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Elections: PGF DG Lukman Rejects Adoption Of Direct Primaries


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The Director-General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has kicked against the adoption of the direct primary mode of choosing candidates for political parties in the country.

Lukman made this known in a statement on Saturday while reacting to the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by the National on Tuesday.

According to the PGF boss, the amended electoral act contains some flaws which should be immediately addressed by the National Assembly before presenting it to the President for assent.

Lukman said Section 87 of the bill on direct primary should be stepped down and taken through all the legislative processes before it is signed into law.

He noted that such processes which include public hearings will allow Nigerians to contribute to the electoral act.

Speaking further, Lukman submitted that the direct primaries mode is vague and can be easily manipulated by rich politicians, adding that the supports for the option are all based on sentiments.

He said: “For instance, the only thing that exists as means of identification of party members is an ordinary piece of paper and records of members exist only in hard copies available perhaps to only ward officials and the national secretariat of the party. It leaves much room for manipulation and extraneous practices.

“Beyond the sentiments in favour of direct primary, therefore, there is the need to properly outline a clear administrative framework under the law.”

“This will guide the process and guarantee that all the bad practices associated with the indirect method of electing party candidates are eliminated.

“In several respects, the issue of compelling parties to use the direct method for internal party elections as part of the Electoral Act is also popular perhaps because increasingly many political party members and leaders have lost confidence that parties can on their own adopt internal rules that can truly allow for direct primary.

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“Otherwise, ordinarily the choice of the direct primary should be decided internally within parties. To a large extent, it is also a matter that should define the ideological orientation of parties.”