidation they have suffered. It will be ungodly for us as a party not to reward those who believe in the party and the government of the day led by President Muhammadu Buhari. We will try as much as we can to have stability in the National Assembly.
“In many of the states we had challenges arising from the way congresses were conducted, many of them were quite fraudulent. That has been the challenge we have been trying to resolve since we came on board. Screening of aspirants is not a formality that is why we tried to search for men and women of integrity who cannot be compromised.
“We do not want to field opportunists who are simply seeking a political vehicle for some selfish purposes. What has happened in recent past is enough for us to begin to look at the character of those who are seeking office on the APC platform.”