The National Assembly included a provision for compulsory adoption of direct primaries in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill that was passed and transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law.
Should the bill be signed into law, Nigerian political parties would have no option than to elect their candidates for elections through the direct primary model, which involves the participation of all registered party members.
Already, some political parties have expressed concern that direct primaries would hike the cost of conducting primary elections. The parties have suggested that they need financial support from the government to be able to meet up with the requirements of direct primaries.
The main national opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and an alliance of political parties – the Conference of United Political Parties – have kicked against direct primaries while arguing that it would be very expensive.
Opposing the introduction of direct primaries in the amendment bill, the PDP, through its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The PDP holds that the provision (direct primaries) is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures thereby surrendering the processes to moneybags against the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians.”
The PDP noted that with the exception of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which it alleged intended 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.”
National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Victor Oye took the debate a notch higher by calling on the Federal Government to fund political parties to enable them conduct direct primaries.
Ben Kalu Urges Abia APC Members, Leaders To Reunite For A Common Goal
The lawmaker stated this when he featured on his weekly radio programme, The Ben Kalu’s Mandate, streamed live on ABN TV and Radio simultaneously.
Speaking on the current issues within the party in the state, the Reps Spokesperson highlighted that the strength of the party is in its unity, noting that there will be no victory in an atmosphere of disunity.
He said, “As of today, If Abia APC wants to win the government House in Abia State, it’s not in the shape and form that we are going about it, and this is the truth. The national body has seen it and this is why they have set up the reconciliation committee to look into the issues concerning it. However, this committee met in Abuja a few days ago, unfortunately, I could not join them but I heard they met and it was not attended by parties who should attend instead letters were sent in place of physical presence.
“The tone of the letters I have been reading online, I’m not sure if they are actually from the right source but if they are then we are truly deceiving ourselves. In the sense that we need people to win elections.
“When we came on board in 2015, there was a new energy in the party. Nobody is taking any glory but people worked very hard to reposition the party, If politics is about the people, we should not be anti-reconciliation because no one man can do it alone. If you think you’re powerful, and you can do it alone, you will fail. It is only wise to have people come together, sit and deliberate on the way to move the party forward.
“I do not believe in or belong to factions. We are one family but I will only respect and recognize my efforts towards building a stronger party in my federal constituency and the state in general”.
Four Armed Robbery Suspects Caught In Kwara Forest, Arrested
They are Abdullahi Audi, (30), Lawal Audi, (30) Bature Abdullahi (25) and Issa Muhammed.
A statement by the spokesman of the state Civil Defence Corps, Babawale Afolabi, who confirmed the arrest of the four suspects, alleged that they belong to a robbery gang terrorising and attacking passengers and motorists along Isanlu Isin/Ijara Isin road in Isin Local Government Area of Kwara South Senatorial District.
He said operatives of ” the defence corps in conjunction with the local vigilante group of Nigeria, VGN and local hunters, responded swiftly to a distress a call in the early hours of Monday 17/01/2022, around 0030hours when suspected armed robbers in their large numbers ambushed motorists and passengers travelling inside a Toyota Sienna space car along Isanlu-Isin/Ijara-Isin road and dispossessed them of their valuables.
“The robbers had actually disappeared into the nearby bush by the time we arrived at the scene of the robbery incident but with the help of the vigilante group( VGN) and the local hunters we were able to comb the nearby bush and round up four Fulani/ Bororos men suspected to be members of the robbery gang while a manhunt has commenced to apprehend other members of the gang” Babawale narrated.
The spokesman said profiling and background checks of the suspects have commenced.
He advised people to avoid night travels as most of the criminal activities take place during the night hours.
“The Commandant Makinde Iskil Ayinla also appealed to motorists especially commercial drivers to avoid night travels and report any unusual movement or activities noticed in their neighbourhood to the security agencies” he added.