Electronic vote transfer, direct primaries ‘ll strengthen democracy – APC Diaspora

APC Diaspora presidential hopeful, Dr Philip Idaewor says electronic transfer of votes and mandatory direct primaries for political parties will strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.

He said   the Nigerian Senate had taken bold and courageous step to safeguard the nation’s democracy.

Idaewor, Chairman of Forum of APC Diaspora Chairmen and Chairman, APC UK , made this known in a statement on Saturday, reacting to senate’s decision, expunging some clauses in the Electoral Act.

The senate on Tuesday, rescinded its decision on some clauses in the Electoral Amendment Bill that was passed in July.

The senate  amended clause 52 of the electoral act, to let the electoral umpire, INEC, determine the use of electronic voting and transfer of results.

The senate also amended clause 87 of the bill, to mandate political parties to hold only direct primaries for candidates seeking elective positions.

Idaewor who lauded senate for the move, said electronic voting would go a long way in checkmating rigging.

“Often in past elections, there has been allegations of party agents and electoral officers being bribed to change election results. With this new development, it becomes difficult to manipulate results,” he said.

He expressed delight on the mandatory direct primaries for political parties, noting that it would make the process of choosing candidates to represent parties more inclusive.

“Candidates who sometimes emerge from consensus and delegates arrangements most times, do not represent the popular wishes of all members of the political parties.

“This will go a long way in ending god father politics or the unwholesome practice of imposition of candidates on the party and ensuring that the most popular aspirant clinches a party’s ticket.

“This is a good thing for political parties and the country as it may contribute to promoting peace and harmony during elections.

“I can only urge members of political parties in Nigeria to take advantage of this new development to make their voices heard,  through active participation in choosing the best candidates to represent them.

“This is a huge gain for Nigeria’s democracy and Nigerians. It will help usher in the best of candidates for voters to choose from”  he said.

Idaewor also urged the executive and judicial arms of  government to ensure that all forms of electoral thuggery were  firmly and speedily dealt with to further encourage citizens’ active participation in the electoral processes. (NAN)