Breaking: Reps Summons INEC Chairman over N500bn Cost Implications of Direct Primaries

Breaking: Reps Summons INEC Chairman over N500bn Cost Implications of Direct Primaries

  • The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has been called upon by the House of Representatives
  • The lawmakers are requesting the presence of the INEC boss, so ha to get a clear understanding regarding the cost of conducting direct primaries in the country
  • Meanwhile, this move was taken after a motion seeking urgent public importance was filed during sessions on Thursday, by Rep Leke Abejide

Abuja- On Thursday, December 2, the House of Representatives invited the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to clear the air on the cost implication of conducting direct primaries by political parties in the country.

The Punch reports that this was after the lawmaker representing Yagba East/Yagba West/Mopa-Muro Federal Constituency of Kogi State, Rep Leke Abejide moved a motion of urgent public importance during plenary, in Abuja.

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Yakubu is to appear before the Committees on Appropriations and Electoral Matters to speak on the matter.

Breaking: Reps summons INEC chairman over N500bn cost implications of Direct Primaries
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu displays vote result sheets on February 25, 2019 in Abuja during the presidential elections announcement. Photo credit: KOLA SULAIMON/AFP
Source: Getty Images

The Motion

In the motion which was unanimously endorsed at the session presided over by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, Abejide called attention to the speculation making the rounds that it would cost over N500billion for political parties to conduct direct primaries ahead of the 2023 general elections.

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The cost implication and the Electoral Act Bill

The cost implication is said to likely decide the fate of the Electoral Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2021 still pending before President Muhammadu Buhari.

The bill captured direct primaries as the mode of choosing the candidates of political parties for elections.

Abejide's position

He pointed out that INEC is in the best position to clear the air on the cost implication of direct primaries since it is the umpire supervising both the primaries of political parties and the main elections.

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Abejide added that:

“We all know the importance of direct primaries.
“Some people say it will cost N500bn. This is mere speculation because the cost of direct primaries may be within the budget of INEC.”

He stated that the best time to invite Yakubu would be now that the 2022 budget was still pending before the National Assembly.

He explained that this would help the legislature to decide on appropriate budgeting.

Gbajabiamila's directive

Giving his directive after the motion was passed, Speaker Gbajabiamila said, “Committees on INEC and Appropriation, please invite the INEC chairman so that he can give us the possible cost implications of direct primaries.

2023: INEC reveals how politicians undermine commission's efforts

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused politicians across Nigeria of undermining the commission's effort to deliver seamless elections.

The resident electoral commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, Mike Igini, said while the commission focuses on best ways to eliminate some of the hitches and challenges encountered in elections, politicians are hellbent on frustrating efforts aimed at achieving a seamless process.

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It will cause confusion - Malami writes Buhari over mandatory direct primaries

Igini made the disclosure at stakeholders roundtable on electoral technology hosted by YIAGA in partnership with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU SDGN).

Governor Yahaya Bello speaks on harmonisation of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill

In another report, the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, had reacted to the harmonisation of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by the lawmakers of the National Assembly.

The governor said that claims that some of his colleagues from other states are set to undermine the political stance of lawmakers are false.

He said no governor across the country issues their tickets to members of the National Assembly as widely reported.


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