IPAC appeals to Senate on direct primaries

The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has appealed on the Senate to review its stand on direct primaries in the interest of Nigeria’s emerging democracy.

IPAC said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Agbo Major on Friday in Abuja.

It described the Senate’s decision as arbitrary, counterproductive and an assault on Nigerian democracy.

The council stated that the decision has eroded the supremacy of organs of political parties to decide on mode of nominating candidates in tandem with provisions of their constitutions.

“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 a deliberate attempt to kill young political parties that are set to displace the old political parties 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 said.

The council stated that it would be an uphill task for new political parties to conduct indirect primaries for nominating candidates for elections due to financial constraint.

“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 added.

The council said 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,” IPAC  said.(NAN)