APC governorship aspirant backs direct primaries

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Mr Bola Babarinde, an All Progressives Congress governorship aspirant in Oyo State, has backed the adoption of direct primary to elect party’s flag bearers for 2019 elections.

Babarinde, currently the Chairman, APC South Africa, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday that the system would help to eradicate financial inducements during primaries.

He, however, said the direct primary model should be devoid of monetary enticements by moneybags.

According to him, the use of delegates for primary elections is usually compromised by moneybags which should not be allowed in the direct primaries.

Babarinde, said: “The main root of corruption in Nigeria is money politics where politicians spend a fortune to get nominated for political offices.

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“I believe with direct primaries there will be less inducement if properly conducted. Delegates’election is like a cult where party leaders hoard the delegates like commodities.

“But direct primaries will give all card-carrying members of the party a sense of belonging unlike when the appointed or elected delegates used to be special party members that determine the fate of party loyalists.”

Babarinde urged the party to organise and sponsor town hall meetings where aspirants would showcase their programmes.

“The exercise should be devoid of monetary enticements, and to be candid money politics should be criminalised.

“This is the only way we can witness good governance, otherwise, it will be business as usual,” the governorship hopeful said.

He said as a “progressive and an advocate of improving on the achievements of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s legacies, he should be given the opportunity to lead the pacesetter state.

According to him, Awolowo has left shoes too big for all leaders in the Southwest as the premier of the defunct Western Region.

“As someone that believes in the emancipation of downtrodden, bridging gaps between the rich and the poor, making available basic needs to the poor, APC is the only party with such manifesto.

“Oyo State since it was created has had many governors, they all did their best; although, their best may not necessarily be in line with the motto of the state –The Pacesetter.

“If given the opportunity to be the next governor, I will bring Oyo State back to the position of a pacesetter in Education, Health, Commerce, Infrastructure, Agriculture and Human Development.

“Nothing short of that is acceptable, ” Babarinde said.

NAN reports that the ruling party has announced that it will use direct primary to elect its candidates for the 2019 polls.

(NAN)