Atiku Blast APC Members Over Automatic Ticket Controversy
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as presently constituted is defective and cannot conduct free and fair elections in the country.
Atiku also came down hard on members of his party who want to get automatic tickets ahead of the 2015 elections.
Speaking with journalists at his residence in Abuja, Tuesday, Atiku said that asking him not to contest the presidential election was akin to asking him to give up on Nigeria, saying, “I cannot give up on Nigeria because I don’t have anywhere else to go.”
“I think those canvassing for automatic ticket are scared of contest. There is nothing to be scared of in a contest in a democratic setting. How can you canvass for automatic ticket in a democratic process? There is nothing like that. These are people who are afraid of contest.
“I can assure you that there will be nothing like a one man show. Even at the last convention, the offices that were not contested for were not up for election and election took place for those offices that were contested. We stayed there throughout the day till the following day when results were announced.
“I have already said that there is nothing like automatic ticket and that those asking for automatic ticket are definitely scared of a contest.
“You know that the APC is an amalgamation of a number of political parties that came together, relinquishing their identity. But having been constituted, the APC cannot escape an elective primary. There is no zoning for you to say there should an automatic ticket and there will be no allocation like they do in the Peoples Democratic Party. So, on what basis?”
“As far as zoning is concerned, we don’t have zoning in the constitution of the APC. So, the race is open for everybody. That is why you hear that the Rochas Okorochas are also contesting. So, we don’t have zoning in the APC like the PDP. It is entrenched in their constitution which has been violated as far as zoning is concerned.”
“So far, the internal democracy we have practiced in the APC is a better alternative than what is being done in PDP.”
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