Home News EXCLUSIVE: Governors Move to Change Mode of Primaries to Delegate System

EXCLUSIVE: Governors Move to Change Mode of Primaries to Delegate System


By Okunade Adekunle

*APC Governors lobby lawmakers to renege on direct mode

When both houses of the National Assembly voted about two weeks ago to okay the use of direct primaries for the choice of party candidates in future elections particularly the presidency, Nigerians hailed the lawmakers for their courageous move.

The Senate, which had even initially opposed electronic voting system that will guarantee more transparency in the electoral process, had a volte-face to boot and turned round to back the direct system.

Now, WESTERN POST can report exclusively that the lawmakers are being prevailed on to renege on direct primaries.

At the forefront of this ingenious volte-face are the governors, particularly some All Progressives Congress (APC) henchmen.

Some APC governors were sighted in Abuja on Wednesday in spirited meetings with some Senators to achieve a rethink of the mode of primaries.

At a meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly to take a final look at the issue, it would appear that only House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila was a lone ranger on the issue of direct primaries.

Whereas he stood by the earlier decision of the lawmakers, others are opposed to direct primaries or at best indifferent.

Opposing direct primaries, some of the governors had argued that the mode was adopted in order to stop them from emerging as presidential candidates.

Ironically, direct primary mode is less expensive and involves the generality of party members in the nomination process, as opposed to the indirect, which is a ‘cash and carry’ exercise.

The governors are known to have the war-chest to buy off delegates to party conventions.

The two houses of the National Assembly had adopted direct primaries in their various chambers and had even appointed harmonization committees before the governors moved in, in a bid to put spanners in the work.

Nigerians were waiting for the bill to be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent before this ugly development.


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