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Electoral Bill: We Need More Options Other Than Direct Primary – Gov Sule



Electoral Bill: We Need More Options Other Than Direct primary - Gov Sule

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has said there should be more than one option for political parties to choose their leaders.

Sule made this known while speaking at a town hall meeting on the electoral act amendment bill organised by Yiaga Africa on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The governor said his colleagues are not opposed to direct primaries, but against the National Assembly giving one option for the parties to choose their leaders.

Sule disclosed that the governors are only saying options for election should be provided in the bill, adding that President Muhamadu Buhari was right in rejecting the document.

The governor also refuted claims that his colleagues are scared of direct primaries which will take power away from them.

He said: “The governors are not against it. As a matter of fact, going back to 2019, a lot of the states chose whether to do direct or indirect primaries within the same political party. A good example is Niger state; they conducted direct primaries.

“It’s not that the state governors are against direct primaries. What the governors said when we had our meeting is ‘why do we want to box ourselves into just an option in cases there is going to be another problem?’

“There are so many states right now that even if you say direct or indirect primaries, they can’t do any. Like Zamfara, because of the security situation we have right now and so many other states.

“Direct is similar to what you’ll call general election. So, what we said was that ‘why don’t you leave the options open?’ The electoral bill is more than just the direct or indirect primaries. There are so many important things there. Why are we boxing ourselves to either direct or indirect?

“In our own party, the APC, if you look at our own constitution, it actually says three options. The very first option is consensus. If consensus is not possible, you can do indirect, if that one is not, you can do direct.

“So, we say give the political parties the opportunity. By the time the opportunities are given, you’ll be shocked that in the 2023 elections, a lot of states will still do direct primaries.

“The governors are only saying options should be provided. Don’t box us into just one option. In case something comes up that that option is not possible, are we going to go back to the constitution, or are we going to have concessional issues?”