Direct primaries not practicable in Nigeria, PDP tells Senate

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the passage of direct primary for the nomination of candidates for elections in political parties by the Senate will increase the costs of nomination procedures.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan (Vanguard)

Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, made the observation in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.

He described the decision of the Senate as retrogressive, capable of wiping off all the gains achieved in Nigeria electoral practice since 1999.

“The PDP holds that the provision is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures, thereby surrendering the processes to money bags against the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians,” he said further.

The party said that hardly would there many political parties might not be able to raise the cost of conducting internal elections under a direct primary process.

“The PDP, therefore, urges the Senate to immediately deploy its appropriate legislative instruments to reverse itself on the direct primary as it is not practicable,” he said.

The Senate on Tuesday, at its plenary, approved direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.

This followed the consideration and approval of motion on “Re-Committal of Some Clauses of the Electoral Act repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2021”, passed on July 15.

The chamber explained that the decision to subject the amended clauses of the bill to re-committal was reached after critical examination by the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The chamber added that some fundamental issues which required fresh legislative action were observed by the Sen. Kabiru Gaya-led committee in the bill.

The chamber approved Clause 87 to read “a political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the commission”.

The Senate also rescinded its decision made in July which empowered Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) to determine suitability of transmission of results, subject to approval of National Assembly.

The upper chamber at the Tuesday plenary empowered INEC to determine the procedure for the transmission of results during the general elections.

Members of the Conference Committee on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 are expected to meet with their counterparts in the House of Representatives to harmonise the two versions passed by both chambers.

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