Lagos state- The former National Publicity Secretary of ADP, now a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Prince Adelaja Adeoye has lauded President Buhari for rejecting Direct Primaries as proposed by the National Assembly.
He argued that, Direct Primaries will be a breeding ground for violence and won't be a true reflection of selection process by political parties, Legit.ng reports.
In a statement he personally signed and sent to our correspondence, he wrote:
"If President Buhari rejected the Electoral act amendment, on the premise that Indirect Primaries was removed and replaced with only Direct Primaries as the mode, as proposed by the National Assembly. I would laud him for this noble rejection, but if it bother on delay tactics or other hidden agenda, then blame the NASS who created the opportunity."
Buhari, who should have signed the electoral act amendment by the Saraki's led 8th Assembly gave an excuse that the 2019 elections was too close at that time.
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The proposed amendment was merely the removal and insertion of some pro-peoples clauses, which was aimed at strengthening our nascent democracy.
Electronic transmission of results
Among other things were the electronic transmission of election results, granting INEC the powers to conduct e-voting and allowing those in the Diaspora to vote.
These are innovative ways of electioneering, which will automatically make the snatching of ballow box to fade away. The NASS members are not expending their energy to make this a reality but are more concerned about matter that will further lead our elections into flames.
On the Direct and Indirect primaries for political parties, it is imperative to note that, it is an act of tyranny for the Nigerian Constitution to dictate and restrict political parties to conduct election via a particular mode, instead of giving them the liberty to choose whichever mode that work best for them.
Lagos as an example
Citing the Direct Primaries between Ambode and Sanwoolu in Lagos in 2019, the election was marred by violence, which exposed the supporters of the former governor to the power of thuggery of the cabal who never wanted him to return as Governor. The proponents of Direct Primaries may be working overtime from this playbook, over their quest to grab ticket for their candidates.
Supporters of Ambode who had lined up for direct primaries were beaten, humiliated and chased away from the venue across the Local Government, just imagine that Ambode also had result to using counter thuggery, there would have been State of anarchy because of the mode of election they decided to us.
The cost implication
Not only that, the aspirants and political party, including the INEC will have to spend hugely for Direct Primaries than the delegate elections.
Just imagine that what happened between Ambode and Sanwoolu is happening simultaneously across the country, won't that be a chaos too much to handle? We all know the situation during any election in this country.
Smaller political parties, who do not have the resources to conduct this primaries will just sit somewhere and write result and then have media and INEC to validate it, which will clearly not reflect the true picture of their selection process.
The role of the security personnel
"Do we even have the required number of security personnel to checkmate the violence that may erupt. We have seen States (Edo, Osun, Ekiti) having a stand alone election, where over 40,000 police were deployed, yet there were serious crisis, and now to talk about having direct primaries across the country. The proponents and supporters of direct primaries, should have a rethink, by allowing what is more important to be included in the Electoral act.
"If you would recall, this option A4 called Direct Primaries was eradicated by political parties in the past because of the various reasons enumerated above, it is only those who cannot see the selfish desire of those who likes to win election by violence, and confusion that won't see the danger in poses.
Role of political parties
He stated that:
"Political parties should be given their right of choosing their candidates as they so wish, and not condition or confine them to a single method, which may not work well.
If the excuse was that party members should participate, are party members not same as electorates during general elections, who face similar fate of violence?
The National Assembly
He affirmed thus:
"The national assembly should expunge that military dictatorial decree kind of act they are trying to smuggle into the electoral act amendment and allow peace to reign. Baba Buhari, we beg you, kindly assent to the bill when the needful is done, this we want before the next General elections in 2023."
Prominent PDP chieftain denies interest in National Chairmanship position
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that a report by The Guardian indicates that ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) convention, Chief Raymond Dokpesi has denied any plan to contest the chairmanship position.
The PDP chieftain made the denial in a statement on Monday, August 16, saying he has no interest in any national office of the opposition party.
While refuting the report, the chairman of DAAR communications insisted that he remains a committed party man.