APC Primaries: President Buhari Against Automatic Tickets – El-Rufai

APC Primaries: President Buhari Against Automatic Tickets - El-Rufai
APC Primaries: President Buhari Against Automatic Tickets – El-Rufai

APC Primaries: President Buhari Against Automatic Tickets – El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari is against giving out automatic tickets to aspirants.

According to him, the President has promised to wade into the various issues of automatic tickets granted to some politicians among other problems experienced in some states during the primary elections.

He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said “Many contestants that have been screened by the committee, were removed from the list unilaterally by some elements in the party, there are rumors that some people have been granted automatic tickets. But by yesterday when the representatives of the progressive governors forum met with Mr President and National chairman, we thought that this rumour of automatic ticket which has no place in our constitution and any enlighten democracy have been resolved.

“But up to the time I left Kaduna this morning and came to see the President, we did not receive the list of those that will contest the legislative elections.

“On my way I received a list of our state party structure but it seems to me there are still exclusions. As you know exclusion are one of the many reasons elections are lost at the tribunal level.

“We are being careful in Kaduna state, we do not practice imposition, force people to step down for anyone, we believe in elections and we like people to subject themselves to full democratic process.

“In some states, you have one list from the governor, we don’t have any list. We gave everyone a level playing ground as subject to meeting the requirements of the party, everyone is allowed to contest and may the best man win.” he said

On the President’s response, he said “The President restated his position that he is a democrat, product of elections and he has never encouraged non-election.

“He has never supported imposition and he has never asked anyone to grant anybody automatic tickets.

“The position was restated yesterday to the progressive governors forum and he told me this and said he will take necessary steps to communicate this very clearly to the party leadership.” he said

On the prospects of the candidates for Kaduna State governorship seat, he said “It is not me, I only have one vote as the governor of the state, it’s up to the delegates in the Kaduna state APC to vote for Shehu Sani or vote for other candidates.

“But what democracy said is that every person should be given a chance to contest. Shehu Sani has done things against the interest of the people of Kaduna state and it is time for him to explain why he did what he did and ask the delegates to vote for him but to avoid facing the consequences of your actions by getting what is called automatic ticket is a recipe to losing the election to other parties.” he stated

Reminded that there is deadline for the primary elections, he said “There is time, we have three elections, do two elections the same day and three contest, the House of reps is 16, the house of assembly is the more difficult one because there are 34.

“But I believe we can meet the deadline provided that we have a list that does not reasonably and capriciously excludes the contestants.” he said.

El-Rufai went on ” I have been elected as the candidate of the party but it is up to the party at the headquarters to do the right thing and allow the constitution of the APC to be complied with which is to do primaries.”

He alleged that Shehu Sani was largely responsible for Kaduna state losing N100 billion loan from the World Bank at 1 percent interest payable over 50 years invested in building schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.

He said “Everyone in Kaduna knows this and many people are predictably angry. It’s an act of sabotage. It’s time for him to go and explain why he did what he did, if his actions are justified I am sure the delegates will vote for him.

“The state apparatus is a very small component of Kaduna state. There are 10 million people in Kaduna state and the apparatus is only 80 thousand people but what can we do.

“But Shehu Sani cannot even campaign in the market square in Kaduna central market. I challenge him let’s go to Kaduna central market and let’s see who will come out unscathed.

“It is a well known fact that he had done this and many people are angry. Like I said he has his reasons which he can justify to those voting in the election. All we ask for is a free and fair contest. We are not going to manipulate any process. Lets have all those that are qualified to contest for democratic competition.” he said.

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