New Telegraph

Direct primaries: Why govs are scared –NASS members

• State Chief executives can’t buy delegates –Ogba

• I don’t understand their anger –Opeyemi Bamidele

• It’s for growth of democracy –Hon Onuigbo

 

 

 

As state governors continue to kick against the direct primaries approved for political parties in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly, federal lawmakers have described the system as the most democratic and only level playing ground for all party members to participate in the process. That was as Senator Obinna Ogba, representing Ebonyi Central on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accused the governors of being apprehensive of the new system because it would no longer allow them to use money and buy off the delegates.

Ogba, who was reacting to the opposition mounted by state governors against the insertion of direct primaries in the Electoral Act by the National Assembly, said that, if passed into law, only the popular candidates could win elections.

 

“They are in great fear because they want to use money and buy delegates and they know that you cannot since you don’t have such money as a lawmaker.

“Direct primary is giving democracy to the people because under this arrangement, only those who are popular can win election. If you are not popular, you cannot win. We are the people’s representatives here and we have acted according to the wishes of our people,” the politician stated.

Also speaking on the same matter, Senate Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), said that he did not believe that the action of the National Assembly in providing for direct primaries in the nation’s electoral process could provoke rift between the state governors and the Federal lawmakers.

 

He, however, argued that the fact that direct primaries had been included in the Electoral Act, did not totally eliminate consensus, if the party leaders and all stakeholders preferred it.

 

His words: “Well, I really don’t see how the issue will cause a rift between the National Assembly members and the governors because definitely, I don’t think that any governor is afraid or should be afraid of direct primaries as a means of choosing who will be the flag bearer of the party because this is not about the lawmakers or the governors; it is about our democracy and the growth of our democracy. And I don’t think that what you are saying about governors being afraid of direct primaries is real.

 

“Democracy is an expression of the choice of the people; it is the government of the people by the people for the people. We must appreciate the fact that every country must adopt a specie of democracy that works for her. We have tried different options. “Consensus is not even limited by direct primaries. If party leaders and all stakeholders have been able to come to an agreement by consensus, so be it.

But let them still get on the field and allow every card carrying member of the party to take part in the decisionmaking process. “It does not remove the fact of a consensus; it will only be a reflection of the fact that there has been a consensus.

 

If for instance you get on the field to conduct primaries and it is only one aspirant, obviously they will vote for that one aspirant either by way of affirmation or whichever other way they want to do but you still involve the people through the process of direct primaries. So, you would have limited agitation by reaching a consensus before you gather in the field. And if there was no consensus, it doesn’t make any difference.

“Our Electoral Act will recognise the fact that the way to truly express that decision that has been taken behind the door is for everybody to still get on the field and directly participate in the decision-making process.

 

That’s what direct primaries is all about.” In his own opinion, Hon. Samuel Onuigbo, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Ikwuano/ Umuahia/ Umuahia Federal Constituency of Abia State, said that there was no reason for the State governors to be angry with the action of the National Assembly because some of them, after leaving Government House, usually come to the Senate.

 

He maintained that direct primary would always provide a level playing ground for free, fair and credible process that would give people a sense of belonging, stressing that it was the electorate that would decide whether the process was in their favour or not.

 

He said:”Remember that the governors whom you say are murmuring, after four or eight years, they will also come here to be in the National Assembly, and as you can see, there are so many of them in the Senate.

 

You may be a governor today and think that you have all you want but eventually, you will leave and come here or be elsewhere, and now be at the mercy of whoever that succeeds you. “So, it is in everybody’s interest to have a level playing field. After four years

 

 

 

 

As state governors continue to kick against the direct primaries approved for political parties in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly, federal lawmakers have described the system as the most democratic and only level playing ground for all party members to participate in the process.

 

That was as Senator Obinna Ogba, representing Ebonyi Central on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accused the governors of being apprehensive of the new system because it would no longer allow them to use money and buy off the delegates.

 

Ogba, who was reacting to the opposition mounted by state governors against the insertion of direct primaries in the Electoral Act by the National Assembly, said that, if passed into law, only the popular candidates could win elections. “They are in great fear because they want to use money and buy delegates and they know that you cannot since you don’t have such money as a lawmaker.

 

“Direct primary is giving democracy to the people because under this arrangement, only those who are popular can win election. If you are not popular, you cannot win. We are the people’s representatives here and we have acted according to the wishes of our people,” the politician stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also speaking on the same matter, Senate Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), said that he did not believe that the action of the National Assembly in providing for direct primaries in the nation’s electoral process could provoke rift between the state governors and the Federal lawmakers.

 

He, however, argued that the fact that direct primaries had been included in the Electoral Act, did not totally eliminate consensus, if the party leaders and all stakeholders preferred it.

 

His words: “Well, I really don’t see how the issue will cause a rift between the National Assembly members and the governors because definitely, I don’t think that any governor is afraid or should be afraid of direct primaries as a means of choosing who will be the flag bearer of the party because this is not about the lawmakers or the governors; it is about our democracy and the growth of our democracy.

 

And I don’t think that what you are saying about governors being afraid of direct primaries is real. “Democracy is an expression of the choice of the people; it is the government of the people by the people for the people. We must appreciate the fact that every country must adopt a specie of democracy that works for her. We have tried different options.

 

“Consensus is not even limited by direct primaries. If party leaders and all stakeholders have been able to come to an agreement by consensus, so be it. But let them still get on the field and allow every card carrying member of the party to take part in the decisionmaking process.

 

“It does not remove the fact of a consensus; it will only be a reflection of the fact that there has been a consensus. If for instance you get on the field to conduct primaries and it is only one aspirant, obviously they will vote for that one aspirant either by way of affirmation or whichever other way they want to do but you still involve the people through the process of direct primaries.

 

So, you would have limited agitation by reaching a consensus before you gather in the field. And if there was no consensus, it doesn’t make any difference.

 

“Our Electoral Act will recognise the fact that the way to truly express that decision that has been taken behind the door is for everybody to still get on the field and directly participate in the decision-making process.

 

That’s what direct primaries is all about.” In his own opinion, Hon. Samuel Onuigbo, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Ikwuano/ Umuahia/ Umuahia Federal Constituency of Abia State, said that there was no reason for the State governors to be angry with the action of the National Assembly because some of them, after leaving Government House, usually come to the Senate.

 

He maintained that direct primary would always provide a level playing ground for free, fair and credible process that would give people a sense of belonging, stressing that it was the electorate that would decide whether the process was in their favour or not.

 

He said:”Remember that the governors whom you say are murmuring, after four or eight years, they will also come here to be in the National Assembly, and as you can see, there are so many of them in the Senate. You may be a governor today and think that you have all you want but eventually, you will leave and come here or be elsewhere, and now be at the mercy of whoever that succeeds you.

 

“So, it is in everybody’s interest to have a level playing field. After four years  or eight years, your tenure expires. But for every period, you go to the electorate to use their thumb to hire you. And if we have a system that is transparent, that is fair and credible, they will also use their thumb to fire you. So, we need a system that is transparent and credible.

 

“Somebody who is governor today was not governor eight years ago. So, let it not enter into anybody’s head today that you are a governor; you will finish. So many governors that finished after eight years, some of their successors or somebody else dislodged them and made them totally irrelevant in the system.

 

“So, let us have a system that guarantees a level playing field, so that we can now have a system that works to deepen, broaden, consolidate the gains that we have made in our unbroken democratic dispensation between 1999 and now.”

Read Previous

Otta rallies socio-cultural groups, NGOs for Odun Omo Iganmode

Read Next

Andy Uba moves against party chiefs over campaign funds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *