APC: Direct primaries will end short-cut to power
From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Former representative of the Rivers South East senatorial district at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, has advocated the need for Nigerians to support the passage of the Electoral Act by members of the National Assembly.
Abe made the call during a courtesy visit on the Menebon Barako, His Royal Highness, Mene Kadilo Kabari, in Barako community in Gokana local area of Rivers State, at the weekend.
The senator insisted that signing of the Electoral Act by President Muhammadu Buhari would end short cuts to power and return power to the people.
He went further to say that ultimately the process of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) supervised direct primaries will reduce cost of organizing elections in Nigeria.
Abe said: “Elections are not expensive, it is the behaviour of people that destroyed the electoral process in our country that has made elections become expensive.
“This Electoral Act, if signed by Mr President will give Nigeria a new beginning and a new opportunities for Nigerians to actually reap the dividends of democracy because there would be no short cut to power anymore.”
He decried a situation where principal stakeholders who ought to be architects of sustainable democracy are those responsible for its chaotic and expensive practice.
Abe said: “The elections are expensive in our country today because all those who should take part in the process, all those who are expected to support the process are the ones working against it.
“Ordinarily, election is a clerical job. All you need is a Polling Clerk, Presiding Officer and Party agents and they will conduct an election that will produce the kind of result that will be difficult to contest in Court if we allow them to work.
“But, when those who should take part in the process are the ones hiring buses, planning thuggery, bringing Police and Army, all these contribute to make the election process to be expensive, cumbersome and disputed.
The senator who was also a member of the eighth Senate insisted that a credible electoral process in Nigeria will change the attitude of politicians.
He said: “When politicians know that their fate in an election will be dependent on the people’s vote, they will behave differently. INEC supervised direct primaries is the way to go.”