By G9ija

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the adoption of direct primary for the nomination of candidates for elections in political parties in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed by the Senate.

In a statement on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described the passage of direct primary as a retrogressive provision that seeks to wipe off the gains achieved in the nation’s electoral practice since 1999.

“The party says the decision by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Senate is a humongous blow to the development of democratic norms, and a plot to introduce anarchy during internal party elections as currently obtainable in the APC,” the main opposition party said.

“The PDP holds that the provision is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures thereby surrendering the processes to money bags against the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians.

“Our party makes bold to state that with the exception of the APC, which intends to deploy looted funds in future elections, hardly will there be any political party that will be able to raise the cost of conducting internal elections under a direct primary process.”

For the PDP, this is why the decision of the Senate has elicited “widespread rejection” from Nigerians across the board.

It, therefore, urged the Senate to immediately deploy its appropriate legislative instruments to reverse itself on the direct primary.

The party stressed that such a mode of conducting primary was not operable and does not reflect the wishes and aspirations of the majority of Nigerians.

During its plenary on Tuesday, the Senate had made a series of adjustments to the Electoral Act, including bowing to pressure to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the sole power to determine the mode of transmission of results.

Following a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, the lawmakers amended Clause 43, Clause 52, Clause 63, and Clause 87 of the Act.

Under Clause 87 which borders on the nomination of candidates by parties, the provision of subsection 1, which states that “a political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Act shall hold direct or indirect primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which may be monitored by the Commission,” was amended.

The new provision of Clause 87 Subsection 1 now reads, “a political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”