…Reject attempts to gag political parties into adopting direct primaries
By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Some eminent Nigerians including former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega; erstwhile presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi; and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, have hailed the Senate’s passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, saying that Nigeria was ripe for the electronic transmission of result.
They spoke in a joint statement on Wednesday night under the aegis of the National Consultative Front.
The trio, in a statement signed on their behalf by NCFront’s Head, Media and Public Affairs, Dr Yunusa Tanko, also commended Nigerians for insisting that the National Assembly guaranteed, through relevant amendment to the electoral laws, the frameworks for the deployment of technology towards ensuring a credible electoral process.
However, they said that political parties cannot be gagged into adopting one single way of producing their candidates for election.
They said, “We believe the country is ripe and due for electronic transmission of election results as the electoral umpire. INEC has posited that it has the capacity and the ability to conduct electronic voting and the transmission of results from the polling units in the entire country electronically.
“We, however, wish to commend the Nigerian people for their doggedness and their insistence on the need for the National Assembly to guarantee, through the laws of the land, the necessary legal frameworks that will permit INEC to deploy technology towards ensuring a credible electoral process.
“This has shown again that power truly belongs to the people when the people come together and make demands from those entrusted with leadership and governance.
“While we continue to look forward to the end of this electoral legislative journey, where the President will assent to the bill and it becomes law, we shall be launching a coordinating committee of the non-partisan political coalition on electoral reforms under the leadership of Prof Attahiru Jega and Dr Olisa Agbakoba.
“We wish to use this medium to reiterate to Nigerians that people’s power is supreme in all circumstances of human endeavour if well mobilised and explored. So, when we come together to chart forward the direction that our society should go and unite on the demands from leaders to do what is needed, nothing can stop us.
“It is important to note that political parties cannot be gagged into adopting one single way of producing their party candidates i.e. direct primary. All political parties are not the same and so it is wrong to subject them to a one-way system of producing their candidates.
“The National Consultative Front will like to appreciate the support from Nigerians so far on its historical mission to save and rescue Nigeria from failed exploitative leadership and for standing up and putting pressure on the Federal Government collectively as we again look forward to the President’s assent and the implementation of the new law by all stakeholders.”