Politics

(+VIDEO) ‘Ongoing Party Primaries in Nigeria A Mess’ — Jonathan

Rita Enemuru, Reporting

The immediate past president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has condemned the ongoing political party primaries ongoing in the country, describing it as a mess.

Speaking in Abuja at a book launch titled “Political Party Governance,” authored by Dr. Mohammed Wakil, a former Minister of State, Power, Jonathan said that if the primary elections were to be scored, they would not score more than 25 per cent, making the process a failed one.

Jonathan, commenting on Section 84 of the Electoral Act that necessitated the way party primaries were being conducted, said that the National Assembly could not make laws to “lock up all political parties together.”

According to him, the National Assembly should enact laws that will curb party excesses and erase Section 84 which has nothing to do with political parties from the Electoral Act.

“The whole of these primaries going on is a mess. If it were to be scored, these primaries cannot get more than 25 per cent. And you cannot use that process to elect a president, senators and governors.

“The process is already a failed one which is not good for this country. Yes, we will manage and move on, we pray that good people should come but we hope that what has happened this 2022, will not happen again in this country.

“Let me use this opportunity to advise the National Assembly that laws must be decided to solve problems not design to create problems.

“To me, if you read through that law, 80 per cent or more of that section 84 has nothing to do with us; it is supposed to be erase from the Electoral Act; because the National Assembly cannot make a law and lock up all the political parties together.

“Political Parties must have the leverage of doing certain things differently. Two parties cannot do things the same way.

“Creating a situation where every party must have the same way of getting those who will represent them, is nonsense; it doesn’t help the practice of democracy. Allow parties the leverage.

“The key thing is that INEC is regulating them. The method they should adopt in selecting their candidates must be documented in their constitution and copies deposited in INEC. And that is what will be used to judge that party.

“Parties are not parastatals of the government and National Assembly cannot make laws to over strangle the political parties and that is my taken on this issue that is quite controversial.

“Laws must be made assuming that those making the laws are blind just like the judges. Laws must not be made to target a group of individual or an individual.

“And when you go into that system of making laws, you make that terrible mistake that has really messed up the whole primaries going on; It is terribly.

“Are we bringing who really know who is who to elect these delegates, or somebody that will be bought with money.

“You will pick only one elected delegate that you don’t know where he is coming to come to Abuja to selected who be the presidential candidate.

“Is that the kind of democracy we are practicing; we have to institutionalize democracy,” he said.

The former president termed the act of aspirants asking delegates to pay back money that was given to them before the primaries as shameful.

“From what we are hearing that people are going back to collect the money that was shared to delegates because they didn’t win the primaries is extremely disgraceful,” he reiterated.

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