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Salihu Lukman: Direct primaries leave room for manipulations

Salihu Lukman: Direct primaries leave room for manipulations
November 13
10:52 2021

Salihu Lukman, director-general of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), says the amendment of the electoral act compelling all political parties to adopt the direct mode of primary election is vague and leaves room for manipulations.

TheCable had reported that the national assembly, earlier on Tuesday, approved the conference committee report on the electoral act amendment bill.

In a statement on Saturday, Lukman said while the agitation for direct primaries could be because party members have lost confidence in their parties, there is the need to properly outline a clear administrative framework under the law.

Highlighting some flaws in the amended bill, he said: “For instance, the only thing that exists as means of identification of party members is an ordinary piece of paper and records of members exist only in hard copies available perhaps to only ward officials and the national secretariat of the party. It leaves much room for manipulation and extraneous practices.”


“Beyond the sentiments in favour of direct primary, therefore, there is the need to properly outline a clear administrative framework under the law.”

“This will guide the process and guarantee that all the bad practices associated with the indirect method of electing party candidates are eliminated.”

Lukman added that “in several respects, the issue of compelling parties to use direct method for internal party elections as part of the Electoral Act is also popular perhaps because increasingly many political party members and leaders have lost confidence that parties can on their own adopt internal rules that can truly allow for direct primary.”


“Otherwise, ordinarily the choice of the direct primary should be decided internally within parties. To a large extent, it is also a matter that should define the ideological orientation of parties,” he said.

He appealed to the national assembly to revise section 87 of the bill on direct primary and take it through all the legislative processes, including a public hearing, to enable Nigerians to contribute before presenting it to the president for assent.


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