Buhari backs lawmakers’ position on direct primary

Buhari backs lawmakers’ position on direct primary

The move to stop the retention of the direct primary clause in the Electoral Act Bill collapsed yesterday.

House of Representatives Speaker said President Muhammadu Buhari is in support of the direct mode of selecting candidates for elections by political parties.

Also, the National Assembly disclosed plans to forward the Electoral Act Bill to the President this week for assent.

Hailing the parliament for the retention of the clause, some All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains said it will foster greater participation of members in party affairs.

There had been a sharp disagreement between the National Assembly and governors over the direct mode.

While the Senate and the House of Representatives retained direct primary in the Electoral Act Bill, the governors are insisting on the indirect primary.

APC governors under the aegis of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) declined to react to the Speaker’s statement.

The Director-General of the Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukman, said APC governors will not react to mere visits by any leader of the National Assembly to the Presidential Villa over the bill.

Gbajabiamila, who spoke with State House Correspondents in Abuja after meeting with the President, said Buhari supported direct primary.

He described the President as a product of direct primary because of his popularity, adding that he has opened up the political space for the youths to participate.

He noted that the indirect primary has not helped the growth of democracy.

He assured that the President would sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

Gbajabiamila said: “If I tell you we didn’t discuss the Electoral Act amendment, which is what I am sure you are asking about, if I tell you we didn’t discuss that, I will be lying to you.

“We had a very robust discussion and our position is known to the President.”

On the position of the National Assembly, Gbajabiamila added: “Are you not aware that the National Assembly has passed the direct primary and electronic transmission of election results? That is the position of the National Assembly. It has passed through both Houses.

“We have passed the law. The official position of House of Representatives and the Senate, we are for direct primary. We are for empowering the people at the grassroots level. Let everybody participate in governance.

“Democracy is defined as a government of the people, for the people and by the people. ‘People’ is used three times in that definition. And it doesn’t start from general elections. It starts from primaries. So, we have made it very clear abundantly.”

Gbajabiamila defended the direct primary, saying: “It (indirect primary) has been like that for a long time and it’s not helping our democracy. It is not growing and deepening our democracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

copyright 2020, Africa Giant news Magazine || Contact: info.africagiantnews.com.ng

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)