Primaries: Aggrieved APC reps to decide next move after appeal panel decision

Many All Progressives Congress House of Representatives members who lost out at the recent primary election are to decide on their next line of action after the outcome of the appeal they entered before the party’s appeal panel, The PUNCH learnt on Sunday

Findings showed that some of the aggrieved lawmakers felt they were “deliberately edged out” of the primaries to pave the way for the favoured candidates of godfathers or other interests.

A member, who spoke for a group of over 70 lawmakers, largely from the North, Mr Musa Soba, told The PUNCH that they had entered an appeal and were waiting for the outcome.

Soba, who is from Kaduna State, said immediately the matter was dispensed with by the appeal panel, the members would take a decision.

He said, “Let us wait first.

“We are waiting for the decision of the appeal panel.”

Soba was one of the aggrieved members, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Saturday in Abuja over the outcome of the primaries.

Buhari had reportedly summoned the members to a closed-door meeting to hear their complaints.

Investigations indicated that a number of the members had considered several options since the primaries ended, including defection to other political parties and working against the APC during the February 2019 general elections.

There were also members promised automatic tickets by the APC only for the latter to fail to fulfil its own part of the bargain.

Up to 70 per cent of serving lawmakers or 252 out of 360 across political parties are not likely to return in 2019 as a result of losing the primaries, voluntary withdrawal and contesting other offices.

When The PUNCH contacted the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, to verify the figure, he denied that the non-returning members were up to 252.

Namdas, who won his own APC ticket in Adamawa State, put the percentage of non-returning members at “68 per cent.”

“It is not up to 70 per cent. It is about 68 per cent,” he said.

By Namdas’s position, 245 of the members may not be returning in 2019.

Meanwhile, the office of the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Yussuff Lasun, said on Sunday that the fact of Lasun losing out in the Osun governorship race did not mean that he would become a redundant politician in 2019.

Lasun had contested the July 20 primary of the APC and lost to Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, who also went ahead to win the main election. He was declared Governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The Deputy Speaker polled 21,975 votes in the second position to Oyetola’s 127,017 votes.

Lasun didn’t contest a return ticket to the House in 2019, having opted to go for the governorship.

His Chief Press Secretary, Mr Wole Oladimeji, stated that Lasun’s “political future is open and he remains a member of the APC.”

Asked what his boss would be doing specifically while out of office, Oladimeji replied, “His political future has not been foreclosed. He is in the APC. He may still go to the Senate or come to the House.”

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