Connect with us

Latest Update

Mon-Charles Egbo: Do Nigerians Want Direct Primary In Elections

Published

on

Nigeria elections

Since the inception of this republic, the major index reflecting Nigeria’s stunted democratic growth is her faulty electoral system. There is a consensus that unless the electoral processes are restructured for viability, meaningful political development, particularly in the area of virile leadership, will continue to elude the country. Then broadly, it is only when Nigeria gets her leadership recruitment processes right that the right leaders will emerge which in turn makes every other thing fall in place towards all-around development.

This gap has become such endemic that every election cycle has always offered justifiable bases for urgent tinkering of the processes. And as a result, every successive administration up to the present has made deliberate efforts at reforming Nigeria’s electoral system. Equally, every national assembly of course has continued to identify with this noble aspiration.

One remarkable intervention that climaxed the agitation at one time was when late Umaru Musa Yar’adua shortly after assuming office as the president, shocked the world with his sincere open admission that the very election that brought him to power was highly-flawed and for-which he called for urgent and drastic remedial measures.

Though these challenges are multi-faceted, the sustained clamours for deepened internal democracy for political parties and then enhanced integrity of the ballots have remained more profound. The greater percentage of Nigerians are unanimous that these two factors propagate political corruption and leadership deficit in the country.

Thus the 9th national assembly under Senator Ahmad Lawan slated electoral reform as one critical task that must be accomplished in this dispensation for Nigeria to recover lost grounds and ultimately experience the next level of socio-economic prosperity. Lawan has been consistent that “we will be quick to address all the grey areas and come up with better inputs before the next general elections. We consider our elections of great importance; we have lessons to learn and we want our elections to be credible. Our desire is that our electoral umpire continues to be independent and improve to perform the statutory functions creditably well. We, in the ninth assembly, will continue to work in a committed and united manner to offer the best to the electorate”.

Apparently, in hindsight, he was emphatic that “we want to pass the Bill well ahead of the next electoral cycle in 2023 and avoid the political heat and pitfalls that imperilled the efforts of the eight National Assembly which passed the same bill close to the last general elections”.

Certainly, those were not rhetoric. An objective analysis of the trajectory shows that the 9th assembly is resolute on this course of action.

But quite sadly, certain actions and inaction of the past federal parliaments, prevailing economic hardship in the country, and above all, poor knowledge of the actual roles and responsibilities of the legislature, have cumulatively visited on the 9th national assembly a huge dose of public apathy and hostility. Hence, the quantum of the orchestrated propaganda and lies against it has seemingly overshadowed every sincere effort made by the 9th national assembly.

Sequel to prejudice, not many recognize that the 9th assembly in deference to the wishes of the people when it mattered most settled for the electronic transmission of election results as well as broader deployment of technology in electoral processes. Yes, the people stood to be counted, individually and as groups. This they did through constructive engagements with their statutory representatives. And then living up to its billing as a people-oriented parliament, the Lawan-led national assembly respected and upheld the collective expectation of the masses.

The lawmakers did not stop there. Perhaps in a bid to compensate for the ‘pains’ that it caused the people while the debate lasted, the 9th assembly introduced the strategic provision for a direct primary mode of selecting political party candidates. This means that instead of using delegates, party members at the ward levels and under the supervision of the independent national electoral commission, INEC, will have equal opportunities of choosing their flag-bearers. In other words, candidates are to derive their mandates directly from the members, irrespective of status which in itself is a clear test of popularity.

Expectedly and typical of democracy, this generated varying views. There are concerns about the possibility of over-stretching the capacity of the INEC in providing the necessary logistics for monitoring and supervision of party primaries across the country, the economic implications on the political parties as well as the integrity of the party registers and then the whole gamut of collating and transmitting the final results of the primaries into a protected central database.

Also, there is this valid argument that rather than undemocratically forcing the parties to adopt a uniform template, they should be allowed the latitude of choosing the model that suits their peculiarities. The state governors and a few other highly-placed Nigerians champion these positions.

Then conversely, there is a school of thought that favours the direct primary system. Among others, it takes power back to the people as parties and aspirants have to resort to the members for the mandate. Again, to fly a party’s flag, a contestant must have a direct engagement with the membership unlike when the delegate lists are largely manipulated against certain aspirants in favour of those preferred by the priviledged few. It is also argued that under the indirect primary mode, the state governors are emperors with limitless powers to determine the political future and fortunes of party members where they unilaterally choose candidates based on self-seeking considerations. And one of the unfortunate outcomes of this unpopular arrangement is the high turnover of legislators despite the resources expended in preparing them due to the desperation of state governors to decide who goes to the legislature at every election cycle.

Then above all, it would be recalled that what conferred on the June 12 1993 election the historical landmark status it enjoys was principally the manners in which the candidates emerged. The Option-A4 system of that era was a masterstroke. Just because the people were involved right from the basics, they were enthusiastic and determined to ensure that their expressed wills were sustained to the last. But for the unfortunate annulment, nobody would be talking about indirect primaries in Nigeria today.

Besides, it is simple logic that where your investment is located is certainly where your attention and interest lie, thus implying that any government that is formed by the people (and not for the people) naturally shall be accepted and supported by the people. So there is no better way to return powers to the people than making party members have a direct say in who becomes their candidates. This is the hallmark of democracy.

Hence, anybody that is opposed to the direct primary mode does not only encourage a system of leadership that is bereft of legitimacy but creates fertile grounds for the propagation of emperors and demigods, where anyone without a political godfather has no place in our politics. It is only the unpopular politicians who are not grounded but are foisted on the people that justifiably should fault direct primaries. Otherwise, the same quantum of state resources that governors usually deploy to railroad their descendants to offices should be judiciously utilized in providing the needed logistics towards making the votes of party members count in the nomination of candidates. That is a major way to evolve sustainable home-grown democracy in Nigeria.

Meanwhile instructively, there is a compelling sentiment that the issue of direct or indirect primaries might undermine and or waste all the successes recorded in the overall amendment of the Electoral Acts, in a questionable manner of throwing away the bathwater with the baby, if the bill is not assented to by the President. This should not be taken for granted!

However, if Nigerians could rise in anger against an organized attempt to sabotage the implementation of the financial autonomy for the state legislatures and judiciary, it means that if the masses close ranks with the lawmakers, the collective will of the people will surely prevail once again. And also, it is noteworthy that even the direct primary system is slightly prone to manipulation, after all, it is driven by human beings. But eternal vigilance they say is the price of liberty!

Therefore despite possible shortcomings, the direct primary is better off than the indirect primary and consensus modes. With it, contestants will learn to recognize and respect the people as the ultimate lords and masters in politics. Also as laudable as it is, it will ensure diligence, fairness, equality, stability and sanity as public officials will now see the need to be accountable to the people. Again, it will guarantee that it is only people of character, competence and capacity are allowed access to public offices. And then, it will engender wider participation and inclusiveness in our democracy especially in favour of the youths and women including even the physically challenged.

Buoyed by all these, the 9th national assembly has responded to the yearnings of the people and gallantly demonstrated to every lover of democracy that with the deployment of electronic transmission of election results and adoption of direct primary mode, there would have been tremendous improvement in favour of future elections. As such President Muhammadu Buhari should seize this opportunity to stamp his dispensation as one that truly took the electoral process review to yet another landmark level. This bill has sufficient capacity to change the narratives for him and his government.

Nonetheless, the ball is in your court, the great people of Nigeria!

Egbo is the print media to the president of the senate.

Latest Update

Don Jazzy reacts to rumors of being gay

Published

on

IMG 9951

Popular music executive and Mavin Record owner, Don Jazzy has reacted to rumors that he is gay.

Reports circulating online by blogs had it that some celebrities are gay, seeking that they come out publicly and stop deceiving young girls.

Don Jazzy was among the celebrities that was called out in the report.

Reacting to the rumors on his Instagram page, Don Jazzy promised to come out following the accusation.

On his Instagram page, he wrote: “So I hear I’m gay all the time anyways click link in my bio to subscribe because I’m going to be coming out there.”

IMG 9951

Don Jazzy reacts to rumors of being gay

Continue Reading

Latest Update

We are suffering, hungry, we need our November salary – Policemen

Published

on

IMG 20211207 WA0011

Some policemen from different formations and commands across the country have raised the alarm over the non-payment of their November salaries.

They made this disclosure when they spoke with DAILY POST on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

The officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, insisted the non-payment of their November salary has compounded their suffering.

The officers, who said that they are hungry, said that other security agents have been paid their November salaries.

The officers noted several attempts to get their salary up till Wednesday have proved to be abortive.

They explained that the police authority in a signal do not state when their salaries would be paid.

One of the officers said, “Help us shout it loud and clear, no November salary for police, the signal above indicated like that.

“All others security agents have been paid. What is our offense, is it a curse to be in Nigeria police?”

Another officer said that anyone who reveal his or her identity would be accused of leaking official secret.

“Economic crunch has crushed most of us due to irrational cost of living, an hungry man is an hangry.

“Police is seriously hunting any one that air his views, they say you are leaking official secret, they want you to remain zombie, suffering and smelling, please cover the identity”.

Another police officer in his own submission said, “It is lame excuses, police can not bare the brunt, is not our fault it is leadership failures, for Christ sake all others security agents have been paid since last week, today is 8/12, how do they want us to survive when we are not doing other jobs or to go and commit crimes.”

But, the police authority in a signal issued by Force Headquarters in Abuja and obtained by DAILY POST on Wednesday, noted that the delay was due to delay in processing of funds from the federal ministry of finance.

The signal addressed to various commands and formations reads, “Information received from IPPIS unit of OAGF indicates delay in processing of funds from federal ministry of finance for payment of November 2021 salaries which that there will be delay in payment of November 2021 salary.”

IMG 20211207 WA0011

We are suffering, hungry, we need our November salary – Policemen

Continue Reading

Latest Update

Simba TVS launches next generation tricycle

Published

on

3

Simba TVS, Nigeria’s leading tricycle company has launched the brand new TVS King Deluxe+ tricycle, with revolutionary iTouch technology. Aimed at creating an easier, safer and more comfortable riding experience, the innovative new starting system of the vehicle is a product of extensive research and development by TVS Motor Company – one of the world’s largest two- and three-wheeler companies.

At a glittering event held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, the Simba Group launched the TVS King Deluxe+ with iTouch, which contains several upgraded features and enhancements over existing models, with the revolutionary new starting system forming the cornerstone of this next generation vehicle.

This iTouch feature assures a one-touch noiseless start and is made possible as a result of a new starting system that completely eliminates the starter motor. This not only reduces the frequency of wear on parts, but also reduces fuel consumption resulting in significantly reduced operating costs of the vehicle. The rider also enjoys a starting mechanism that is more convenient and comfortable, and an enhanced riding experience overall as a result.

3

Speaking at the event, Mr Mahendra Pratap, Business Head at Simba TVS said, “We are extremely happy to launch the TVS King Deluxe+ iTouch in Nigeria today. As the first and only tricycle manufacturer worldwide to have this patented and revolutionary technology we are very excited about the benefits that will be experienced by our riders, our fleet owners and our mechanic community. Once again, Simba TVS has driven the agenda in terms of innovation in this market, and we remain committed to not only bringing the best technology and products to Nigeria, but continuing to invest in the spares network and after-sales service, which has become the hallmark of our success over the last twenty years in this industry.”

This is another feather in the cap for Simba TVS who earlier this year won the “Tricycle of the Year Award” in addition to various other awards for manufacturing excellence, service and also commendation for their contribution to socio-economic improvement of Nigeria.

2 1 6 5

Simba TVS launches next generation tricycle

Continue Reading

Trending

NgGossips.com