A civil society organization, Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declining assent to the 2021 electoral bill because of the provision of direct election as the only mode for party’s primaries in the country.
The groups in a statement issued by the executive Chairman of the organization in Lagos, Comrade Nelson Ekujumi said the president not signing is victory of democracy over authoritarianism.
Ekujumi described the action of the legislators in insisting through a clause in the electoral bill, that party’s primaries should only be by direct election as self serving, selfish, ego tripping, undemocratic, imposition, reckless, irresponsible, obnoxious, authoritarian, infringement on internal democracy and an assault on the democratic rights of the party’s conduct of their internal affairs.
According to him, “While we concede that the national assembly has the constitutional right to make laws for the country including making or amending the electoral Act, that responsibility is supposed to be exercised for the collective good of democracy and the people and not for the purpose of, “Payback or get back which is a clear manifestation of subsuming collective interest for personal interest which the insertion of the sole direct election for party’s primaries, represents and it is rather unfortunate”.
The group said that it aligned fully with the reasons given for declining assent as explained by Mr. President in his correspondence to the national assembly, which significantly reveals President Muhammadu Buhari as a great leader and democrat who is more concerned with the collective interest of Nigerians and deepening democracy, unlike our self serving interest legislators.
CPPM added that, “It is particularly pained that a critical ingredient of democracy, which is the right to make choices either as electorate or members of a political party in taking decisions would have been abrogated had President Buhari assented to the rights infringing 2021 electoral bill”.