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Your positions on electoral amendment bill self-serving, short-term interest, SPN tells Buhari, National Assembly

By Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) and Silver Nwokoro (Lagos)
29 December 2021   |   2:46 am
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has said that the different positions held by President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly on the Electoral Bill are driven by their self-serving

Buhari

Says direct primaries not a panacea for the imposition of candidates

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has said that the different positions held by President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly on the Electoral Bill are driven by their self-serving, short-term interests and not the quest to strengthen democracy as they both claim.

The party maintained that members of the National Assembly want to make direct primary mandatory because they believe it would make it easy for them to get the return tickets.

It also argued that Buhari was out to protect the interest of state governors who consider it easier through indirect primaries to impose candidates or secure tickets for re-election or senatorial seats.

The SPN further said that direct primaries were no panacea for the problem of imposition of candidates among political parties in the country.

In a statement signed by its Acting National Chairperson, Abiodun Bamigboye and its National Secretary, Chinedu Bosah, which was made available to The Guardian in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the party said the controversy over the electoral amendment bill was a reflection of infighting between two different sections of the same elite.

“The President rejected the bill purportedly because it removes the provision for indirect primaries, making direct primaries mandatory. The bill also makes provisions for the electronic transmission of results.

“We see the controversy as a reflection of infighting between two different sections of the same thieving elite. The different positions held by the President and National Assembly on direct primaries are driven by self-serving, short-term interest and not the quest to strengthen democracy as they both claim.

“The fact is that members of the National Assembly want to make direct primary mandatory because they believe it would make it easier for them to get the return tickets,” the party stated.

It added: “Besides, it is illogical to think that the thieving politicians in both the APC and PDP, for instance, who buy votes and perpetuate mass riggings in the general elections, cannot do the same in the primary elections, either through the direct or indirect arrangement.

“More importantly, regardless of which model of the primary election is used, any candidate who emerges from the anti-poor, pro-capitalist parties like APC and PDP cannot fundamentally represent or defend the interests of working masses and the poor.”