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National Assembly and indirect primary in 2023

By Guardian Nigeria
11 January 2022   |   1:23 am
According to Governor David Umahi, National Assembly members that are agitating for direct primaries have no structures in their respective wards, claiming the governors are the ones keeping party alive.

SIR: According to Governor David Umahi, National Assembly members that are agitating for direct primaries have no structures in their respective wards, claiming the governors are the ones keeping party alive. The 2022 party primary is now a battle line between the governors and members of National Assembly who recently passed a bill for direct primary. Majority members of national assembly will not come back in 2023 for voting in support of direct primary and their open confrontation with their governors.

Direct primary option would have eliminated godfatherism and allow the people to choose their leaders without any undue influence. Many members of National Assembly have ignored their governors to vote in support of direct primary and they have running battle with their governors. Direct mode of primary is the way to go, in the interest of Nigerians. The direct primary is essentially meant to give power to the grassroots, a thing that Nigerians prefer, being democrats who believe that the power should be with the people.

Direct primary is a pre-election process that will give you the right candidates for election. Direct primary is better for us for now. Governors are kicking because they are always manipulating. Direct primaries are the only option that can guarantee true democracy and competence. Direct primaries would not only produce competent and qualified people who are truly representatives of the electorates, but it will also provide an opportunity for massive participation of members.

Governors determine delegates and make sure whosoever they want gets the parties’ tickets in indirect primary. In effect, that is no election. It is an imposition. But when it is direct primary, the governors cannot be in control of the whole people of the state. It is now left to the parties to make sure that those appearing for election get whatever is given to them. The provisions of the Electoral Amendment Act Amendment Bill that all political parties must adopt direct method of primary election would have solved the problems of imposition of candidates, vote buying, rigging, manipulation, associated with indirect methods of the delegates system.

Governors on the platform of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) are not comfortable with the resolution of the National Assembly on the direct option as mode of primaries for political parties to pick their candidates for general elections. They also offered a hint to meet with the leadership of both chambers of Parliament to impress it on them to review the resolution ahead of presentation of the Electoral Act 2010 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2021 to President Muhammadu Buhari for presidential assent.
Inwalomhe Donald.