A former Governor of Jigawa State and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sule Lamido have criticised Senate’s approval of direct primaries for the nomination of electoral candidates by political parties which is contained in a clause in the Electoral Amendment Bill.
According to Lamido in a statement on Wednesday, the clause violates the Nigerian Constitution and advised his party, the PDP to challenge it in court.
He argued that the Constitution allows political parties to regulate the conduct of their affairs and directs the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure parties comply with the provisions of their constitutions.
Mr. Lamido also said the National Assembly, which is controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC), has turned into the sole administrator of political parties.
He said, “It is true that there was a time in our political evolution when we had parties headed by late Air Marshal Alfa as the Sole Administrator of SDP and NRC! But that was when the political parties were invented and owned by the government with full complements of offices from the National, States and Local government, office furniture, motor vehicles, motorcycles.
“Full funding of all the parties activities including transportation and accommodation during congresses and conventions and what have you! Simply put the parties were not sovereign but mere government appendages! We all know the attendant consequences.
“Given that this legislation stands, will the Senate make the required budgetary provision to ALL Political parties to meet up the expenditure of fulfilling this piece of law?
“While the APC Senate has all the powers in this world to make any law, it behooves upon it to meet the responsibilities of making sure that its laws are obeyed to the fullest!
“Meantime PDP should set up all the necessary machinery to challenge this piece of legislation in court.”
The Senate, on Tuesday, adopted the clause after reviewing its earlier position to agree with the House of Representatives on the nomination of candidates for elections.
The clause says, Section 87 (1) of the bill 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.”