Former Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon Pally Iriase on Sunday adduced reasons why direct primaries is far better than indirect primaries in Edo State under Covid-19 pandemic.
Iriase, a think-tank and strategist of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2015 and a former Secretary to the Edo State Government, SSG in a chat with journalists late Sunday evening said:
“Most agitators for indirect primaries in Edo State have ironically based their arguments on the need to ensure that the exercise does not lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the state.
“However a study of the processes involved in Indirect Primaries as contained in the APC Constitution shows that it is the Indirect method that must be avoided to safeguard the health of our people under this pandemic.
“Article 20(iv)(a) provides that Indirect primaries shall be done at a designated venue by an Electoral College of DELEGATES who shall be democratically elected by members of the Party at their various Ward Congresses.
“Contrary to the erroneous impression bandied around, there are no permanent elected delegates under the party’s constitution for this exercise. Only Statutory Delegates as defined in the constitution under Article 20(iv)(c) shall join the Elected Delegates to constitute the Electoral College for Indirect Primaries.
“After the DIRECT ELECTION of Delegates in the foregoing paragraph, all members of the electoral college, that is, Elected Delegates plus Statutory Delegates, will move to the designated venue for the Indirect Primaries.
“It is therefore clear that we would have to do direct election of delegates first in order to even do a proper Indirect Primaries. I submit that you can not circumvent this process in Edo State as at now without dire consequences.
“The atmosphere is charged and anything outside the provisions of the Party Constitution will not work. You can not use the badly factionalised Party Executives as surrogates in place of Elected Delegates because there is no constitutional backing for that at all.
“On the contrary, Direct Primaries requires that all party members in each Ward, who would have voted for delegates, will turnout in their Units within their Wards, observe Social-distancing, wearing face-mask and vote for the Aspirant of their choice and the healthy exercise will be over in minutes.
“It is clear that without ulterior motive, Direct Primaries is better than Indirect Primaries which requires two tedious stages with huge but avoidable health challenges,” Iriase stated.