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NEWS UPDATE: Benjamin Ngutsav: Direct primaries: Now that APC govs have vindicated Ortom

NEWS UPDATE: Benjamin Ngutsav: Direct primaries: Now that APC govs have vindicated Ortom

When Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue Province raised genuine concerns over the choice of the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Human action and compel all political parties to adopt the direct mode of primaries, his traducers drew out daggers and came tough on him in their usual fashion, calling him names and branding him as anti-democracy.

But Governor Ortom, beingness a dogged leader who is never shy of expressing his convictions could not be discouraged by the tantrums of the naysayers. He went on to give reasons for his stand up on direct primaries.

The Governor explained that he is not against direct primaries but the truth is that conducting direct primaries would involve a lot of finances amongst other issues. He farther stressed that when the direct system of choosing candidates becomes law, his political party the Peoples Democratic Political party (PDP) would strategize and nominate credible candidates who would be pop amongst the voters to sweep the polls in favour of the political party. He expressed confidence that PDP is the political party that most Nigerians trust which has never been afraid of going into elections.

Less than 2 weeks after Governor Ortom made known his place on direct primaries, Governors on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) came out to vindicate the Benue Province Governor. Their stand up fifty-fifty took an aggressive dimension as they expressed displeasure with the resolution of the National Assembly on the direct alternative as a mode of primaries for political parties to pick their candidates for full general elections.

The APC governors operating under the aegis of Progressives Governors Forum, (PGF) at the finish of their coming together in conclusion Monday rejected the National Assembly resolution.

They also vowed to encounter with the leadership of both chambers of Parliament to impress it on them to review the resolution ahead of presentation of the Electoral Human action 2010 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2021 to President Muhammadu Buhari for presidential assent.

The Senate had in conclusion month aligned itself with the House of Representatives which adopted Subdivision 87 on mandatory direct primaries for all parties.

Subdivision 87(1) of the bill reads: “A political political party seeking to appoint candidates for elections under this Bill shall take hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”

Kebbi Province Governor and Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, said the Governors expressed strong reservations in relation to the National Assembly resolution on direct primaries.

Spell he maintained that political parties should be allowed to pick the alternative best suited for them, Governor Bagudu farther stated that the resolution was against the spirit of the Executive Tell signed by President Buhari which frowns at big gatherings in the wake of the global pandemic, Coronavirus.

He farther argued that direct primary was too cumbersome, unwieldy and would overstretch the limited resources of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) statutory mandated to supervise primaries conducted by political parties.

He said: “We discussed the pros and cons. There has been concern that political parties are voluntary organisations. We limited the concern that political parties be allowed to select from the options that they so want. There is an Executive Tell, signed by Mr. President against big gatherings. These are issues we discussed and hope that the best be achieved for Nigeria.

Governor Bagudu also stated, “Our ward Congresses were results of direct Primaries. The physical process involves multiple roles by INEC. Whether we have to involve INEC, their resources will be overstretched.”

Kogi Province Governor, Yahaya Bello is some other APC Governor who is fuming seriously over the choice of the National Assembly to impose direct primaries on political parties. He is hoping that the President will not assent to the bill so that it can be returned to the National Assembly and the direct primaries division expunged from the bill.

According to Governor Bello, “Whether it is returned to the National Assembly, it will not be the foremost of such bill to be returned.”

Meanwhile, the coming together of the Tripartite Commission set upwardly by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve disagreements in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Tuesday ended in a deadlock as it failed to concur on the utilization of direct primaries by parties to choose their candidates.
The coming together which was held at the Old Banquet Corridor of the presidential villa, Abuja, was chaired by Vice Yemi Osinbajo.
The tripartite commission is made upwardly of the Executive, the Legislature and the APC executive.

The members of the National Assembly at the coming together insisted that direct primary was the way to go as they argued that it had been working for the electorate.

The unfolding feud within the APC ranks, peculiarly the stand up taken by Governors under the political party to resist direct primaries is some other attestation that Governor Ortom sees ahead of many. This is not the foremost time he has made his views known on a national issue and was heavily criticized only for those who criticized him to later eat their vomit and begin to sing the same tune with him.

The ban on open grazing is a good known instance in dot. The Governor was vilified, victimized, called unprintable names and fifty-fifty marked for elimination when he began to conduct the revolution against open grazing of livestock in Nigeria. Nowadays, the country has come up to comprehend the fact that nomadic cattle rearing is no longer fashionable, and that ranching is the respond.

Governor Ortom was also the foremost to get up the alert that those tagged as bandits were indeed Fulani terrorists who are bent on taking over the lands of Nigerian people. He as raised the alert that what has been happening in parts of the country is a good organized genocide to exterminate harmless people. Once more, many analysts dismissed his claim of the existence of a grand agenda. Nowadays, we know superior.

Governor Ortom was also the foremost to phone for the licensing of responsible Nigerians to possess sophisticated weapons. Some persons saw his phone as invitation for anarchy. But the way things are moving in this country nowadays, Governor Ortom’s phone is already fitting a national clarion phone.

Some other phone that Governor Samuel Ortom has been making but Nigerians are yet to reckon it as important but which will certainly come up to pass is the issue of destitute people. He often cites the World Bank projection that whether noting is done fast, many Nigerians will go destitute in their possess country.

The Governor has on several occasions urged the Federal Authorities not to dismiss the World Bank study on the ascent in the number of destitute people in the country.

The Governor says there is the demand to encourage the production sector through youth empowerment opportunities.

His words “The World Bank projection of over 80 million destitute people should be a wake-up phone to every leader, peculiarly the Federal Authorities to ensure that the production rate is greater than the consumption rate.”

I won’t be surprised whether other Nigerians begin to re-echo Governor Ortom’s phone for urgent measures to check the growing destitute population in the next yoke of months.

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