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Don’t assent Electoral Amendment Bill, SDP tells Buhari


*Rejects Direct primary

Tunde Opalana, Abuja

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has rejected passage of the direct primary mode of election by the National Assembly and therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to assent to the bill.

According to the party, direct primaries may have some laudable features, it should not be lorded over every political party to be used in every case and at all times.

Dr Olu Agunloye, National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, in a statement on Tuesday said the amendment bill is unprogressive and does not augur well for the nation.

Rather than dumping a blanket mode of primary on parties, Agunloye asked that each party should be allowed to run preferable mode of electing their candidates.

In the statement, the SDP chairman said
“it is perhaps not unexpected that the National Assembly, in the midst of all the complexities before it, has chosen to come up with making Direct Primaries compulsory for all political parties in Nigeria.

“This unprogressive act is part of the emerging retrograde trademark of the National Assembly that is made up largely of APC and PDP which are the parties that have ruled over the Nigerian states and federation over the last 22 years and have driven the nation to the edge of the precipice of anarchy at this time.

“Whether or not this retrogressive Bill has been motivated by corruption or selfishness, it remains a purely misplaced action by the National Assembly as the Bill does not augur well for the nation.

“It does not sit in conformity with the current electoral reforms being put in place by INEC to make the votes of the ordinary Nigerians count and be accountable. The new Bill of the National Assembly is anti- people because it does not seek to create easier access to political freedom and social justice”.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) urged the Nigerian people to reject the imposition of direct primaries on the polity.

“We enjoin President Muhammadu Buhari not to assent to the Bill which is generally considered by the people as an outright misplaced priority by the National Assembly.

“Political parties should be left to take their own decisions with regard to the mode of primary elections they choose to adopt as provided for in their Constitutions, while the National Assembly should return to its core mandate of facilitating laws and engender congenial conditions that ensure social justice, economic development and general security for the people of Nigeria that they represent.

“We have had enough from our elected and selected leaders, who always veer off the path of progress, security, and social justice at critical times to steer towards distractions and destructions.
It is time to rebuild and remodel Nigeria”, said Agunloye

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