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Direct Primary elections will sanitise democracy — Anthony Sani – Vanguard

Elder statesman and former Secretary-General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF),  Anthony N. Z Sani, has said that the adopion of Direct Primary election  would bring sanity in Nigeria’s democracy.
He described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) Governors and and lawmakers’ opposition to direct primary as mode of primary elections in political parties, as lacking in moral and wisdom.
He said that direct primary would not only put an end to plutocracy and abuse of incumbency, but also reduce the prevalent incidence of imposition of candidates often associated with governors and money bags during indirect primary
“I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill of 2021 for effect and performance,” he said.
He said “the National Assembly has power to amend the Electoral Bill, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that political parties be allowed to decide mode of candidates selection for elective offices.”
 “That the Supreme Court has ruled that political parties be allowed to decide on how to select their candidates for elective offices does not preclude the National Assembly from making laws for improvement of internal democracy in our political parties which have been roundly accused for lack of internal democracy in their selection processes.”
“When I read about the opposition to direct primary in political parties which is contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill of 2021,I wonder not only the wisdom but also the morality of the opposition.”
“Direct primaries afford all party members the opportunity to participate in the process of selection of party candidates for elective offices. That way, party members would own the processes and the candidates. Direct primaries would also reduce the prevalent incidence of imposition of candidates often associated with governors and money bags during indirect primary by delegates who are easy to buy.”
“Direct primary would therefore put an end to plutocracy and abuse of incumbency, since it is not easy to bribe party members as it is done of delegates that include super delegates.”
“As regards the cost, it is to be noted that direct primaries are undertaken either at the level of polling units or at level of electoral wards. Any other level or constituency like state assembly, LGC chairman, House of Reps, Senate, governor and the presidential candidates are matter of collation of the results of the polling units or electoral wards, as the case may be.”
“From the foregoings, it is therefore hard to avoid the conclusion that direct primary has more advantages over indirect primaries when it comes to improvement of quality, volume and tenets of our democratic values.”
“That is why we urge the president to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill of 2021 for effect and performance. More so that the Bill has been passed in accordance with democratic practices which thrive on majority that has both its say and way, while minority only has its say,” he said.

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