- The move by the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to impose a consensus candidate on the party has caused outrage among members
- Addressing the issue, a human rights lawyer in Nigeria warned that the Electoral Act does not allow the imposition of a candidate on a political party
- Femi Falana said the consent of all the aspirants vying for the said position must be sort before a consensus candidate can emerge
A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has said that leaders cannot impose a consensus candidate on a political party.
The Cable reports that while reacting to the move by the national chairman of All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Adamu to impose the Senate president Ahmad Lawan as the party's 2023 presidential aspirant, Falana said according to the law, such cannot happen.
Falana who cited sections 84 (9) (10) and (11) of the Electoral Act 2022, said that the president of a country and the chairman of a political party cannot impose a consensus candidate on the party or its members.
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“As far as the Electoral Act is concerned, there can be no consensus candidate without the consent of all aspirants."
The senior lawyer added that the same section of the Act explicitly stipulates how a political party may adopt its consensus candidate.
Details of the provision of the Electoral Act
According to Section 84 (9) of the Electoral Act,
“A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate."
Its subsection 10 states that:
“Where a political party is unable to secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the purpose of a consensus candidate, it shall revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for the aforesaid elective positions."
Going further subsection 11 added that a special convention or nomination congress shall be held to ratify the choice of consensus candidates at designated centres at the National, State, Senatorial, Federal and State Constituencies, as the case may be.
Influential southeast presidential aspirant throws weight behind Senate president Lawan
As the APC continues with its moves to elect a presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 election, Governor David Umahi had eulogised the Senate president.
The governor described Ahmad Lawan as an intelligent, hardworking and diligent lawmaker qualified enough to become Nigeria's president.
According to Umahi, he will pray for the Senate president to get the ticket for the APC 2023 presidential candidate.
APC primary: Northern elders fume over governors' plan on zoning presidency to south
Eleven governors from the north had been accused of moves to sabotage all the residents in the region.
The allegation was made by the Northern Elders Conscience after the governors had suggested that the 2023 presidency be zoned to the south.
According to the group, zoning negates the standard norms of democracy and delegates of the party should be allowed to elect a candidate.