Nigeria Not Ripe For Direct Primaries — IPAC

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) says Nigeria is not ripe to adopt direct primaries however beneficial it may appear to be.

The IPAC, which is a pressure group of the 18 registered political parties in the country, said the National Assembly’s attempt to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would be fruitless.

IPAC National Chairman, Yabagi Yusuf Sani, at a press conference in Abuja Monday, said the council backed Buhari for declining assent to that part of the bill.

He urged the legislature and the judiciary to save Nigeria’s democracy by ending what it called the ugly trend of incessant and unwarranted defection of elected officers from the party they were elected.

“We’ve noted that the only expressed grouse of the president on the basis of which he held back his assent, is the provision in the bill for mandatory use of direct primary election in the selection of flag bearers of all the political parties.

 “While many may not concede to the explanations of security challenges with the other reasons given by the president, it’ll be difficult, however, to disagree with him on the reason of complex logistics and huge financial burden that direct primary elections will imply for the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Many have canvassed the view that no amount of money should be considered too high in the efforts to sanitise the nation’s electoral process and that the legislature should, therefore, invoke its veto powers to overrule the president. To us in IPAC, such an action may be tantamount to a wholesale wrecking of the boat,” he said.


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