SDP kicks against direct mode of primaries

The Social Democratic Party, SDP, through its National Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Gaban, has called for withdrawal of presidential assent to the electoral amendment bill.

This is just as the statutory period of one month for President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the bill expires on Friday.

The party argued that Nigeria democracy wasn’t ripe for direct mode of primary elections, saying that the process is cumbersome and that would generate further controversies.

In a statement by the National Secretary, which was made available to DAILY POST in Abuja on Wednesday, the opposition SDP explained, that if President Buhari bows to pressures and assented the bill, his legacies would be crippled, noting that the amendment bearing direct primary election which was passed by the National Assembly was not only cumbersome, but expensive.

Gaban accused the ninth National Assembly of busying itself with internal affairs of political parties, tasking them to refocus on strengthening the political process by legislating on laws that will ensure transparent and credible elections in Nigeria.

“I told the President not to sign it (the bill) into law. I don’t see the President endorsing the figure to conduct a direct primary, are they going to borrow money from China, where is the money going to come from?”

He described the amendment as self-serving by lawmakers who are afraid that State governors hijack electoral processes.

“The fear of the National Assembly would have been taken care of by legislating and strengthening political institutions. When you kill a political institution this is what you get.”

He continued “We in SDP have conducted direct primary elections in two states and it is very expensive and cumbersome. The political parties have no resources to operate it.

“They ought to have consulted with the political parties before the legislation. INEC has not conducted a direct primary before, so why joke the system?”


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