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Umahi Speaks on Adoption of Direct Primaries

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Governor David Umahi 1
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Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi on Thursday rejected adoption of Direct Primaries as mode of electing candidates of political parties.

The chairman of the southeast governors’ forum Umahi who stated this while addressing stakeholders and delegation of the National Examinations Council, NECO, during a courtesy visit, said Direct Primaries will truncate democracy in Nigeria

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for refusing to assent to the electoral amendment bill.

The governor said: “Let me congratulate Mr President for refusing to sign that electoral bill. You see, when we are making laws, we have to look at all the factors. This is a country, that when you are defeated in any primary, you refuse to accept defeat.

“Now, imagine the number of our local government, 774. Imagine the number of wards, you now go to conduct primaries in all these wards, maybe for the president and after that, the senate and the rest of the positions. Even if you are doing all of them in one day, expect petitions by the number of political parties, times the number of wards.

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Also Read: Umahi Suspends Female Council Boss Over Insecurity

“So, it will just truncate our democracy there is no doubt about that. Nobody has considered the amount of confusion that will arise out of that because everybody that contests election will like to go to court.

“And, if I am contesting a particular office, I have to go to court if I am not happy over the election in the number of wards in my constituency. So when will the litigation end? It is another ploy to derail democracy.

“So, I want the national assembly to look into this litigation aspect. When the cost of these direct primaries is taken into consideration, it is going to be too much because, for every ward that the court rules out, there must be a repeat of the exercise.

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“So, I think that we have not gotten to that level of maturity, level of having the spirit of sportsmanship, level of accepting defeat. When people know that they have been defeated, they want to see, if they can technically or fraudulently manipulate the system within the judiciary.

“So, I think that the issue of political primaries should be left to the political parties. This is not about APC or PDP, everybody is looking at the implication. So, let us take another look at it.

Also Read: NLC Speaks on Adoption of Direct Primary

“Some people say, governors have hijacked the primaries, is it not the governors that are at home every time, do they not have representation in every unit? So, they are at home with the people, if you are not at home with the people, how will the people know you?.

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“Some of you want to be governors, very soon, we shall not be governors anymore, but, we are looking at what will bring stability to our democracy and sustain it. So, the national assembly should take a deeper look at the application, so that when it will start happening, they will say, we foresaw this and we advised against it”

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