‘You’re a product of direct primary’ – Osoba asks Buhari to sign Electoral Bill

December 5, 2021
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Former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba has admonished President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign the electoral amendment bill transmitted to him recently by the National Assembly.

Osoba stated that the Nigerian leader will put the nation’s interests first before signing the bill, expressing confidence that President Buhari will do right by assenting to the act.

The APC chieftain, who is recuperating in London after a knee operation, added that President Buhari was also a product of direct primary which is in the amended bill.

Speaking with 11 senators who came to visit him in London, Osoba said: “I have a feeling he will sign it.

“The President himself is a product of direct primary. He submitted himself to direct primary in 2019 throughout the country, heaven did not fall. After he subjected himself to direct primary throughout Nigeria in all the wards, he also subjected himself to a National Convention to ratify his election at the primary.

“And quote me, I had cause to tell him at our National Caucus during the Edo election issue that ‘Mr. President, if you can subject yourself to direct primary and national Convention, I do not see why anybody should be afraid of direct primary.’ I said this to him and we must be honest when we are talking to our leaders. That is why I believe that the president, having been a product of direct primary, will sign the law for direct primary.”

He added: “In the case of direct primary, we are running a presidential system of government patterned after that of the USA. It is direct primary in the USA that we copied. Why are we selective? If we don’t want a direct primary, then let us go back to a parliamentary system like India where the party caucuses select candidates.

“We cannot be selective on some aspects of the presidential system that we practise while jettisoning what is its democratic content. The idea of ‘we’ governors handpicking should stop. Let the people have a say.”

Osoba, however, commended the National Assembly for amending the electoral bill ahead of the 2023 elections and transmitting it to the President for assent.

Naija News reports two major amendments that are in the bill is the compulsory use of direct primaries by political parties to choose candidates for election as well as the provision to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results electronically or decide otherwise.

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