APC Primary: Tinubu’s Chances At Risk Over Exclusion Of Statutory Delegates

The failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the amendment made by the National Assembly to the Electoral Act, 2022, which gives recognition to statutory delegates, may have dealt a big blow to the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Party sources, who spoke with Daily Independent on Sunday, said Tinubu is one of the politicians greatly affected by the president’s action as here lied greatly on statutory delegates, especially serving and former National Assembly members to vote for him at the convention.

The statutory delegates include: the President, Vice President, members of the National Assembly (past and present), governors and their deputies, members of the state Houses of Assembly, council chairmen, councilors and National Working Committees (NWCs) of political parties.

Daily Independent gathered that with the development, members of the South-West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA’ 23), who are made up of former and serving National Assembly members and have been mobilising support for Tinubu nationwide, will not be able to vote at the convention.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Independent in December 2021, Otunba Bosun Oladele, National Secretary of SWAGA, explained the concept behind the formation of the group.

“SWAGA started as an effort in revamping our consciousness towards the need for a President from South- West region in the coming dispensation.

 We looked at how this could be achieved and we decided that a group could be the pivot. Who are those that are supposed to constitute the group? The only set of people that we felt will have the time and some resources to be able to do that are former members of the National Assembly”.

“Not only that, people have been talking about whether direct or indirect primary should be adopted.

The idea is that every former member of the National Assembly, be it senator or rep is automatic statutory delegate.

 If they say it is indirect primary tomorrow, even if they have gone to another party, wherever they are, they are among the delegates that will vote by right and by law for all the parties.

“For example, I am from Oyo State. Every four years, Oyo State will turn out 14 House of Reps members and statutorily every state has three senators.

So, if you look at Oyo State, assuming we are able to get 14 reps and three senators, that is 17 votes already in the delegates’ election.

So, we decided to bring former members of the National Assembly together, with the belief that we already have some votes in the kitty in case indirect primary is adopted”.

According to a former NWC member of the APC from the North-West zone, the refusal of President Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act greatly unsettled Tinubu and members of SWAGA as their permutations on the presidential primary was quashed.

The refusal of President Buhari in signing the amended Electoral Act greatly affected a lot of politicians, not just in APC alone.

It also affected PDP members too as can be seen in their primaries. Many statutory delegates who have before now enjoyed certain privileges during elections such as patronage and largesse which include foreign currency were shut out. Nobody contacted them because they can’t vote.

“However, I think the major person who is bearing the brunt of the failure of the President to sign the amended Act is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

If you look at SWAGA and other groups canvassing support for him such as Tinubu Support Group, they are majorly current and serving National Assembly members who have already assured him of votes at the convention. However, with the latest developments, they can’t vote again.

So, Tinubu is at the mercy of the APC governors who are now in full control of the delegates”.

When contacted, Oladele said Tinubu’s chance at the primary is not threatened at all given the fact that SWAGA is not only made up of former and current National Assembly members but also grassroots politicians who are ad-hoc delegates that will vote at the convention.

APC Primary: Tinubu’s Chances At Risk Over Exclusion Of Statutory Delegates – Politics – Nigeria (nairaland.com)

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