In the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed by the Senate, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the adoption of direct primary for the nomination of candidates for elections in political parties.
Newsmen report that the Senate had on Tuesday at plenary made a series of adjustments to the Electoral Act, including the recommendation of a direct mode of primary for political parties.
Following a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, the lawmakers amended Clause 87 of the Act to reflect direct primary.
The new provision of Clause 87 Subsection, reads: “a political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”
Rejecting the development, the Party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the passage of direct primary as a retrogressive provision that seeks to wipe off the gains achieved in the nation’s electoral practice since 1999.
The party said the decision by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Senate is a humongous blow to the development of democratic norms, and a plot to introduce anarchy during internal party elections as currently obtainable in the APC.
“The PDP holds that the provision is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures thereby surrendering the processes to money bags against the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians.
“Our party makes bold to state that with the exception of the APC, which intends to deploy looted funds in future elections, hardly will there be any political party that will be able to raise the cost of conducting internal elections under a direct primary process”, the party said.
It urged the Senate to immediately deploy its appropriate legislative instruments to reverse itself on the direct primary.
The party stressed that such a mode of conducting party primary does not reflect the wishes and aspirations of the majority of Nigerians.