Reps to probe party pri­maries

Daily Trust - - POLITICS - By Oz­ibo Oz­ibo

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has re­solved to raise an ad hoc com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate the breach of the Elec­toral Act by some po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the con­duct of their pri­mary elec­tions.

The House, yes­ter­day, said the com­mit­tee would also as­cer­tain the in­come and ex­pen­di­ture of the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Nige­ria in the last four years in line with Sec­tion 226 of the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion (as amended).

This, the law­mak­ers ar­gued, was to “pre­vent the Na­tional Assem­bly from be­com­ing the as­sem­blage of gov­er­nors’ stooges in fu­ture.”

The pur­suant res­o­lu­tion to mo­tion was on no­tice by Chika Adamu (APC, Niger) on “lack of in­ter­nal democ­racy in the con­duct of party pri­maries for the 2019 elec­tions.”

Adamu, lead­ing de­bate on the mo­tion, ex­pressed worry over the wide­spread re­ports of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties that marred the just con­cluded pri­mary elec­tions, al­leg­ing that many par­ties in some states failed to ad­here to the pro­vi­sions of the Elec­toral Act and the Con­sti­tu­tion.

“Some of the par­ties in many states brazenly re­fused to hold pri­maries in con­tra­ven­tion of Sec­tion 87(10) of the Elec­toral Act which man­dates all po­lit­i­cal par­ties to hold pri­maries.

“If leg­isla­tive mea­sures are not adopted to ad­dress this dan­ger­ous drift, the Na­tional Assem­bly may in the near­est fu­ture be­come the as­sem­blage of gov­er­nors’ stooges to the detri­ment of democ­racy and the elec­torate,” Adamu warned.

The law­maker added that the act of sell­ing nom­i­na­tion forms to as­pi­rants at ex­or­bi­tant prices even when party lead­ers had al­ready anointed win­ners amounted to in­jus­tice and cor­rup­tion.

He fur­ther ex­pressed con­cern over sit­u­a­tions where clear win­ners emerged in pri­maries but the re­sults were al­tered other peo­ple made flag­bear­ers, thereby short­chang­ing the demo­cratic will of the peo­ple in vi­o­la­tion of Sec­tion 87 of the Elec­toral Act.

He warned that the crises, lit­i­ga­tions and vi­o­lence gen­er­ated by the pri­maries in var­i­ous states might spill over into the ten­ure of the next govern­ment.

Speaker Yakubu Dog­ara

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