By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has said it would soon hold its national convention once it resolves issues arising from the recently conducted state congresses.

This came as governors of the party also kicked against the decision of the National Assembly to force political parties to adopt the direct method of conducting primary elections.

The decisions were part of resolutions reached at the end of a meeting of the governors which held on Monday night in Abuja.

In the lead up to the 2019 general elections, the leadership of the APC had adopted direct primary option in most states of the federation and for its presidential primary election.

Section 87(1) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill as passed by the Senate provides that:   “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”

Several parties had earlier kicked against the decision, while the APC tried to avoid a frontal attack on the lawmakers.

Speaking after the meeting, Kebbi State governor and chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, said the his colleagues picked holes in the decision of the National Assembly with regards to direct primary.

According to him, political parties are self-administering voluntary organizations that should be free to adopt any method to choose their candidates.

Bagudu added that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, could also be overstretched if it was saddled with supervising the direct primaries of all parties.

“We discussed the pros and cons (of direct primary). There has been concern that political parties are voluntary organizations.

“We expressed the concern that political parties be allowed to choose from the options that they so desire.

“There is an Executive Order signed by Mr. President against large gathering. These are issues we discussed and hope that the best be achieved for Nigeria.

“We also noted that our Ward Congresses were results of direct Primaries. The process involves multiple roles by INEC.

“If we have to involve INEC, their resources will be overstretched,” he said.

Bagudu said the governors also took stock of the recently conducted state congresses and commended the Governor Mai Mala Buni led APC Caretaker Extraodinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC for a job well done.

He said:  “The Congresses were conducted successfully and we are taking steps to resolve crisis wherever they arise.”

On the planned national convention of the APC, he said:  “I believe that soon, the party will inaugurate all the state executives, and then some of the outstanding congresses that are to take place in Zamfara and Oyo States and three other states will be concluded.

“Then we are on our way to setting a date for the National Convention.’’

Roll call

Some of those who attended the meeting were Governors Kayode Fayemi, Dave Umahi, Mai Mala Buni, Yahaya Bello, Simon Lalong, Gboyega Oyetola, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, of Ekiti, Ebonyi, Yobe, Kogi, Plateau, Osun, Kano and Jigawa states respectively.

Others were Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari, and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Abdullahi Sule, while those of Ondo, Lagos and Kaduna states were represented by their deputies.