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General News of Tuesday, 4 January 2022


Nigeria not mature for direct primaries - IPAC

IPAC Nigeria IPAC Nigeria

Despite the support for direct primaries as contained in the Electoral Amendment Bill, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, a pressure group of 18 registered political parties on Monday advised against it.

While warning that Nigeria does not yet have the political maturity for its take-off in the 2023 general election, the organisation said the country was not ready for the direct primary election model in the selection of flag-bearers by political parties.

The national chairman of IPAC, Yabagi Sani, stated this in Abuja during his maiden press briefing on some national issues after he assumed office.

He said, “We are of the view that, much as we may cherish its perceived benefits, the country, at this stage of the progress of its democracy, does not appear to be sufficiently ripe and prepared for the direct primary election model in the selection of political party flag bearers.

“Also, against the backdrop of the President’s decisive aversion to this particular provision of the Electoral Bill, the use of the veto by the legislature may merely result in a fruitless exercise if, at the end of the day, its implementation is not supported by the required funding by the executive.

“In summary, if we must call a spade by its name, we in the IPAC are inclined to the opinions regarding the National Assembly’s position on indirect primaries as amounting to an attempt to usurp the constitutional rights of parties as to the method of choice of party flag-bearers.

“The National Assembly members may have acted as interlopers by trying to run political parties from the hallowed chambers because, objectively in the context of international practices, primaries elections cannot be legislated upon, and is best left to the discretion of the political parties.”

Speaking on the continued stalemate between the Legislature and the Executive over the 2021 Electoral Bill, he commended the National Assembly for the courage, high level of commitment and patriotism exhibited in the passage of the bill which had been widely applauded as ground-breaking and transformative in the annals of the nation’s legislative chambers.

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