Following the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act Bill Amendment, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has urged political parties to democratically determine their mode of primaries.
The party’s acting National Chairperson, Abiodun Bamigboye and National Secretary, Chinedu Bosah noted that President Buhari had withheld assent to the electoral act 2021 amendment bill sent to him by the National Assembly because it removes the provision for indirect primaries, making direct primaries by all political parties mandatory. The bill also makes provisions for the electronic transmission of results.
According to the SPN the controversy over the amendment bill is a reflection of infighting between two different sections of the same thieving elites.
It explained that the different positions held by the president and National Assembly on direct primaries are driven by their self-serving, short-term interest and not the quest to strengthen democracy as they both claim.
“The fact is that the members of the National Assembly want to make direct primary mandatory because they believe it would make it easy for them to get the return tickets.
“On his part, President Buhari is out to protect the interest of state governors who consider it easier through indirect primaries to impose candidates or secure tickets for reelection or senatorial seats, which have become the playing ground of the former governor”, the party alleged.
While noting that direct primaries was not a panacea for the problem of the imposition of candidates by governors and godfathers as the experiences of what obtains in both APC and PDP have shown, the party said it was illogical to think that the politicians in both APC and PDP, for instance, who buy votes and perpetuate mass riggings in the general elections, could do same in the primary elections, either it is through direct or indirect arrangement.