2023: Direct Primaries Will Overstretch INEC, Says PGF Chairman
Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, and Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), has said that adopting direct primaries by political parties will overstretch the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said this while speaking with newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting held by members of the PGF on Monday night.
The PGF is an umbrella body of serving governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Assembly adopted Section 87 on mandatory direct primaries for all parties.
Bagudu, said the decision by INEC to make it mandatory for political parties to elect their candidates for elective positions through direct primaries, could be undemocratic.
He said the meeting discussed problems associated with direct primaries, noting that there had been concerns that political parties were voluntary organisations.
The governor said the concern of the governors was that if you limit the abilities of parties to choose options that they so desired: “that may even be arguably undemocratic”.
He explained that this was because nothing stops one party from adopting one or the other.
The PGF Chairman said the meeting, among other things, reviewed development in the polity and in the APC states especially.
He added that the meeting also discussed the party’s membership registration and the Congresses that had successfully been conducted.
The chairman appreciated Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), for the success of the congresses.
He lauded the committee for supporting APC states and for taking steps to resolve issues wherever they arose.
“In particular, the governors were appreciative of the CECPC because of its respect for President Muhammadu Buhari’s expectations that they should support the party bottom up, and I think that had been achieved in the last exercise.
“Equally, we reviewed the congresses and advised on how we think it should strengthen our democracy,“ he said.
Bagudu, however, noted that the party’s planned National Convention is in progress.
He described as a big milestone, the just-concluded APC State Congresses, saying that the appeal processes had also been conducted.
“I believe that soon, the party will inaugurate all the state executives, and then, some of the outstanding congresses that are to take place in Zamfara and Oyo States and three other states will be concluded.
“Then we are on our way to setting a date for the National Convention,” he said.
On the Anambra governorship election, Bagudu said the election is inconclusive so it limits his ability to comment on it.
Present at the meeting,were governors of Nasarawa, Kano, Kebbi, Ekiti, Plateau, Yobe, Kogi, Ebonyi, Gombe and Osun States, while Lagos and Ondo State governors were represented by their deputies.
NAN reports that direct primaries involve the participation of all party members in the selection of party candidates, while indirect primaries involves the use of delegates who are usually leaders and members of the executives at the ward, local government and state levels, to elect the party’s candidate(s) at a congress or convention.
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