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Nasarawa governor: My colleagues aren’t against direct primary — we want options

Nasarawa governor: My colleagues aren’t against direct primary — we want options
January 16
21:53 2022

Abdullahi Sule, governor of Nasarawa, says it is not true that governors are not in support of direct primary for political parties.

The compulsory direct primary provision for political parties is contained in the electoral act amendment bill rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

The decision to adopt direct primaries had elicited varied reactions, with stakeholders such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors kicking against it.

Speaking on Sunday at a town hall meeting on the electoral bill organised by Yiaga Africa, Sule said it is wrong to think that the governors are against direct primaries.

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“The governors are not against it. As a matter of fact, going back to 2019, a lot of the states chose whether to do direct or indirect primaries within the same political party. A good example is Niger state; they conducted direct primaries,” he said.

“It’s not that the state governors are against direct primaries. What the governors said when we had our meeting is ‘why do we want to box ourselves into just an option in cases there is going to be another problem?’

“There are so many states right now that even if you say direct or indirect primaries, they can’t do any. Like Zamfara, because of the security situation we have right now and so many other states.

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“Direct is similar to what you’ll call general election. So, what we said was that ‘why don’t you leave the options open?’ The electoral bill is more than just the direct or indirect primaries. There are so many important things there. Why are we boxing ourselves to either direct or indirect?

“In our own party, the APC, if you look at our own constitution, it actually says three options. The very first option is consensus. If consensus is not possible, you can do indirect, if that one is not, you can do direct.

“So, we say give the political parties the opportunity. By the time the opportunities are given, you’ll be shocked that in the 2023 elections, a lot of states will still do direct primaries.

“The governors are only saying options should be provided. Don’t box us into just one option. In case something comes up that that option is not possible, are we going to go back to the constitution, or are we going to have concessional issues?”

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