A group, People’s Life Improvement Foundation, says the Mandatory Direct Primaries’ resolution by the National Assembly, NASS, will give eligible voters the political power to override god-fathers’ imposition of candidates.
The group made this known in a statement on Thursday in Lagos by its President, Chief Precious Elekima.
“It is very sad to discover that governors are opposed to the window of freedom given by the National Assembly to Nigerians to freely elect their leaders,’’ it said.
The group also noted with concern that nearly all the leadership of the registered political parties including opposition groups were opposed to endorsement of direct primaries in Nigeria’s electoral process, by NASS.
It said: “Nigeria has a long way to go as the majority of politicians both in the ruling class and the opposition are opposed to Nigerians having the privilege and opportunity to freely elect their leaders.
“The mandatory Direct Primaries passed by the National Assembly gives Nigerians the political power to override governors and god-fathers impunity of imposing candidates.
“It is very sad to discover that not only the governors are opposed to the window of freedom given by the National Assembly but also nearly all the leadership of the registered political parties and the opposition groups.
“This experience gives goose bumps because nearly all the politicians do not want the people of Nigeria to be able to freely elect potential candidates in the political party through internal party democracy.’’
According to the group, the argument against direct primaries is flawed because the constitution of all the political parties has defined how delegates will be elected in the wards – by ward congress.
“Yet, they say Indirect Primaries is cheaper, as if there will be no congress to elect delegates,’’ it added.
The group said it was wrong for some Nigerians to feel that the senate would be exercising much prescriptive power over the right of political parties to choose how to conduct their affairs in a democracy.