Direct Primaries May Overwhelm INEC, Security Agencies — Tambuwal

Direct Primaries May Overwhelm INEC, Security Agencies — Tambuwal

December 10, 2021 Current Affairs 0

Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has suggested that the process of conducting direct primary election by all the political parties, may be cumbersome and overwhelming for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Tambuwal, who was speaker of the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015, observed that the direct primary exercise may be too rowdy giving the insufficient manpower of Nigeria’s electoral umpire and security agencies, hence they may not be able to manage the situation.

Although the governor said he was indifferent to the debate as either direct or indirect primary elections has its merits and demerits, he insisted that the debate should not be about who will benefit from a particular system but how to improve the country’s democracy.

“I am for either direct or indirect primaries, but let me tell you, it is not about governors and National Assembly, it is about our democracy, it is about our country, as it is, can we say that INEC and other agencies can conduct direct primaries in Nigeria, have we looked at the implications, do we have enough manpower from INEC to monitor the direct primaries, do we have enough security personnel, do we have the funds, is it feasible?” Tambuwal queried.

Tambuwal, however, noted that the experiences of Nigerians about the direct primary in the recent past do not suggest that it could engender transparency.

“I don’t want to mention names, but I may be compelled by this question to ask how many votes did President Buhari get during the APC direct primaries, and how many did he get during the general election.

“Take an example of Kano, he got over three million votes during direct primaries, but how many votes did he get during general elections?

He also got over one million votes during the general election, how many did he get during the general elections? These are the two most populous states in the country.

“Also, take the recent example of Anambra state, Andy Uba got 230,000 votes during the direct primary and less than 50,000 votes in the election, what happened to the remaining party members, they defected to where?” he wondered.

According to Tambuwal, there are factors to be considered as whether they are favourable or not.

“It is not about governors and the National Assembly but the general situation of the country if some National Assembly members believe that if they go by direct primaries they may get it, they should also be reminded that there are two phases to election, one is the semi-general election and the other is the general election, now I am talking about the costs.

“So it’s not about the governors not supporting it or the National Assembly fighting the governors, this is my opinion, let’s be objective, let’s be dispassionate, let’s look at our country and let’s look at or democracy,” Tambuwal stated.

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