The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave Umahi has said indirect primaries would truncate Nigeria’s democracy.
Umahi, who, stated this last Thursday during a courtesy visit by stakeholders and delegation of the National Examinations Council, NECO, stressed that the issue of political primaries should be left for political parties.
The National Assembly had recently, in the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021 sent to the President for assent, approved indirect primary as the only option for political parties to use in selecting their candidates.
Governor said, “You see, when we are making laws, we have to look at all the factors. This is a country, that when you are defeated in any primary, you refuse to accept defeat.
“Now, imagine the number of our local government, 774. Imagine the number of wards, you now go to conduct primaries in all these wards, maybe for the president and after that, the senate and the rest of the positions. Even if you are doing all of them in one day, expect petitions by the number of political parties, times the number of wards.
“So, it will just truncate our democracy there is no doubt about that. Nobody has considered the amount of confusion that will arise out of that because everybody that contests election will like to go to court.
“And, if I am contesting a particular office, I have to go to court if I am not happy over the election in the number of wards in my constituency. So when will the litigation end? It is another ploy to derail democracy.
“So, I want the national assembly to look into this litigation aspect. When the cost of these direct primaries is taken into consideration, it is going to be too much because, for every ward that the court rules out, there must be a repeat of the exercise.
“So, I think that we have not gotten to that level of maturity, level of having the spirit of sportsmanship, level of accepting defeat. When people know that they have been defeated, they want to see, if they can technically or fraudulently manipulate the system within the judiciary.
“So, I think that the issue of political primaries should be left to the political parties. This is not about APC or PDP, everybody is looking at the implication. So, let us take another look at it.
“Some people say, governors have hijacked the primaries, is it not the governors that are at home every time, do they not have representation in every unit? So, they are at home with the people, if you are not at home with the people, how will the people know you?.
“Some of you want to be governors, very soon, we shall not be governors anymore, but, we are looking at what will bring stability to our democracy and sustain it. So, the national assembly should take a deeper look at the application, so that when it will start happening, they will say, we foresaw this and we advised against it”