National Secretary of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), High Chief Peter Ameh, has kicked against the passage of direct primaries for all political parties as contained in the Electoral Amendment Bill by the Senate.
Ameh, former National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in a statement to the development, argued that the decision of the mode of primaries to conduct should be left for the political parties to decide.
Titled: ‘Director indirect primaries should be left at the discretion of the leadership of political parties’, he further accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using its majority in the National Assembly to manipulate the constitution in their favour and force its decision down the throat of other parties.
“Why should the method of selecting/electing political party representatives to be forced down their throat? It is totally absurd and uncalled for.
“This direct primaries is a direct assault on parties to freely determine the most suitable means of conducting its internal affairs. This is interference into the affairs of the party by taking away the right of party organs to make decisions for the smooth running of party activities. What party A wants is different party B.
“APC is using its majority in the National Assembly to manipulate the constitution in their favour and force the decision of APC down the throat of other Parties, this authoritarian will of APC majority is not good for our democracy.
“They can’t dictate for political parties their means of party nomination. Do they give Political Parties grants? No! So they should allow political parties to look for the most cost-effective ways to manage internal issues as they relate to the conduct of party primaries.
“Let them approve Option A4 as the means of voting in an election if truly they want things to work in Nigeria,” the statement read.
On the approval of the electronic transmission of election results, he said: “We should not applaud the Senate for doing the right thing after so much public outcry, this is why I have insisted that only mass action from citizens can give our democratic process needed growth.
“Citizens must continue to engage the process to protect our Democracy or else those elected to serve their interest will remain self-serving Senators.
“The hullabaloo over the amendment of Section 53 to give INEC the rights to determine the rightful mode for the transmission of election results was expected but unnecessary because if not that the Senators were be clouded by their own need for self-preservation this wouldn’t have dragged for so long.
“It was wrong to have reduced the independence of the commission to that of consultation commission when the former amendment required that the commission seek approval from NCC before the applying technology that will aid the improvement of our Elections,” the statement read.