ABUJA— As political parties gear up for their presidential primaries slated for between August and October 2018, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, said, yesterday, that the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, has the right of first refusal.
National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who announced this in Abuja, while swearing in the new chairman of the APC in Delta State, Prophet Jones Erue, said: “I just want to publicly advise you that from my own background, legal victory can be sweet but even sweeter is the people’s victory.
‘’The court cannot give that. I have vested interest in Delta State because I come from Bendel and as Bendelites, we are committed to ensuring that APC wins the next election in Delta State.
“In a democracy, you will be useful according to the amount of peace and unity you are able to help build in Delta State.
“Given the overall circumstances that led to where we are, I will advise and on a future date, we will meet along with other stakeholders in Delta State and without questioning the legal status of putting in place a functional state executive in Delta State. It will require that we make sacrifices where necessary, persuading people who, even in the eyes of the law, are properly in office.
“But in the spirit of give and take, we will be ready to offer to vacate so that we can co-opt other persons in a way that gives every stakeholder a sense of ownership and a sense of belonging. I believe we need that.
“So, my plea to you is that once you have become the state chairman, you are not at liberty to be the agent of any of the aspirants, whether for House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate or governorship.
‘’The only partisan position you might be able to pursue within limits is, maybe, with regards to the presidential candidate because that, as far as we know today, no one has yet expressed interest to contest the presidential election and so, it appears that the party understands that the incumbent has the first right of refusal and even the governors have publicly kowtowed to that.’’
Oshiomhole also spoke on the need to reconcile all aggrieved stakeholders in the state, saying it was necessary if the party must make headway in the next elections.
On his part, Erue promised to work with all stakeholders of the party to ensure its success in the next elections.
“For us in APC in Delta, our major concern is to repeat the Ekiti feat, that is winning elections and you know what it means to win elections. You must be prepared to bring everyone together and I am prepared as the chairman to bring together those who are willing so that we can pursue one goal and that goal is to win elections,” he said.