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‘Direct primary to stop corrupt persons from public offices’

By Leo Sobechi, Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja), Ahmed Idris (Gusau) and Dahiru Suleiman (Dutse)
22 November 2021   |   4:02 am
A chieftain of Kebbi State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Salihu Nataro, has described the introduction of direct primary in the amended Electoral Act as a commendable move to prevent corrupt persons from public offices.

• Matawalle pledges to sanitise Zamfara polity, Badaru tasks youths on decent politics
• Bello traces Nigeria’s woes to exclusion of grassroots from governance

A chieftain of Kebbi State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Salihu Nataro, has described the introduction of direct primary in the amended Electoral Act as a commendable move to prevent corrupt persons from public offices.

He noted that the indirect or delegate method of nominating candidates for elective offices left political parties at the whims and caprices of state governors, stressing that when signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the new Electoral Act would deepen Nigeria’s democracy.

In a chat with The Guardian, Nataro, who is also an aspirant for the Kebbi State gubernatorial seat, said it was not surprising to see that state governors, particularly those elected on the platform of APC, are kicking against direct primaries.

He said: “I am an advocate of public sector reforms and I welcome the passage of the amended Electoral Act, which included the provision for direct primaries. I witnessed all forms of intimidation from among some northern governors.

“They cajoled and wanted to force APC lawmakers to allow indirect primaries, which would enable them impose incapacitated and corrupt people through indirect primaries.

“We are in support of direct primaries and those opposed to direct primaries want to introduce confusion. Everybody knows that opponents of direct primaries were previously in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – that is why they are resisting change.”

While contending that the powerful Progressive Governors’ Forum could cause further delay in the much-expected national convention of the APC, Nataro, who is also an official of Osinbajo for President 2023, urged the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to devise other means of funding the upcoming event.

“The APC governors are trying to deceive party members to go behind and elect corrupt and incapable people to contest election during the convention,” he alleged.

IN the meantime, Governor Bello Matawalle has promised to sanitise political activities in Zamfara State and deepen democratic rule.

He made the pledge yesterday while commending the APC stakeholders in the state for their steadfastness and commitment to consensus shortly after the party’s congress.

In a statement signed by the Director General, Media and Public Enlightenment, Alhaji Yusuf Idris Gusau, the governor said the decision by party leaders, followers, supporters and other stakeholders at ensuring that things were cooperatively done showed that APC was exceptional in the country.

According to him, the outcome of the party’s congresses has continued to produce consensus candidates in the spirit of unity.

He reiterated that the current political dispensation in the state was devoid of witch-hunting, blackmail, bitterness and all other forms of backwardness but aims

Matawalle said every conscientious effort is being made to sustain unity of the political class, progress of the state and empowerment of the people, especially the youths.

In his speech, Chairman of the state’s congress committee, Alhaji Kabiru Ibrahim Masari, informed the delegates that they were in Zamfara to fulfil the party’s constitution.

At the end of the exercise, Alhaji Yakubu Gado emerged as the consensus chairman, while Mallam Yunusa Magaji was returned as secretary along with other officials.
ALSO, Jigawa State Governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar has challenged youths on decent politics built on issues, intelligence hard work for the collective good of the society.

Speaking at a dinner and presentation of award of excellence and hard work to him by executives of the Northwest Progressive Movement in collaboration with the Coalition of Badaru at Dutse Emir Golf Pitch in Dutse, the governor stated that it was time to transform the political space by ridding it of aggression and bitterness.