Nigerians have continued to react to the recent adoption of direct primaries as condition for political parties to pick candidates for elections.
According to some Nigerians, by adopting direct primaries in the electoral act amendment bill, the lawmakers are poised for people’s interest.
An Abuja based lawyer, Barr Ejike Ejiofor, commended the National Assembly for the move, saying, it offered Nigerians increased hope for redemption as the 2023 elections approaches.
He said; “How on earth did we even start with indirect primaries with all its pitfalls? It gave all manner of wrong people the opportunity to determine who wins an election and who loses. So it’s a good thing that the National Assembly has done. That is beside the passage of the electronic transmission of election results,” Ejiofor said.
The director, Citizens Awareness Platform, a Civil Society Organisation, Oslomb Ahamba, said direct primaries would sanitise and stabilise the system.
According to him, the adoption of direct primary elections will create an atmosphere of fairness among political office contestants.
An APC chieftain, Garus Gololo who commended the lawmakers for adopting direct primary elections, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to speedily assent to the bill.
Gololo said with the proposed direct primary for all political parties, if Buhari signs it into law, the people would be duly represented.
“This is about the major bill Buhari will sign into law that will change the narrative for his administration and endear him to the people,” Gololo said, adding, “Through direct primaries, votes will count. The chances of vote buying and voter manipulation by politicians will drastically reduce,” Gololo said while thanking the senate president, Ahmad Lawan and speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for what he described as a laudable landmark achievement.
“This is a laudable achievement for the country’s electoral system,” Gololo said, maintaining that the lawmakers and the governors must always be conscious that they were put in office by the masses.
“Only politicians who cannot deliver their wards and states, and those who sneaked into office will be afraid of direct primaries. It is time to test the popularity of politicians before the masses. This way we are sure of credible representation that will deliver the dividends of democracy to the grassroots,” Gololo added.
The National Assembly on November 9, 2021, against moves by some state governors of the APC extraction, passed the electoral act amendment bill allowing direct primary elections for political parties and also gave nod for INEC to conduct election electronically and transmit the election results electronically.
The leadership of the APC on which platform most members of both chambers of the National Assembly were elected, however, rejected the position of the lawmakers.