The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has described the Senate’s imposition of direct primaries on political parties as arbitrary, counterproductive, and an assault on Nigeria’s emerging democracy.
IPAC, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Agbo Major in Abuja on Friday, stated that the action of the Senate “is a deliberate attempt to kill young political parties that are set to displace the old political parties”.
Newspot had reported that a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki begged the upper legislative chambers against imposing direct primaries on political parties, most of which he noted lack the necessary infrastructure to successfully conduct direct primaries at all levels.
IPAC has now come out to state that the decision of the Senate has eroded the supremacy of organs of political parties to decide on the mode of nominating candidates in tandem with provisions of their constitutions.
According to the council, “Placing a fiat order on all political parties by the Senate to use direct primary is an affront on the right and liberty of political parties to decide how their candidates emerge for secondary elections.
“It is also championing this following their remarking showing in some elections.
“It is unfortunate that the Senate again has been dissipating energy in wild goose chase while amending the Electoral Act by interfering in the internal affairs of political parties.
“Imposing direct primary on parties is a giant step backward in our collective efforts at building a strong, virile, progressive and enduring democracy in Nigeria”.
IPAC further stated that it would be an uphill task for new political parties to conduct indirect primaries for nominating candidates for elections due to financial constraints.
“The financial cost of direct primary that involves all registered members of a political party in the constituency is enormous which only parties in government can afford.
“It will suffocate new parties and impede the nation’s democratic advancement,” it said, stressing that political parties should be at liberty to adopt any mode of nominating their candidates for elections.
“Anything short of this is an invitation to anarchy, confusion and political upheavals,” the statement concluded.